Friday, January 22, 2010

Romans 8 in downtown San Jose, 11:30PM January

This is a video of my Project Ezra reading from last Saturday. Thanks to Chris Poindexter for taping it. I take a team to downtown San Jose once a month to witness in the bar a club district late in the evening. This has been a wonderful opportunity to talk to people, since many people are just "hanging out" with no particular place to go. Do be careful if you decide to do this type of ministry. I would not recommend going alone, since these areas can be a bit rough after dark. Of course, separating the wheat from the chaff is a bit easier too!

http://www.facebook.com/inbox/?tid=1326791018649#/video/video.php?v=255334934108

Suggested reading for week of January 23rd - 1 Timothy 1

Project Ezra
Suggested reading for week of January 23rd
1 Timothy 1

This week’s Project Ezra suggested reading is 1 Timothy 1. Although there are a number of ideas that could be used as lead-ins to the gospel, I think the best idea to use both as a springboard, and as a personal meditation, is the issue of humility. I verses 12 through 16 in particular Paul start talking about his state before Christ and then talks about the amazing transformation that took place, not because of anything he had done, but in order that God might be glorified. That kind of humility from a man who may be the greatest evangelist in the Bible, outside of Jesus himself, is a pattern I believe we should all follow, and it’s something many people are not used to hearing from Christians.

Humility may not seem like a natural transition to the gospel, but if you do much witnessing you have probably heard from people, as I have, that one of the reasons they don’t like Christianity and church is the hypocrisy and arrogance they see. It is very easy for us to come across that way, even if you don’t intend to, and it can do incredible damage. Early in my Christian life, thanks to my overbearing attitude and ignorance of how to respond to issues biblically, I managed to alienate several members of my own family, making it very difficult to this day, almost 20 years later, to discuss spiritual things with them. Today, one of the elements I make sure to include in both my one-on-one conversations and my open-air is the fact that I am not claiming to be perfect, better, or more worthy than anyone listening to me. I have often said I’m not telling people to try to be like me, and most of the time I don’t want to be like me. The more time goes by, the more I truly realize how just God would be in sending me to hell, and what an amazing gift the grace I have received through the shed blood of Jesus really is.

This week try using the law in a more self-reflective way. Apply God’s law to yourself, and talk about how you are worthy of judgment because of your moral crimes against God. Talk about how it brought conviction to your heart. Then talk about the amazing grace God has shown to you. This is also an approach I have used in situations where it is more difficult or considered less appropriate to talk about spiritual things, such as at work or with my immediate family, and it has allowed me to share the gospel when I may not have been able to otherwise. Hope this helps, and hope to hear stories and see pictures and video from many of you this week. Thanks for being part of Project Ezra.

All for His glory!

Dan

Thursday, January 14, 2010

This week's suggested reading - Romans 8

Project Ezra
Suggested reading for week of January 16th
Romans 8

This week’s Project Ezra suggested reading is Romans 8. This could be a very interesting week for sharing the gospel due to the recent tragedy in Haiti. Needless to say we should all be in prayer for those in Haiti and the many involved in missions of mercy to that devastated country. But, as stated in what is probably the best known verse in this chapter, all things work together for those who love God and are called according to His purpose. The earthquake also means more people, both here and there, will likely be thinking about what happens when they die, and why God allows pain and suffering. Both subjects are dealt with in this chapter. A few key points to consider in your gospel presentation this week might be:

Setting our minds on the things of the Spirit rather than on the things of the flesh

The bondage and corruption of the present world, caused by sin and resulting in pain, suffering, and death

The Spirit interceding for us according to the will of God

Jesus Christ sitting down at the right hand of God as out intercessor

No earthly or heavenly thing can separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus

There are many more gospel opportunities in this chapter, so I would encourage you to spend some time in the chapter, and in prayer, prior to going out. Additionally, although the earthquake is Haiti provides an excellent opportunity for us to transition from the natural to the spiritual, we must do so with care. Remember that the death toll on the news is more than just numbers, it’s people. It represents souls that have passed on into eternity, into heaven or hell, and we need to be sure we don’t appear to have a cavalier attitude toward those deaths. Think about that fact that is not only possible, but very likely, that at least one of the people who hears the word of God through Project Ezra this weekend will not see next weekend. So pray for boldness and humility, for the empowering of the Spirit, and plead with people to repent and trust in Christ while there is still time.

