I have been into magic for almost 20 years. I love the art and mystery, but mostly I love the interaction with my audience. I live for that moment when I get a smile, a laugh, or a gasp. Sometimes a stunned silence can be even better. This is why I study magic. This is why I perform magic. This is why I love magic.
Its easy to forget the reasons we first fell in love. In my day to day life I often have to stop and think about the first night I realized how in love I was with Jes. We stayed up all night talking about our family, our future, and our faith. I have to force myself to remember the things that made me fall in love with her, because its so easy to forget. Its so easy to only think about the here and now.
I never thought about it like this, but I can also remember the first card trick I learned. I read a simple trick out of a self working card trick book and for the next couple days I showed everyone who came within a 100ft radius. I was hooked. I had fallen in love with magic.
No, I’m not saying I love magic like I love my wife. I actually love it more (just kidding Jesalyn).
It is the same way with anything that we commit to for a long time. We forget why we originally fell in love with it. Magic reminded me of this. Last week I watched a young guy (14) perform on the street and get some screaming reactions. He did simple effects that were clear and easy to follow. They were good, not because of the difficulty or the hidden skill, but because of the reaction. The spectators saw a miracle. A 14 year old just made the card in their hand switch with a card in the deck.
Magician’s break down effects to make them symmetric, linear, framed, etc, but we often miss the simple beauty of the trick because we don’t see it like a spectator. We see it like a magician. We concentrate on fooling people who know every trick in the book. We concentrate on heavy misdirection because its hard to misdirect our eyes. We forget that spectators are easily misdirected, easier to fool, and at best they have only seen page one or two of the book.
Here’s a clip of Shawn performing downtown last week. This is just one of the great reactions he received.
So magic has taught me another great lesson. Sometimes we need to take a break and look at the original reasons we fell in love. It could be a person, a hobby, or a career. Take some time to remember why you first fell in love and remember what it was like to realize your passion and start out on that journey.
A little mind reading on the streets of NoDa in Charlotte.
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This weekend I started going through a lesson plan with the 5th graders at Radiant Life. Billy Graham Ministries based a study around Daniel and geared it towards students. Its to better equip them to share the Gospel and stand firm in their beliefs just as Daniel did in the Bible. I don’t think students are the only people who can learn from this study.
I learn most effectively through teaching. As I prepare myself to teach I always learn more and grow deeper. So as I walk through this with the 5th graders I am going to walk through it on here for myself.
When Daniel is introduced in the Bible he is a pre-teen. He has been chosen by the Babylonians as one of the best and brightest youth. They take him and the other chosen youth and begin brainwashing them and forming them into the perfect Babylonian.
Daniel 1:3-5 Then the king ordered Ashpenaz, chief of his court officials, to bring into the king’s service some of the Israelites from the royal family and the nobility— 4 young men without any physical defect, handsome, showing aptitude for every kind of learning, well informed, quick to understand, and qualified to serve in the king’s palace. He was to teach them the language and literature of the Babylonians. 5 The king assigned them a daily amount of food and wine from the king’s table. They were to be trained for three years, and after that they were to enter the king’s service.
The King even changed their names, which in those times was a common practice when someone was “born again”.
Daniel 1:8 But Daniel resolved not to defile himself with the royal food and wine, and he asked the chief official for permission not to defile himself this way.
Daniel chose to stand strong in his beliefs. The Babylonians worshiped their king and many gods, but Daniel had been raised to believe in the God of the Bible, the Hebrew God, Yahweh. He also was raised to respect himself and his body.
Daniel was able to stand firm in his beliefs even when the king and the Babylonian world were trying to tell him otherwise. He was able to do this because of his strong foundation in God and the scriptures. This is why we study the Bible and why we memorize scripture. So that we can stand up against the false teachings of the world and defend ourselves with the Word of God.
John 3:16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
This is the first verse in equipping anyone to share the Gospel. It is our first memory verse in D2BD. This is our first step in being able to stand up against the false teachings of the world and spread the love of God. This is where it begins…
1. Marry the woman of my dreams
2. Live in/near NYC
3. Watch David Blaine live
4. See the Panthers or Bobcats (or any Carolina based professional basketball, football, or baseball team) win a Championship.
5. Have my mom watch me graduate with a bachelors degree
6. Go to a Garth Brooks concert
7. Adopt a child
8. Visit Rome and London
9. Design and draw a tattoo on my wife
10. The tenth one is a secret and a work in progress.
Have you written out your bucket list. Now I have and you are my witness. I was inspired by a possiblity of seeing Garth next week. I have already kind of seen him. When I was about 15 we went to the Rockefeller Tree Lighting. Garth performed a song or two and we couldn’t see him at all. We could barely even hear him. I am really hoping #6 will be crossed out next weekend. I am working directly on several of these and indirectly on all of them except #4 and #8. What do you think? Am I missing anything?
What a great week! Its been a week of family and fun. Jesalyn’s family was all together for a short couple days to celebrate Christmas (a little early). Her brother, Bobby, and his wife come in town from Florida. Her sister Delyn, and her husband and daughter come in from Wilmington, NC. Jesalyn took a couple days off work and I worked my week around this weekend so we can all just enjoy being together. It has been such a needed break from the stresses of life.
We exchanged gifts on Thursday morning following a brunch fixed by Jes’ brother. Here are some pictures of the family. Morgan (Jesalyn’s niece) had a great time. She got the Hello Kitty ear muffs in the picutre, a diary (with a lock and key), tons of clothes, a YooHoo fuzzy toy that she has “always wanted”, stickers, and tons of crafts. Jes and I got her the diary and fuzzy toy and it made my day that she would not put either one of them down. She carried the diary everywhere she went making sure everyone knew they couldn’t read what she was writing.
Last night we took a trip to Salisbury for dinner with Bobby and Grace and an old friend from Asheboro. We had a great dinner and followed it up by bowling for a couple hours. There’s nothing quite like the nostalgia of small town bowling alleys. It was complete with a retro snack bar and a DJ.
We still have an evening planned tonight. I’m looking forward to dinner with her parents and Bobby and Grace followed by a night hanging out with B&G. This week has flown by. It has been full of fun and family. Its amazing how you get caught up in life and forget the importance of family. Jes and I have been blessed with amazing families. I thank God for them all the time, but its times like these that make me realize just how blessed we are.