This is a simple trick that you can make yourself. It may not mystify an adult audience, but it has great entertainment potential. The idea for calling this trick the Tates Compass came from an article in The Linking Ring, published by the International Brotherhood of Magicians.
Your prop is a two-sided square sign with an arrow on the diagonal (figure 1). I made mine yellow and black to resemble a road sign. Another popular design is a white octagon with a black arrow. It can be any size from 2'' across for close-up work to over a foot for stage presentations. The back is identical to the front, with the arrow turned 90 degrees from the one on front. The gray arrow on figures 2 through 5 shows the position of the arrow on the back.
By turning the card over on the axis (red line) shown on figure 2, you can show both sides pointing the same way. Use axis 3 to make it point the opposite direction.Pivoting on the corners (axes 4 & 5) will turn the arrow 90 degrees to the right or left. With a little practice you can go from any direction to any other direction without a second thought. I always show both sides pointing the same way before changing to a new direction.
I tell the story of a Mr. Tate who had a property line disagreement with a neighbor. When a surveyor's compass proved the neighbor right, Tate decided to make his own compass. That way North could be any direction he wanted it to be. The idea caught on and he began to market the Tates Compass. Explorers began to use the Tates Compass while out in the wilds, and this led to the well-known saying 'He who has a Tates is lost.';-)
This story lends itself to teaching the importance of getting accurate information and following established procedures (rules?) based on that information. It can apply in a variety of circumstances.
In Gospel applications I point out that God has given us His Word, the Bible as a compass for our lives. But many people have decided to ignore God's way and go their own. Many of man's ideas have been 'marketed' and we see the results in the chaos in the world around us. People who are 'lost' in a confusing mixed-up world can find direction by going back to God's standard, the Bible.
The cut and restored rope has literally hundreds of variations. This is one of the first methods I learned. Practice it well and it will prove to be quite effective.
A 5 foot rope is displayed and examined. The Magician holds both ends together to locate the center of the rope. The rope is cut in two and the cut ends tied together. Then the knot is removed from the rope which is again in one piece.
After the rope is examined, hold both ends in your left hand. Reach through the hanging loop with your right index finger just left of the center of the rope at point C (Figure 1). With your thumb and middle finger on the outside of the loop, lift the center as if to place it in your left hand.
As your right hand approaches your left hand, reach through the loop with your right thumb and middle finger and grab point D, a few inches below end B and pull it through loop C (Figure 2). Bring loop D up into your left hand, hiding the real center of the rope in the palm of your left hand (Figure 3). The audience thinks they see both ends and the middle of the rope above your left fist. Cut loop D and hold both ends of the small piece (B - D)that you cut off, letting the other ends fall (Figure 4). Tie a knot in the short piece at its location in the middle of the long piece and it will look like two halves of the rope tied together. To restore the rope just slide the knot off one end.
There are multitudes of presentations for this effect. You may want to do a comedy bit with a volunteer trying to cut the rope with break-apart scissors, etc. Once the knot is tied you may want to find it off center and trim off the long end. Then secretly slide the knot so that the ends still are not even. To complete the restoration you can wrap the rope around your left hand, sliding the knot off with your right as you go. Experiment with it and come up with your own ideas!
For Gospel applications I mention that we often have problems in our lives that are difficult to face. Sometimes the problems are the result of our own doing, and sometimes there's nothing we can do to avoid them. If we rely on our own resources, the best we can do often leaves "knotty" problems that continue to get in our way. But when we let God take over he can take us through. Sometimes He completely removes the problem, and sometimes He uses the problem to strengthen us, but He is always there to restore and renew us.
The following is a chemical effect that I developed to produce color
changing liquid. All of the chemicals are available to the average consumer.
Use of the chemicals for this effect are at your own risk. Some of these chemicals are toxic if taken internally. As with all chemical effects, adult supervision is essential. Follow all warnings on each chemical used. No one associated with this page will be responsible for any injury resulting from the information therein.
Several containers of clear liquid are displayed. A dye is placed in one of the containers and it changes to a golden yellow. Another clear liquid is added and it turns to a deep blue/black. A third clear liquid changes it to a wine red, and the fourth one restores it to sparkling clear again.