All for His glory!

Dan

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Project Ezra Reading Schedule for 2010

Project Ezra

Encouraging, equipping, and mobilizing born again followers of Christ, from around the world, to read the Word of God in public

2010 Schedule

All dates are Saturdays. Project Ezra participants can choose to do their open-air Bible reading on Friday through Sunday of each week. See “An Introduction to Project Ezra” information for books of the Bible in each “List.”

2-Jan
List 1
Luke 10
9-Jan
List 2
Exodus 3
16-Jan
List 3

23-Jan
List 4

30-Jan
List 5

6-Feb
List 6

13-Feb
VALENTINE’S DAY READING

20-Feb
List 7

27-Feb
List 8

6-Mar
List 9

13-Mar
List 10

20-Mar
List 1

27-Mar
List 2

2-Apr
MISSION GOOD FRIDAY

10-Apr
List 3

17-Apr
List 4

24-Apr
List 5

1-May
List 6

8-May
List 7

15-May
List 8

22-May
List 9

29-May
SERMON ON THE MOUNT SATURDAY

5-Jun
List 10

12-Jun
List 1

19-Jun
List 2

26-Jun
List 3

4-Jul
FIRST JOHN ON JULY FOURTH

10-Jul
List 4

17-Jul
List 5

24-Jul
List 6

31-Jul
List 7

7-Aug
List 8

14-Aug
List 9

21-Aug
List 10

28-Aug
List 1

4-Sep
LABOR DAY READING (Matthew 11 &12)

11-Sep
List 2

18-Sep
List 3

25-Sep
List 4

2-Oct
List 5

9-Oct
List 6

16-Oct
List 7

23-Oct
List 8

31-Oct
REVELATIONS ON HALLOWEEN

6-Nov
List 9

13-Nov
List 10

20-Nov
List 1

27-Nov
THANKSGIVING/BLACK FRIDAY READING

4-Dec
List 2

11-Dec
List 3

18-Dec
THE TRUE GIFT OF CHRISTMAS – The Entire Gospel of John

25-Dec
CHRISTMAS WEEKEND READING (Luke 2 and John 1)




































































































































































































































































The Project Ezra Strategy

Project Ezra
Encouraging, equipping, and mobilizing born again followers of Christ, from around the world, to read the Word of God in public


History
Project Ezra began a week before Easter, 2009. While reading his Bible, Tony Miano read: “Until I come, devote yourself to the public reading of Scripture, to exhortation, to teaching” (1 Timothy 4:13). As he read that verse, he was reminded of the account found in Nehemiah 8:1-8, where Ezra gathers the nation Israel and, for hours, reads the Law of God to the people. And then the thought came to mind: “What if people around the world gathered on Good Friday to read the account of the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ?”

So, with only a few days for people to prepare, Tony called on his friends on Facebook to join him on Good Friday to read Matthew 26-28 aloud, in the open-air. The response was amazing. More than 170 people from more than 30 states and several foreign countries participated in “Mission Good Friday.” Even more exciting were the testimonies that poured in after the event. Many of the people who participated had never open-air preached. Having stepped so far out of their comfort zones to stand on a box in public and read the Bible aloud, a number of people reported that “Mission Good Friday” was the catalyst and encouragement they needed to try preaching the gospel in the open-air.

The next Project Ezra event was “Sermon on the Mount Saturday,” which was held on May 23, 2009. Once again, more than 170 people from around the world participated. More amazing testimonies came in, with many accounts of people breaking the evangelism sound barrier, as they read God’s Word in the open-air.

The most recent Project Ezra effort was “The True Gift of Christmas,” where once again team from around the country and the world gathered to read the word of God in public. This time many read the entire Gospel of John. Once again, many participants broke the sound barrier, sharing the gospel open air for the first time.


Taking Project Ezra to the Next Level
Following Sermon on the Mount Saturday, and after consulting with Project Ezra administrators, Daniel Beaudoin and Bart McCurdy, Tony decided it was time to take Project Ezra to the next level, which meant more organized public readings of the Word and getting more people involved. The decision was made to organize Project Ezra readings every weekend and during all of the major holidays.


The Project Ezra Strategy
In order to fulfill the vision of organizing people around the world to read the Bible in the open-air every weekend, a strategy was needed to make such an effort manageable, as well as appealing to participants without overwhelming them. Here’s the strategy.

