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Gene "Oz" Oswald
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Communication is always an issue with volunteer organizations and email. I have sent Mike some things and he has not got them. But then again, people have sent me things I have not received and I have sent many emails that seem to get lost. If you do not get a response, email again and again. I am a persistent person. I have found with email, you need to be. Mike tries really hard to reply quickly and he is looking for things to put in the mag all the time. He has not put in everything I have sent in. Such is life... all magazines are that way...

If he does not respond, try again. If he does not put in your article, ask why?

Do NOT give up. Try, try, again!

Keep Mike in prayer... big job! He's doing a GREAT job for a one-man volunteer!
MagicBus
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I can't remember this or not, but I don't think "Product Reviews" are in the Christian Conjurer. I also subscribe to Genii, The Linking Ring, MUM, MAGIC, and Kidabra. The "product reviews" are often some of the first things I read... would be great to have them in the Christian Conjurer featuring Gospel magic, etc.. The "trick" would be for CC to find unbiased reviewers- I nominate Oz and Wilde, or someone like Randy Craven or MagicBob who make or own a ton of effects and are active magicians but do not normally sell product. By the way, pray for MagicBob (and SuZie). He is in a Grand Rapids hospital today facing posssible surgery. We did three FCM programs for a family festival last Saturday. MagicBob was not feeling well, ended up going to the hospital Sunday. Has some sort of intestinal blockage or something similar they think. http://www.MagicBob.org
Joey Evans
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MagicBus, It's funny you said that! I just emailed Mike about doing those reviews last week! I love to read the reviews as well!
The Visual Comedy and Magic of Joey Evans

http://www.Evansmagic.com/



The Impossible Has Never Been So Funny!
MagicBus
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JB, I think you should volunteer to do that! I enjoy reading product reviews, especially when I learn a product being sold is poorly made or is not original. Otherwise, I have go around the various web sites from time to time and see what is "new". I am always surprised what "new" Gospel magic the dealers are selling at the FCM convention, and would have loved it to have known about the items sooner from the Christian Conjurer "reviews." For example, based totally on "product reviews" in several magic publications, I just purchased the new book "Paths to Enchantment" by Malcolm Yaffe. Although I am not yet finished reading it yet, the author has already gotten me thinking regarding how I perform (when and if I do) children's magic. I also recently purchased the Kovari Ultimate Chinese Sticks based strictly on a product review, and performed it last Saturday (and it was well received). DVD product reviews are also helpful, in as much to find out only what the content on the DVD for sale is.
Gene "Oz" Oswald
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Joey,

A cool thing would be to get several people or a panel to review the same trick. Put them together and put that in the CC or on the FCM forum. It would be very helpful to the members to know what three peopel thought and maybe even some suggestions as to multiple uses...

Several view points would really be helpful!
Joey Evans
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Oz,
That would be great! Especially for the more popular tricks as more people may actually have those.
The Visual Comedy and Magic of Joey Evans

http://www.Evansmagic.com/



The Impossible Has Never Been So Funny!
Bendy
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I agree. Product reviews would be outstanding.
In fact, review products. THEN, maybe provide some suggestions on applying Gospel messages and/or Biblical principles/patter/handlings to those non-Gospel effects that have been positively reviewed.

The reviews are the first thing I read in Magic, Genii and the Linking Ring. They would certainly be a helpful addition to the Christian Conjurer.
Kerry Kistler
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Hey gang,

Nice to see this thread is still alive. Touring keeps me from being as active on the Café as I once was.

I always thought there should be some reviews of products and books in the Conjurer too. That's why I have included six different reviews in my Magic Beans column over the past couple of years:

1. Amazing Mirror Messages by Nathan Dorrell (book)
2. Card Match Guide by Jim Scott (book)
3. Think Outside the Box by Joe Fairchild (prop)
4. Creativity for Entertainers by Bruce Johnson (book)
5. Rush & Fuss by Woody Hale (prop)
6. Make it Gospel by Arthur Stead (show music CD)

And a few of these also included routines for the props.

My biggest surprise after doing these few reviews has been that people don't send new products my way to be reviewed! And I'm not just after free products - I would gladly return the materials if postage was included.

Of course, I'm not surprised that secular magic creators don't send stuff for review. But there are quite a number of people in our little corner of the world who create "gospel specific" products who never send stuff my way. Guys like Barry Mitchell, Doc Haley, David Ginn, etc. Steve Taylor pretty much promotes his own products within his column by giving us his routine for the prop.

Why more folks don't send their material for review is a mystery to me. Just about everyone on the above list has told me that new sales followed my reviews. Not that the intent of my reviews has been to provide free positve publicity. I just happened to review things I liked, owned or thought were worth talking about.