You will need the following chemicals:
The first solution should be plain water. Adding a few drops of iodine will turn it golden yellow.
The next solution should be the washing soda with a little starch water mixed in. The starch reacts with the iodine to make a blue/black color. If you use the starch and iodine sparingly you get a nice navy blue for U.S. patriotic themes. Larger concentrations look nearly black. Experiment to get just the effect you want.
The next solution should be hypo with a little Ex-Lax solution mixed in. The hypo combines with the iodine to cancel out the starch reaction and make the solution clear. The phenolphthalein in the Ex-Lax turns red in the presence of a base (ammonia) giving the next color change. The final solution is the white vinegar, which neutralizes the ammonia and makes everything clear again.
(Note: By alternately adding washing soda and vinegar to the solution you can change back and forth between red and clear.)
These colors work beautifully with the "wordless book" Gospel presentation. Gold represents heaven with its golden streets, and sunlight reminding us that God is light, and He wants us to live with Him in heaven. The next solution can be labeled "Sin", and when it comes into our lives it puts us into spiritual darkness, separating us from God and His plan. Label the next solution "Jesus" who shed his blood to cleanse us from sin, and the last solution "Faith" by which we receive His cleansing and forgiveness.
Three paper loops are displayed. Each one is cut lengthwise with a pair of scissors. The first turns into two separate loops as expected, but the second produces two loops linked together and the third produces one large loop.
When you make the first loop simply bring the two ends straight together and fasten with glue or tape. For the second loop, give the paper a full twist before fastening the ends together, and with the last one make a half twist. If the loops are fairly long the twists will not be noticed. If you use crepe paper streamers the nature of the paper also helps to hide the twists. Be sure that you know which loop is which, and that you stay away from the edges when cutting. The twists in the paper do all the work, but your presentation is what will create the "magic".
This can be used as an audience participation trick in which you demonstrate what is to be done, and then have two volunteers vie for a "big money" prize to see who can do the best job of cutting the loop int two separate loops. Of course both will fail because one will get only one loop, and the other will get two linked (not separate) loops. You may then still give them "big money" prizes of oversized dollars (available at most joke & magic stores), or any other prize you see fit.
Harold Philmore Wells, in his book Sermons in Magic (Moody Press, Chicago) uses this effect to illustrate being made complete in Christ. When God first made Adam and Eve they were at one with Him, having daily fellowship in the garden, but when they chose to disobey (Cut the first band) their sin separated them from God. Some people try to get back into fellowship with God through doing good works, going to church or other things in order to make up for their own wrongdoings. (Cut the second strip, with the full twist.) They fail to realize that only Christ's sacrifice on the cross can atone for our sins. They may be connected to the christian movement, but they are still not complete in Christ. Only by accepting Christ as Lord and Savior (Cut third loop) can we find complete forgiveness and eternal life. Through His work, not our own, we can be one with Him. (Display large single loop.)
A coin is displayed and rubbed against the forearm in an attempt to rub it into the arm. After a few failed attempts the coin vanishes.
Sit or stand behind a table. If you are wearing long sleeves, roll them up.
Everyone is interested in money. We can obtain the necessities of life,
find entertainment and make many of our tasks easier just by exchanging this simple
commodity for what we want. But some people put so much emphasis on money that they lose
their perspective on life. Instead of a means, money becomes an end in itself. Let me
illustrate with this coin. This represents my financial wealth that I want to hang on to.
In order to keep it, I'm going to attempt to rub it into my right forearm. That way it
will always be where I can keep an eye on it, and it will always be handy when I need it.
(Take the coin in your left palm. Place your right hand on your shoulder with the forearm facing the audience, elbow pointing down. Hold the coin flat between the right forearm and left palm and rub it up and down a few times before letting it slip out, falling to the table. Repeat this action 2 or 3 times during the following speech.)
