The Amazing, Astounding … GOD!

(The Amazing Gary and Lame-O the Gring-O.)

While on a recent mission trip to Guatemala, one of the things I most enjoyed was a Saturday afternoon of fun, games, entertainment, and some Bible teaching  for the young ladies at Prince of Peace Home for Girls.


As I wrote last week, there are 43 girls at the orphanage and they very much loved and appreciated all we were able to share with them. 


One of our team members was a retired US Airborne Master Sargent. Gary had brought several magic tricks with him to amaze and astound the young ladies and he asked me to do something to get the girls warmed up for the magic show before he began.


Hence and therefore, I invented a stage persona for myself I called “Lame-O the Gring-O.” 


I reasoned that if I could mildly amuse the girls with some, shall we say, “less-than-perfect magic” prior to the “The Amazing Gary” it might just make him look a little better by comparison.


Now, the tricks Gary brought with him were actual magic tricks like the one where a ring is placed in a handkerchief and magically transports itself to inside a locked box and another one where a coin disappeared from a hanky and reappeared all the way across the room. (Come to think of it now, magicians do seem strangely fond of handkerchiefs.)


Anyway, I’m not sure if Lame-O the Gring-O accomplished his objective or just came off as pathetic, but I will let you decide:

For one of my tricks, I announced that I would demonstrate my psychic abilities. I called a girl out of the audience whom I knew to be very shy and reserved. As she stood next to me in front of the crowd, I bent down and asked her what her name was. When she replied, I loudly proclaimed, 



I applauded myself and took a deep bow, while removing my hat to reveal a large letter “L” written in the center of my forehead.


I then asked her how old she was and, when she replied, I once again shouted,



I then took another deep bow while shouting, “AMAZING! ASTOUNDING!! HOW DOES HE DO IT FOLKS?”


Then I said, “And now, young lady, I am about to read your mind without asking you to say a single word!”


She looked at me with no small dose of skepticism.


I began rubbing my temples, making it appear as if I were concentrating deeply. I may have added some low groaning noises for effect at this point.


“YES!! LAME-O is getting a message from your mind! Yes! I see it now…it’s becoming clearer, much clearer…..AH-HA! I HAVE IT!!” I then bent down beside the young lady and said,

“LAME-O sees that you are very, very uncomfortable, that you do not want to be up here right now, and … that you find LAME-O very, very strange indeed!!” IS THIS CORRECT YOUNG LADY?”


Of course it was. 


I believe there may have been an actual smattering of applause.


Gary went on to put on a superb magic show, which really did amaze and confound the girls. He turned his hanky into a magic wand, made a different hanky disappear, made a stack of nickels disappear, made another stack of nickels turn into teeny-tiny nickels, made coins disappear and reappear, made things magically change color, caused a ring to magically transport itself from inside a hanky to inside a locked wooden box, and made a coin magically disappear and reappear under a stack of dishes on the other side of the room.


He followed this with a heartfelt testimony of how Jesus had rescued him from a life of bitterness and pain and outright anguish. Jesus had healed Gary’s heart when he had every reason by human understanding to have turned out to be a very, very angry and wounded person.


And when Gary was done giving his testimony, we all knew God was the amazing, astounding One.


We all know that there’s some sleight-of-hand trickery involved in all “human” magic. Our skepticism of human magic is totally justifiable and reasonable because there is always something hidden, some element of deception. (I and all the guys in the men’s sleeping quarters knew this well because Gary had shown us the “secret” of each trick the night before.)


But we also know that salvation is not “magic.” We all know that the peace that passes all understanding that comes from knowing Jesus is not hidden in secret compartments or sewn into the corner of a trick hanky. We know that, even though our salvation is indeed supernatural, it was bought with a price and we are not our own. 


We know that our salvation comes from truth and justice and the Light of the World. Gary’s heart had been healed, not by any human magic, but by the supernatural love of Jesus Christ.


It’s the same supernatural power we hear on Kinship Christian Radio every day. Jesus is alive in the music, in the teaching, in all that goes out over the air, and in Him we have life.


Jesus is Lord!




Today’s Praise

Don’t be deceived, my dear brothers and sisters. Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. He chose to give us birth through the word of truth, that we might be a kind of firstfruits of all he created. James 1: 16-18 (NIV)

(Photo used by permission.)






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