Oh, and there is the potential problem of reviewing something from "one of our own." If the product is a real dog and deserves a negative review, the reviewer gets the pleasure of facing an irate brother at the next conference ;o)

Kerry
Kif Anderson
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1961 - 2012
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I think trick reviews might be a benefit to the membership...and while I agree multiple view points would be insightful...what seems to be needed is how to use the effect to share the gospel. Then the multiple views would be a motivate creativity.
We are not cisterns made for hoarding, we are channels made for sharing. - Billy Graham
<BR>
<BR>Sharing the gospel with Comedy & Illusion www.ozandwilde.com
MagicBus
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I can think of several terrific products I would have bought much earlier if it was even mentioned someplace. From the Oz and Wilde lecture at 2008 FCM, I found out about http://www.wolfsmagic.com for the first time ever. And I have been doing magic for many years. Saved up my money and based on their recommendation, just bought today the expensive Run Wolf Run as I do mainly kid shows for small children. David Ginn at his kids lecture at Abbott's last week mentioned that magic for that age group should feature toys, games or animals. This trick has it. Plus the trick meets the criteria of the "they see it you don't approach" for kids entertainment mentioned by both David Ginn in his earlier writings and in the recently published "Paths to Enchantment" book. I NEVER would have found that website otherwise or even known about it from Oz and Wilde--- Thanks! I will probably do "Run Wolf Run" in every magic show I do for the rest of my life hopefully. Roger "MagicBus" from http://www.ChristianMagician.org
Gene "Oz" Oswald
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With all the talk about the CC going monthly now we have to get people from all areas of the FCM to submit articles regularly. We need good articles from the twisters, clowns, puppeteers, face painters, vents, jugglers, storytellers, artists, mimes (even though they don't say much), drama people, and all other areas of creative arts ministry.
Steve needs are support. This means regular quality submissions.
Sam Sandler
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Well this is interesting. I am new to using the Café but have read things time to time. As a Member of FCM I will voice my thoughts. First I spent some time in prayer over all of this as I want this to be his will and not my own.

I read ever post and they all sound good. From larger format to new articles it is all a good thing. Especially the part about us contributing to the magazine. I have spoken with Mike S. and told him that I will start writing some articles from my lectures and submit them. who knows maybe it could become a regular column

So first here is what I think needs to be done. We need people to volunteer and not just any people (please do not be offended by this) but I think we need the pros to chime in and help. People like Duane Laflin, Toby Travis, Andre Kole, Kirby, The Hammners, and the list goes on.
Now let me say this I also think we need to get articles from Michael Ammar, Eugene Burger, and other top secular pros.
OH my Non-Christians in our magazine!! YES!! Just as we need them at our convention. However that's for another topic another day.

Any way my point is we both as a family of Christians and a family of entertainers need to come together and make this work. When I lecture at conventions my goal is to share my experiences with them to help them grow and hopefully move quickly past the problems I faced when I started magic. I recently performed with Jeff McBride and what I love about him is that he really like to talk with you will always offer real advice. Just like his column in MAGIC.

Remember the point here for CC is to help us grow not only as entertainers (to better reach the Lost)but it should also help us grow an intimate relationship with god through Jesus and the Holy Spirit.

I feel that I have said enough for now and although I have much more to say I will stop and spend some more time in prayer.

Let me end with this. I Sam Sandler will get involved whether paid or not I feel the Lord wants me to serve, so I ask you this Would you pray and ask the Lord how you may serve the FCM family.

magically yours

sam
sam sandler- America's only full-time DEAF Illusionist
http://www.samsandler.com
http://www.deafinitelymagic.com
Terry Owens
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I'm a former contributor to CC back in the 80's. Last year I submitted a piece to the CC of a cover story (front page cover) that was done on me in the UK's FCM magazine, I never heard from anyone, not even...we can't use it at this time. I think our communications level needs to be improved if we want better contributors.

I would even love to have my one minute Children's spots called "Kids Thought", which air on 2 major Christian television networks as well as Dish and Direct TV and 170 countries...,set up on the FCM website for members to get ideas for Gospel routines and maybe get encouraged to do something for their local stations...but I'm not sure who to contact on that.
Magictwicks
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I'm not an FCM member, but am a disciple of Christ (a missionary, actually, serving in Uganda). I'm looking in on this thread with interest, because it seems you have a lot of good ideas to consider for developing a magazine, but they may be in conflict with one another, or the resources to accomplish all that people would like is simply not there.

With that in mind, I have a question: Is there a clear articulation of the purpose or objective(s) of the FCM magazine, one that key leadership in FCM have agreed upon? If the purpose of the magazine were clear, e.g., to inform, engage, teach, inspire, whatever, then I think the strategy to reach that objective would more easily be identified. And it would also be easier to say yes to certain ideas and no to others.

Also, I think it's important to realize that FCM has (is) a niche, and it's important that the objective of the magazine leverage that niche, rather than trying to become what Genii, MAGIC, etc. already are or are trying to be. But maybe that idea is actually a bad idea, because it's in conflict with the overall objective.