There are many ways that people try to hang on to their money. Some store it in a bank or keep it in a safe. But an emergency can quickly use up what we have set aside. (Drop the coin.) Some people invest their money in stocks or mutual funds, but these sometimes lose their value and you can lose your money that way too. (Drop the coin.) It's not that these things are wrong, or even a bad idea. In fact the Bible says that we should save up and plan for the future. But at the same time we need to realize that God is the One in whom we trust, and not in our own wealth--because the time may come when our money will fail us. (Show that the coin has disappeared - see the secret below. ) But God is always there to take care of us if we trust Him. Jesus warned us not to "lay up riches on earth, where moths and rust corrupt, and thieves break in and steal." Instead, we are to "lay up riches in heaven" by using what we have to help others and to spread the message of Gods' Love.
Each time you drop the coin, you pick it up with the left hand and begin the rubbing process again. The last time, pick up the coin with the RIGHT hand. Because they have seen you do it several times before, the audience won't notice that you used the other hand. Then when you lift your right hand to your shoulder to repeat the rubbing procedure, drop the coin down your shirt collar.
On rare occasions, someone may notice that you used the other hand and point it out. If that happens, remember that your purpose is not to mystify with the effect, but to illustrate your message. Without pausing, respond by saying "You're very observant. That's what magicians call a 'Steal', and any earthly riches that we store up can be stolen when we least expect it." Then continue as though nothing unusual happened.
This is more of a challenge than a magic trick, but for those not
familiar with the laws of physics involved in may seem magical.
Place two pennies and a nickel on a smooth table. The pennies should be touching each other. Challenge a viewer to put the nickel between the two pennies without breaking the following rules: One penny may not be moved. The other penny may not be touched by anything.
All of us have problems in our lives. Sometimes they're easy to solve, and sometimes they just go away if we are patient. But some problems just seem to hold on to us and not let go, and that's what these coins represent. One penny represents you, and the other one next to it represents your problem. The nickel represents God, who wants to help you defeat the problem. To illustrate this, I want you to put the nickel between you and your problem, but you have to follow these rules: You can't move the penny that represents you, and you can't touch the problem penny with anything. (Give the viewer a chance to try. If he succeeds, compliment him, and go on.)
If we give the problem to God, His power can work through us to bring us victory. . . .
Put your left index finger (if you are right handed) on the penny that represents you. Place the nickel a few inches away, opposite the problem penny. With the right index finger, snap the nickel against the penny that is held in place. The force of the nickel will be transferred through the held penny to the one not being held, moving it away. Then the nickel may be moved between the pennies.
God doesn't promise to make our problems disappear, but when we stay close to Him, our problems can't defeat us.
The biggest problem facing all of us is sin. This is one problem that nobody can defeat on his own. But God has provided victory over this through His Son, Jesus Christ.
The magician begins with a picture of a top hat and after making a few folds in the paper produces a model of a rabbit.
This effect uses the Japanese art
of origami. The paper is printed in such a way that after the rabbit figure is complete,
the rabbit's face and feet are printed on the figure. If you pre-fold the figure before
performing, it can be made in less than 15 seconds (with practice), making the apperarnce
of the rabbit almost magical. Then you can print the file from your graphics browser. For
a full-sized (7.5 inch) picture, scale it to 200% when printing.
In the following pictures, red lines mark mountain folds (the center of the fold points up, like a mountain) and the blue lines mark valley folds (pointing down).
Make mountain folds along both diagonals and a valley fold horizontally across the paper. This will produce a two-layered triangular form. Arrange it so that the body of the hat is facing you.
Valley fold the top layer of
both the right and left sides of the form along the lines shown. The left side shows the
where the fold is to be made, and the right side shows the fold after it has been made.
Valley fold both triangles formed in the last step along the vertical lines shown and tuck the pointed ends into the opening along the long side of one triangle. This completes the under side of the rabbit.
TURN THE FORM OVER.
Valley fold both right and left sides as indicated. The corners that
protrude down below the rest of the form will become the ears.
Valley fold both ears so that they point out to the side.
One more set of folds will finish the face and point the ears toward the
back. The final step in making the rabbit is to inflate the body. Hold both ears and place
your mouth up to the rabbit's mouth. Purse your lips and blow a quick, sharp burst of air
into the rabbit. Once inflated, it should look like the picture below.
I suppose that just about every magician has been asked to produce a
rabbit from a hat. That's just exactly what I propose to do today, but perhaps in a little
different way than you might think. I am going to take a hat and turn it into a rabbit.
