Amanda and I spent some time this afternoon at my newest "fishing pond," the amphitheater at the Valencia Marketplace. With the temperature at about 75 degrees and not a cloud in the sky, the courtyard area was filled with people. At its height during my preaching, I estimate there were 60-70 people within the sound of my voice. That's not counting the people inside the various shops and eateries who could hear the preaching.
I began my open-air by reading 1 Corinthians 13. This being Valentines Day weekend, I thought it an appropriate passage.
Randy (seated in the distance) was there. Who's Randy? Randy has been my regular heckler since I first preached at the amphitheater last year, during Mission Good Friday--the first Project Ezra effort. Randy almost got physical that day. Today...well, today Randy did get physical.
This lady claimed to have just earned a degree in "spirituality." What did she learn? How to flip off and curse at people who preach the gospel.
Randy was his usual threatening self the first time he left his seat and approached me. Randy claims to be a Christian.
In the audio that follows, you will hear this lady claim to be a "worker" at a church in Burbank. Like the spiritualist, she flipped me off and cursed. I think I'll give the church a call.
This Subway worker decided to pull up a chair and listen during his break. I don't know if he was sincere or just trying to distract me; but I'll give him the benefit of the doubt.
But then there were people--many people--like this lady, who sat quietly and listened.
Randy got up from his chair a second time; and this time he got physical. He tried repeatedly to pull me down from the box. He also tried to damage my sound equipment. Within moments, several men from a local cigar shop intervened.
Two of them stayed close for a few minutes, providing me with some unsolicited and greatly appreciated "back-up."
As I mentioned at the beginning of this post, my youngest daughter, Amanda, was with me. She was so very brave, today. I couldn't be prouder of her. She was shaken, but okay. Once I finished preaching, I offered Bibles to the crowd. One man named Curis took one. He also asked for my card.
I sat down for a couple of minutes with Randy. I tried to reason with him, but he wouldn't have it.
Amanda and I walked to our car where we prayed for Randy and the rest of the crowd.
It was a rather eventful hour. Here's the audio.
If you are unable to use the above player, click here to listen to and/or download the audio.