Doug
revmike
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I agree with Magictwicks that the Christian Conjuror is indeed a niche magazine that cannot be what Genii, Magic, and others try to be. As an ordained minister I do appreciate the magazine, although I also agree that there are areas where it can be improved.

However, the point I make and one that I wish others who do Gospel Magic would appreciate is unlike other venue, the magic is secondary to the conveying of the gospel. The magic is merely a vehicle to help convey the message, but with that being said, I wholeheartedly agree with Daune Laflin, who laments that many times gospel performers do not put in the time and practice. And then not only does the magic look poor, it takes away from the message.

To its credit, the FCM magazine repeatedly does try to emphasize this theme. Have a good message, but have good magic as well!
The magic is not in our sleights and illusions, but instead in our ability to bring love and joy.
Kif Anderson
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1961 - 2012
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Most magicians are like kids (some literally...but most BIG kids...and we learn how to do something (or perhaps more correctly how something works)...and we can't wait to show it to others...even before we have really perfected the performance of it. So why are we always trying to "beat up on" some gospel magicians specifically for doing what much of the magic community in general is guilty of doing?

Yes, when we do a presentation, we need to put in the effort...whether its magic, juggling, clowning, etc. to make the magic work well and isn't an "exposure show." And those that do tend to shine more than those that don't. And when "shining" as a gospel performer...I mean more effectively sharing the gospel through what we present.
We are not cisterns made for hoarding, we are channels made for sharing. - Billy Graham
<BR>
<BR>Sharing the gospel with Comedy & Illusion www.ozandwilde.com
Joey Evans
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To say that our magic is secondary to the conveying of the gospel is a very dangerous statement. The two are directly related. It's like saying that for a pastor, preparation and research is secondary to his spreading the gospel. In order to have an effective sermon, there is a lot of time and preparation that goes into it. In order to be effective we have to elevate ourselves in the art of magic. We must be willing to put the time into it.
Being a poor performer and a poor magician while trying to relay the gospel shouldn't happen.
However, like FX said, this is true everywhere in the magic community. It's not only true with gospel magicians. Everywhere is full of magicians that are about as entertaining as watching paint dry. However, it's probably more noticeable in gospel magicians because they are carrying the most important gift in the world, but it's wrapped in a poor package and presentation. Secular magicians only have to practice to give themselves recognition, gospel magicians have to practice enough to give glory to God. That in itself should give motivation to strive to be the best at your art.
The Visual Comedy and Magic of Joey Evans

http://www.Evansmagic.com/



The Impossible Has Never Been So Funny!
revmike
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When we say that the magic is secondary to the gospel, it has a particular meaning and it is not, I repeat not, that the magic should be shoddy or unrehearsed. As a matter of fact, I believe one should be even better if one is utilizing magic to convey the gospel, for if you do shoddy work as a magician, why in the world would anybody believe you know what you are talking about in your message.

But what it comes down to is this. When we use magic, it must be about God, and not about us. Too often we want to make the show about us, and that is not the purpose. It is to lift up the message of God's love, God's commandments, and God's grace. That is what is normally meant by the magic being secondary to the message.
The magic is not in our sleights and illusions, but instead in our ability to bring love and joy.
John Cowne
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Quote:
On Nov 28, 2008, Joey Evans wrote:
To say that our magic is secondary to the conveying of the gospel is a very dangerous statement. The two are directly related. It's like saying that for a pastor, preparation and research is secondary to his spreading the gospel. In order to have an effective sermon, there is a lot of time and preparation that goes into it. In order to be effective we have to elevate ourselves in the art of magic. We must be willing to put the time into it.
Being a poor performer and a poor magician while trying to relay the gospel shouldn't happen.
However, like FX said, this is true everywhere in the magic community. It's not only true with gospel magicians. Everywhere is full of magicians that are about as entertaining as watching paint dry. However, it's probably more noticeable in gospel magicians because they are carrying the most important gift in the world, but it's wrapped in a poor package and presentation. Secular magicians only have to practice to give themselves recognition, gospel magicians have to practice enough to give glory to God. That in itself should give motivation to strive to be the best at your art.

Yes, I like your perspective. Rather than make a prioritised list that mixes ultimate goals and the means to achieve them is just sloppy thinking. Keeping God at the centre, and then letting all your actions always be shaped by the Centre, means everything is done with sufficient quality, all for His glory. Matt Perman’s book, ’Unstuck’, has helped me rethink how I manage time and put effort into anything from a more biblical perspective.I’ll get back to writing a better Bible Study for our Growth Groups, now, then hone up on my Faro 😉.
Russo
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Personal Witness of what God did for you, should/could be in most every gospel effect we do, it would mean more than just -"look at me, what I can do"
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