(Take out the picture and show it.) Here is the hat. You can tell that it's a magic hat by
its shape and by the things flying out of it. (perform the folds as you continue.) What I
am doing here just changing the shape of something that already exists, but when God
created the world and the sky and the sun and stars, He made them out of nothing. Before
God created the world there was nothing. But He spoke and created all of this beautiful
universe and everything in it, and everything He made was good. The last thing God made
was the most important part of His creation. The Bible says that God took the elements of
the earth and fashioned them into the form of a man. Then God breathed His own breath into
it (inflate the figure) and the man became a living soul. God looked at the man created in
God's own image, and said "It is very good."
Even after the people God created had disobeyed Him, He still loved them, and loves us today. He has provided the answer to the problem of our disobedience and given us the opportunity to be restored to fellowship with Him, our Creator.
The magician tells how God delivered the Good News of the birth of Jesus. He cuts an angel shape from a sheet of newspaper, then multiplies it to a long string of angels. Then he produces a large star from the clippings.
Take a full-sized double sheet of newspaper. The measurements given are for an open sheet sized 28" x 22". If you use a paper of a different size, adjust the measurements accordingly. Fold vertically to display one page. Measure 7 3/8" from the vertical fold and mark point A. Fold point B (the top of the vertical fold) to point A and crease. This should make a angle of 36 degrees at point C. Fold so that crease C-D lies on top of C-A. Then fold back along C-A.
Cut according to the pattern shown at the left. Do not cut the end of the wings. The pattern produces a ring of five angels, connected at the wing tips. The triangle at the top becomes the star. After the pattern is cut out, it can be opened to show one angel. By tearing the point where two angel wings come together you can spread our the two torn ends and display a chain of five angels.
(Show newspaper). If you had good news to tell a lot of people, how
would you do it? (Start folding & cutting.) You could use newspapers, radio,
television or billboards, but what if none of those were available? Before any of those
things were invented, people sent messengers. And when God had a very special message to
tell the world, he sent his messenger, an angel. (Open to show one angel.) First the angel
came to Mary to tell her the good news that she had been chosen to be the mother of the
promised Savior. And the night Jesus was born, an angel came to the shepherds near by and
said, "Behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.
For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord. And
this shall be a sign unto you. Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes lying
in a manger. And suddenly there was with the angel"
(Spread out the chain of 5 angels)
"a multitude of the heavenly host, praising God and saying 'Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.' "
God had more people to tell the good news to. A long way to the east there were people looking for the promised king of the Jews. (Unfold star.) God sent them a special message by sending a star that led them right to the place where Jesus was, and they brought their precious gifts and bowed down to worship him. Today almost everbody knows the story of that first Christmas, But many people don't know that Jesus was God Himself, who came to live among us and to pay the penalty for our sins so that we can be saved. Those of us who know this Good News should go and share it with others so they can experience the real joy of Christmas.
The magician displays an 8 by 8 inch square marked in one inch squares. With 8 inches on each side the total area is 8x8 or 64 square inches. He then divides the square into four pieces and rearranges them into a rectangle measuring 5 by 13 inches, or 65 square inches. Where did the extra square come from?
Draw a square like the one above and cut along the red lines. For large group showing the drawing should be made on heavy paper or thin cardboard. Glue a scrap of flannel on the back so that the pieces can be arranged on a flannel board. Rearrrange as in the picture below.
When the pieces are rearranged they don't fit together perfectly. Each of the squares along the diagonal is a little bit smaller than one square inch and there is a long narrow space between the pieces (colored green in the picture below) that actually measures precisely one square inch.
The following is one message you can use with this effect and involves
revealing the answer to the puzzle. You may want to devise other applications that keep
the answer secret.
(Show the pieces arranged in a square)I have a big square here that is marked off into smaller squares. Now there are eight squares on each side, so how many squares are there altogether? (Note: Third or fourth graders should know that 8x8=64. If your audience is younger than that age, this trick will not be understood.) That's right, 8 times 8 is 64. Now, let's take the pieces and rearrange them like this (arrange as in the second picture). Now we have a rectangle that's 5 squares high and 13 across. How many does that make? 5 time 13 is 65! We've made an extra square by just rearranging the pieces! How could that happen? (Let the audience offer guesses as to how it might work, then continue).
