Monday, September 9, 2013

Followers of Good 9/7/2013

And who is he who will harm you if you become followers of what is good? But even if you should suffer for righteousness sake, you are blessed. And do not be afraid of their threats, nor be troubled. But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear; having a good conscience, that when they defame you as evildoers, those who revile your good conduct in Christ may be ashamed. For it is better, if it is the will of God, to suffer for doing good than for doing evil.  (1 Peter 3:13-17)

Our team was a close-knit group including Mark, Jeremy, Dean, Sai, and Steve.

Visitors included Arvin, Elder Jim, and his wife Kristen.

As always, the Lord blessed our time in the field of harvest in too many ways to count. What may seem to us at first like a "problem" or an insurmountable obstacle, is always revealed to be a means to accomplishing God's sovereign plan for the evening's outreach.

When we arrived on the scene, a team of dancers from Burbank High School was dominating the area with their lively and well-rehearsed routines.

A large crowd ebbed and flowed during the entire evening, as the dancers entertained the moviegoers.

Rather than seeking to compete with the teens, we set up our amp and then focused on giving out tracts and doing one-to-ones.

After an appropriate period of time we began preaching. Thanks to the high level of activity, many heard the gospel, many Bibles were requested, and numerous one-to-ones took place.

Here Mark was presenting information on Creationism and, of course, the Gospel, to a group of young men who had been watching the dancers. They were intrigued by the challenges to evolution posed by the preacher.

As the evening wrapped up we were blessed to meet up with some Elders from an Armenian church who listened intently, and offered encouragement to the team.

LAPD Action at NoHo Station

It was interesting to observe the latest tactic used by the LAPD at the NoHo station last Thursday. "Dean's Magnet Evangelism" is a weekly outreach, led by Dean S., at the Metro station located at Chandler and Lankershim Blvd. in North Hollywood, on Thursday evenings from around 5:30 to 8:30. In response to an unknown complaint, the police arrived soon after we were set up there, and they proceeded to shut down our amplification. This is not a big deal. It's happened several times before (always by the same zealous officer). Our response is to "Whitfield" (preach unamplified) so that the Gospel continues to be proclaimed.

The backstory here is that the complaint was probably made in response to an individual who was doing a spectacularly bad job of "playing" an amplified harmonica. That amp was the first to be shut down, and rightfully so. The Officer then used the opportunity to shut us down, ostensibly in an effort to avoid any appearance of favoritism. Perfectly understandable and indeed a fair price to pay for the blessed relief from the oppressive harmonica racket.

What happened next was the curious part. Mark explained later that, as he was on the box when the order was given by the officer to shut off the amp, he cheerfully complied. Then, as we always do, he stepped back upon the box and began, in full Whitfield voice, to continue proclaiming the Gospel. Anyone who has heard him preach knows that Mark is gifted with a strong voice. When he started up again UNAMPLIFIED, the officer turned around, startled. He then checked the amp, and realized that Mark was louder UNAMPLIFIED than AMPLIFIED. (Preach it Brother! :-)

Then the officer went to his squad car and brought out a camera. He took numerous pictures of Mark and others on the team. No explanations, but eventually he packed up and left. Is there a file being started? Is there already one for each of us? That is unknown at this time. But we are reminded of the question asked long ago: "If you were put on trial for being a Christian, would there be enough evidence for a jury to convict you?"

The preaching proceeded unhindered, and many more heard the Gospel. A valuable reminder to keep our Whitfield technique in shape. It is very easy to become too dependent upon the amp although we still have that privilege. It may not last long. (Thanks to Dean S. for tracking down the ordinance pertaining to amplification in public places. We will try to provide a perspective on this issue in a future blog post. -Ed.)

Please join us again next Saturday, Sept. 14, 2013, 6:00pm at BPD parking lot.

See you there!

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