As I travel across the country performing for churches and other Christian organizations, I am often asked whether I am a “Christian Magician” or a “Christian Illusionist.” And, for that matter, what’s the difference?
The short answer is that it’s most accurate to refer to me as a magician. The longer answer is a bit more complicated. Continue reading ““Christian Magician” or “Christian Illusionist”?”
One of the things that really bugs me about social media is the number of people who believe and pass on obviously false information. I’m not talking about opinions I disagree with. I’m referring to the factually incorrect, completely disconnected from reality memes and links that clutter my feeds. I constantly feel the urge to post replies like “What are your reasons for believing this is true?” (Or, in more frustrated moments, “How can you possibly be this gullible!?”) But of course, I rarely post those sorts of things, or I wouldn’t have any friends.
It bothers me even more when churches engage in this kind of sloppy non-thinking. We must be prepared to answer the question, “What’s your reason for believing that?” Or, as the Apostle Peter put it, “Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have.” (1 Peter 3:15)
Continue reading “What’s Your Reason for Believing That?”
I hear and read a lot about the need to “make Jesus relevant.” While I understand what people generally mean when they say that, I really hate that phrase.
First, Jesus is who he is, regardless of what you, I, or the culture would prefer. We can’t “make” Jesus anything, and to attempt to do so is claim that we have authority over God himself. Second, there’s no need to “make Jesus relevant.” He is relevant to every human on the planet. Period. We are all, without exception, sinners who are lost, helpless, and deservedly hell-bound apart from Jesus. How could he possibly not be relevant?
Continue reading “Making Jesus Relevant”
A few weeks ago, I shared a video about learning very basic ballooning for use in ministry. (See below.) I wanted to share a few tips about taking advantage of a moment like this with a kid in order to build them up. Although this is specifically about balloon sculpture, the principles apply in many interactions with kids.
Let’s consider the following example of a hypothetical interaction with a child getting a balloon:
Continue reading “Creating a Moment for Ministry Using Balloons”
Here’s a simple magical object lesson you can do for Easter. It’s designed to use Easter eggs as a reminder of the important aspects of Easter. It can be a quick introduction to the resurrection, a lead in to a bigger lesson, or a “kicker” if you’re doing resurrection eggs.
Continue reading “Easy Easter Object Lesson”
Big changes are coming, again. This time next month, things will be a lot different for me. I expect life to be simultaneously much simpler, and much more difficult. (It’s amazing how often that seems to be the way things work.) Before I get into that, here’s a bit of history.
Continue reading “It’s Déjà Vu All Over Again”
It’s been quite a hectic year. First a bit of background. As you may know, for the past several years in addition to working as an entertainer I’ve been moonlighting at an apologetics ministry. I had been in full-time ministry through magic for many years. Back when the economy slowed down, I didn’t respond appropriately or quickly enough and ended up getting into debt trouble. Getting a “real job” helped me get back out of that.
Continue reading “I’m Still Here (Barely)”
In my comfy living room, I have a big screen TV. (Because I’m an American, and that’s what we do.) Above it, I have photos from some of my travels. I put them up because they mean more to me than some random pretty thing from a store. There’s one in particular I want to share with you. It’s from one of my early trips to Central America in the early 90’s. I honestly don’t remember which trip it is from, so it could have been from anywhere from Mexico through Honduras. I took these trips with Compassion International. I was working as a volunteer with them at the time. I went to see their work with children who were living in poverty in order to help me be a better advocate for children in need.
Continue reading “Reminders of What Matters”
I just heard a new Christmas song on the radio. It was lovely. But it also contained some pretty weak theology. It was about how Jesus came to save us with joy and restore the child in us. It reminded me how so many people in our culture are OK with the idea of a safe little baby who came to bring us joy and peace. The real Jesus was anything but “safe.” And he didn’t come to eliminate conflict or make us feel good.
Continue reading “The Real Baby Jesus”
The church is the metaphorical body of Christ. It consists of all followers of Jesus; and crosses denominational, racial, and national lines. The local church is a geographic segment of that global body. It is, in a very literal sense, God’s hands in the community where it is located. And it is a beautiful thing. (Don’t get me wrong it’s also a mess, but it’s a beautiful mess.)
Continue reading “The Hidden Beauty of the Local Church”