We really know that the pieces are the same size now as they were before, but it sure seems like we just got something for nothing. But the laws of nature and the laws of arithmetic tell us that what looks like getting a extra square is really just a trick. Sometimes people think they can get around God's laws and not suffer any consequences. They might tell a 'little' lie, or sneak out some small item without paying for it. It might be cheating a little on a test, or trying drugs "just once". And it might even look like they get away with it, just like it looks like we got an extra square here. But God's spiritual laws can't be broken any more than the laws of nature can. If you look closely at this rectangle, you'll see a little bit of empty space between these pieces. That extra square that you thought was there is only emptiness. And if we try to break God's laws, emptiness is all we get. But the Good News is that by following God's plan, we can have all the fullness of life that He created us for. Not by our own trickery, by by His generosity and Love.
Take a shallow dish and partially fill it with water. Sprinkle a little pepper on top of the water and hand a spectator a toothpick. Ask him to arrange the pepper in a circle just inside the edge of the dish. When he is unable to do so, take the toothpick and touch it to the surface of the water in the middle, and the pepper magically floats out to the edge.
When you take the toothpick, rub a little liquid soap on the tip. This can be done secretly or openly at your discretion. The soap will break the surface tension at the point of contact and the surface of the water will retract, taking the pepper with it.
Note: You can perform this for a large group by using a transparent container and setting it on an overhead projector. Focus it so that the specks of pepper are sharp.
We all have a lot of things in our lives that keep us busy. Some of them are planned, like hobbies and work or school. Other things seem to intrude on our lives and demand attention, like bad weather, or accidents, and it can be problem trying to keep everything in order. We're going to let these specks of pepper represent the activities in our lives. Now I want you to organize these activities by placing them in a circle around the edge of the dish. (Let spectator try it). It isn't an easy job, because when you concentrate on one item another one seems to get out of control. Our lives may seem haphazard, but God has a plan for each of us. (Take the toothpick and perform the trick). If we let Him into the center of our lives, He can take the things in our lives and bring them under His control.
"So, who are you going to believe - me or your own two
That wisecrack statement was made on a recent TV show when one of the characters was caught in a lie. But sometimes even our own senses lie to us. Take for example the spiral on the picture below:
If you take a closer look you will discover that it isn't really a
spiral at all, but a series of concentric circles. If you place your finger at a point and
try to trace the spiral to the middle, you'll never get there. A lot of people think
they know the way to God without really checking out what He has to say about it. They say
"Live a good life, do good to others, go to church and pray, and you'll be OK."
Nobody can deny that these are good things to do. The world would be a better place if everyone followed these rules. But they are not the way to God. The Bible teaches that we are all sinners, and no matter how may good things we do, that sin still separates us from God. Like the picture above, we can only run around in circles, and never get any closer to God.
That's why God took the initiative and reached out to us. In His love He came to earth and lived among us as a man. He experienced hunger, pain, lonliness, poverty and sorrow. And when His earthly ministry was through, He willingly gave his life in payment for our sins so that we may be forgiven and have eternal life with Him.
Have you received God's gift of Eternal Life? If not, why not do it right now?
Pictured below are three hats. The brims of all three are the same width, but their heights are all different. For each hat, decide without measuring whether the height is taller, shorter or the same as the width. Decide on each hat individually. There is not necessarily one hat for each answer.
Click Here after you have decided.
The magician hands an envelope containing a prediction to a volunteer. Another volunteer calculates a number that seems to defy the magician's predictions, but the prediction turns out to be right.
Do you ever wonder if God get frustrated? When we look at all of the things that are wrong in this world, we may sometimes think so. But God already knows the future before it happens. To illustrate this, I have made a prediction about something that will happen here tonight. In this envelope I have placed some coins.
(Hand it to a volunteer) If everything works right, the value of
these coins will match exactly a number selected by a member of the audience. (Select
a volunteer who knows enough math to do simple division. The rest of the trick is done as
you look away from the volunteer, so as not to influence the outcome.)