The Bible will be broken down into ten lists. The lists will follow Dr. Grant Horner’s Bible Reading System:
· List 1
o Matthew, Mark, Luke, John
· List 2
o The Pentateuch
· List 3
o Romans, 1&2 Corinthians, Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, Hebrews
· List 4
o 1&2 Thessalonians, 1&2 Timothy, Titus, Philemon, James, 1&2 Peter, 1, 2&3 John, Jude, Revelation
· List 5
o Job, Ecclesiastes, Song of Solomon
· List 6
o Psalms
· List 7
o Proverbs
· List 8
o Joshua, Judges, Ruth, 1&2 Samuel, 1&2 Kings, 1&2 Chronicles, Ezra, Nehemiah, Esther
· List 9
o The Prophets
· List 10
o Acts

Participants will commit to reading one chapter from one list, each week. Participants will choose any chapter they want from the list. Participants will read their chosen chapter sometime during Friday, Saturday, or Sunday each week. Participants will then choose one chapter from the next list, to read the next week. And so on. Of course, participants can choose to read more than one chapter each week, if they like.

Tony Miano and the Project Ezra administrators will post reminders, reading schedules, and suggested chapters to read from each list. From time-to-time, Tony and the Project Ezra administrators will also provide devotionals about the Bible chapters they’ve read in the open-air, on the Project Ezra Facebook page and official blog.

Project Ezra members will participate in mutual accountability by posting their Project Ezra testimonies, pictures and videos on the project’s Facebook page and/or blog.


What If I Can’t Participate Every Week?
That’s okay. No worries. Participate as often as you can. If you have to miss a week (or more), simply go to the Facebook page to see from what list you should choose a chapter of the Bible to read, for the current week.

Again, this strategy is designed to make it easier for people to participate more often.

Welcome to Project Ezra! Our hope is that you will be blessed through your participation and that you will grow in your love for and obedience to the Lord and His Word.

Project Ezra’s Facebook Page: http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=112223451966#/group.php?gid=103701805742&ref=search&sid=580230690.2843129041..1

Project Ezra’s Blog:
projectezra.blogspot.com

Friday, January 1, 2010

Happy New Year and Suggested Reading - Luke 10

Project Ezra
Suggested reading for week of January 2nd
Luke 10

Happy New Year Project Ezra! It has been wonderful sharing this ministry with all of you, and I hope you are excited, as I am, for a new year of public scripture reading. I will be sending out our reading schedule in the next few days, which will give the weekly reading lists through 2010, as well as the special holiday readings and large events, such as The True Gift of Christmas. We love having as many of you as possible participating weekly, but I know some of you have not been able to. If you have or plan to participate less frequently, the list may be helpful. Try going through the year and picking a set of dates you can commit to. Consider the larger events in particular, since many are planned around days that will involve either more people out in public (such as July 4th) or the higher likelihood of people thinking about spiritual things (such as Halloween or Easter). And encourage others to join you, even if only to watch and pray. They may surprise you and end up reading.

This week’s suggested reading is Luke chapter 10. This chapter contains the parable of the Good Samaritan, which is a story and a concept that has become very well known in our culture, which makes it a good springboard and more likely to catch people’s attention. But there are a number of other excellent transitions in the chapter as well. The subject that seemed most prevalent to me was priority of devotion to Jesus Christ. In the Woes against the unrepentant cities, Jesus condemns the for rejecting him despite the mighty works he performed. In the story of Mary and Martha, Mary was commended as choosing the better task, devotion to Christ’s teaching first. And after the return of the seventy-two, Jesus reminded them not to rejoice from the power and authority entrusted to them, but to rejoice in their salvation.

I’m excited about this passage because it in many ways goes counter to my more standard gospel presentations. When I share the law with people to bring the conviction of sin, I tend to focus on the more easily tangible sins, such as theft, lying, lust, hatred, and the like. But the issues Jesus addressed here go primarily to the first two commandments, and I believe these are the most commonly broken commandments by far, and often lay the foundation for the breaking of the other commandments. If we don’t love and honor God as we should, or if we create a false image of God in our minds, one that is accepting of our sins, then the breaking of the rest of the commandments becomes much easier. I plan to try to transition from idolatry into the breaking of the other commandments. I think that may be a very effective tactic. If you try this method, please let me know how this goes for you as well.

Once again, Happy New Year, and may the Lord be glorified in your life and ministry in 2010!

Dan