Instruct the volunteer: Draw a large tic-tac-toe board, and number the squares in order.
Now select any number and circle it. Put an X in both of the other squares in the same column, and both squares in the same row. You should now have one number circled, and four crossed out. Circle any one of the remaining numbers, and again cross out any other squares in the same row or column. This should leave you with one square unmarked. Circle that number. Now add up the three numbers and divide by two.
If the instructions are followed correctly, the answer will be 7 1/2. The audience may chuckle, but since you are looking away, you continue as if nothing is wrong.
Now, will the first volunteer please open the envelope and tell the audience what you find.
They will discover a nickel, two pennies, and half of a penny that you have cut in two with tinsnips!
The magician takes two plastic soda straws and wraps them around each other. They appear to be tightly interlocked, but a quick pull separates them completely.
Tell the story from Acts 12 of how Peter was imprisoned by king Herod and chained to two soldiers.
Hold the two straws crossed at the centers with the horizontal one in front of the vertical one.
Bring the lower part of the vertical straw forward and up giving it a full wrap around the horizontal one, going on the left side of the upper part.
Continue the story telling how the gates were locked and guards posted inside and out.
Take the right half of the horizontal straw and give it a full wrap around the top part of the vertical straw. Continue another half wrap so that both ends are on the left side.
Finish the story by telling how the angel came and released Peter from his chains and led him through the gates out into the streets. Take both ends of the vertical straw, pull them to the right, and pull the straws apart with a quick snap.
This effect is really more of a puzzle than a magic trick, but it can be used just as effectively to convey a spiritual truth.
The challenge is to connect the dots in the drawing using only 4 straight lines, connected end-to-end. Most people who haven't seen the trick before (and even some who have!) can get up to eight, but are stymied when it comes to getting the last one. The reason for this is that we mentally construct a box using the four corner dots, and then try to stay inside that box. These restrictions make it impossible to connect all 9 dots using only 4 straight lines connected end-to-end. Only by going outside the box can we find the solution.
People who deny the existance of God have drawn themselves into a box and either cannot or will not see Him as the answer to any of life's questions. Their understanding of the world is limited to the explanations of evolution, humanistic psychology, social philosophies and other manmade ideas.
But if we are to find answers to life's most important questions we must look beyond the physical realm. This is not to scoff at the many benefits of science and logic, but it recognizes that there is no valid scientific or logical reason for ruling out God's activity in the lives of mankind.
Dots #1 featured a puzzle that challenges the player to connect nine dots using only four lines, connected end-to-end, the solution being shown below:
Magic Mike of Salt Lake City, UT wrote with some imaginative solutions to this puzzle that I hadn't thought of.
Magic Mike's real name is Jay M Cottam and has been honored by the United States Department of Education for outstanding achievement in Drug and Alcohol education. When he isn't teaching, he can be found performing magic, playing in or conducting the Utah National Guard's 23rd Army Band or appearing on Christian television. It is my pleasure to introduce Magic Mike's innovative solutions to Connect the Dots.
There are two solutions that require only ONE line! Unfortunately they both involve cheating. His third solution, however is entirely legitimate, and requires only three lines.
First, the one-line solutions:
The simplest is to draw the line with a very wide paint brush and cover the entire picture with one stroke. Sorry, Mike, but that's stretching the definition of a line too far.
The second one-line solution is more clever. Transfer the drawing to paper and roll the paper into a tube. Then shift the edges of the tube so that the left dot of the top row is in line with the right dot of the second row. Now a single line around the tube will pass through all nine dots. The problem is that the line is not straight but helical. A straight line has only one dimension; a curved line requires two; but a helix exists in three dimensions.
Now, for the valid, 3-line solution:
The secret lies in the fact the the dots as they are drawn are larger than a single point. A line that passes through the top edge of a dot on one end and through the bottom edge of a dot on the opposite end of the same line will eventually meet a similar line slanted the opposite way through another row. This requires reaching WAY outside the box mentioned above, but then Ephesians 3:20 tell us that God 'is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think.' Let's not confine God to the limited boxes of our plans, but trust Him for God-sized work in our lives.
The magician hands a deck of alphabet cards to a spectator who freely shuffles and cuts the deck. The magician places an envelope on top of the deck, and when the envelope is opened, the prediction matches the card to which the spectator cut.
Sometimes we feel like we aren't very important to anybody. But from reading the Bible we learn that each one of us is very important to God. I'm going to use these alphabet cards to illustrate this. As you can see, we have all the different letters here in the deck. Now I'd like you to shuffle the deck as many times as you like, and then place the deck here on the table. Now cut the deck by taking about half the cards off and set them to the side.
Before we began, I selected a letter of the alphabet and wrote it on the paper sealed in this evnelope. (Set the envelope on the bottom portion of the deck.) Please open the envelope and read what the paper says. (The spectator opens the envelope and reads "I have chosen 'U'."). Now turn over the top card and see what card you cut to. (The spectator turns over the card to reveal the letter 'U'.)
In John 15:16 Jesus says to His followers "I have chosen YOU." And in Ephesians 1:4 we read that God has chosen us before the foundation of the world.
God loves each one of you so much that He selected you for a special place in His kingdom. As we follow Him we can find the abundant life that He came to bring to each of us.
Remove the "U" card from the deck beforehand and have it hidden under the envelope. If you place them so they extend a little past the edge of the table you can easily pick up the card and envelope together. Then when you put the envelope on top of the cards, you also put the "U" card at the top of the deck!
The Magician displays a dollar bill (or an enlarged copy of one for group presentation). The face on the bill changes from a sad face to a happy one.
Have you ever looked closely at the portrait on a dollar bill? Notice how solemn George Washington looks. I think he's kind of upset about the way the stock market has been going up and down so violently in recent weeks. Or maybe he's just tired and needs a rest. Let's just let him lay back and relax and see if that helps.
There, that's more like it. When the economy is strong, George is a lot more relaxed and looks a lot happier. But you and I don't have to depend on the stock market for our happiness. Like anything else that men have made, the nation's or the world's economy can let us down. We've all heard stories of men who were fabulously wealthy and ended up commiting suicide when they lost it. Jesus said "Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven. . . for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also."
If we rely on earthly things, our happiness will come and go with every change in the economy. But God never changes, and by trusting in Him, we can have a lasting Joy that doesn't fade away.
The bill or picture is perfectly ordinary except for one small bit of preparation: it is not flat. To prepare the bill make a vertical fold at each side of the mouth. On most bills this will also go through the middle of the eyes. Next, curve the area between the folds so that it is recessed, as in the picture below.
Now when you hold the bill so that you are looking down at it, the face is frowning. Tilt it back so that you are looking up at it, and the face smiles. Tilt the picture as necessary while telling the story.
The Magician hands a set of three ropes to a spectator and keeps a set for himself. The Ropes have colored tips on the ends to distinguish between them. The spectator ties the matching ends of each rope together to make three loops. But when the magician does it he gets one large loop.
I'd like you to take these three ropes, and I'll use a set of ropes like them to demonstrate what I want you to do. We're going to use these ropes to demonstrate the Trinity of God. Start with the rope with yellow ends. Yellow reminds us of sunlight, so we'll use this one to represent God the Father, Creator of Heaven and earth. James speaks of God as the Father of lights and the giver of all good gifts (James 1:17). Tie the ends together to make a loop. Now take the the one with red ends to represent Jesus, God the Son, who shed His blood for our sins. Make another loop with that one. Now to complete the picture, tie the blue one into a loop to represent God the Holy Spirit. The Hebrew word for Spirit is the same as for 'wind', so the color of the sky will remind us of the Spirit. Now hold up your ropes and we'll look at the illustration of God.
It looks like your results are different from mine. You have three loops and I have one. But both of these tell us about the Trinity. God exists eternally as three distinct persons, like your ropes, but He is really only one God, like mine. The three persons all have their separate roles, but they are still one God, with one purpose and no division between them.
The magician's ropes are prepared differently from those of the spectator. Notice that the ends of each rope don't match, so when the magician ties his ropes together, they will form one large loop. Be careful when you tie the ends that you don't tangle the ropes and end up with a knot in the loop