Thursday, February 25, 2010

Suggested readings for week of February 27th

Project Ezra
Suggested readings for week of February 27th
2 Samuel 7:18-29 and 1 Kings 3:3-14 – Prayers of David and Solomon

Hello Project Ezra! This week the suggested reading consists of two prayers, one from King David and one from Kind Solomon. The thought that really struck me while reading these prayers is that of knowing who we truly are before God, and being able to explain that to those we share the gospel with. These prayers came from two of the most powerful, influential and famous kings in ancient history, yet when they came before God they came in humility. David was a great conqueror, and Solomon was the wisest and likely the richest king in antiquity, but both knew God was God, and they were not. I have talked to many people who have convinced themselves, through pride and an idolatrous understanding of God, that are owed not only freedom, but complete autonomy by their creator. I’ve had people tell me, after I have explained to them that they will have to give an account of themselves before a perfect, holy God, that they will confront God and tell him the way things really are, and that he better listen to them. David and Solomon, who would be successful and powerful by anyone’s earthly standards, spent their time extolling God’s virtues, not their own. They understood that any exaltation they had experienced came straight from the hand of God. They were willing and content to do it God’s way, because they knew what an honor and privilege it is to be used by God. I think this is a lesson both for us, as ambassadors of the king, and for the unsaved. We need to remember what a privilege it is to share the gospel, and we need to remind the lost that, as Solomon said in Proverbs 16:18, “Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall.” I plan to use these passages as an example of the attitude we all MUST have in order to be saved. Without humility there can be no true repentance, and without repentance and complete dependence on Christ there can be no salvation.

All for His glory!


Romans 10:14
How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed?
And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard?
And how are they to hear without someone preaching?

Join our Facebook group!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Suggested readings for week of February 20th

Project Ezra
Suggested readings for week of February 20th
Selections from Proverbs

Hello Project Ezra! This week’s reading is a little different for a couple reasons. First, rather than reading one specific chapter all the way through our suggested reading covers three shorter passages within Proverbs, which is this week’s reading list. The book of Proverbs tends to jump between subjects at bit, simply because of the type of literature it is. It is, of course, God’s holy word from front to back, but presented in the form of a collection of ideas rather than in letter or narrative style like many of the other books. Therefore, I decided in this particular case to take sections containing a similar theme from different areas of the book in order to carry that theme through for the sake of emphasis by repetition. After all, repetition for emphasis is used frequently throughout the scriptures. These three passages deal largely with God’s character and our response to his character, and I would suggest reading them in the order listed below. I believe they flow most smoothly in that order.

The second reason for multiple passages is to encourage you to bring someone with you. These passages are short and simple, and should be ideal for those who are new to public evangelism, and particularly open-air. You could even have several people do the reading, and then follow it with a gospel presentation. As most of you know, many people have “broken the sound barrier” (open-air preached for the first time) as part of Project Ezra. Let’s pray that through our encouragement and the working of the Holy Spirit a few more street evangelists are birthed this week. I would also love to post some more participant pictures, videos and testimonies next week, so please document your participation if you can and post it on the Facebook page. Those posts are a great encouragement.

All for His glory!


Proverbs 30:1-7

Proverbs 16:1-9

Proverbs 3:1-12

Saturday, February 13, 2010

People Really Do Hate a Loving Message

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.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Project Ezra - Valentine's Day Readings

Project Ezra
Suggested readings for week of February 13th

Hello all. It is such a blessing to be part of Project Ezra. I hope this group continues to bless you all as it does me. If so, share it with your brothers and sisters in Christ. Invite them to join you, whether it’s just to pray, to use a digital or video camera to record your reading, or to participate. This world is hungry for truth, and most people have no idea where to find it. Let’s get out there and share it with them. If you ever get discouraged, remember that you never know who is listening to you read, and how the Holy Spirit may be working in their heart through your reading. If no one listens, God is still glorified through the reading of his word, but don’t be surprised if someone, or several someones, are waiting to talk to you when you’re done.

This week I’ve selected several passages for the reading, which are listed below. You can read one, several, or all of them. All deal with the subject of love, and God’s love in particular, but focus on God’s love as shown by his grace. There is a wonderful message on YouTube from the founder of our group, Tony Miano, talking about the most important word in the bible: propitiation. Truly the greatest example of love that we can see, or even imagine, is the love of God through the gift of his son, who provided the bloody sacrifice of Jesus Christ as just punishment, as propitiation, for our sins. Those who don’t know Christ like to think of God as “all loving”, generally meaning they think he will choose to ignore their sins. But a just and holy God could never ignore evil. He must punish it. The people we share the gospel with need to understand the depth of their own sin and the necessity of punishment for that sin. Hell is what we all deserve, but Jesus Christ willingly went to the cross to pay that penalty, and then rose on the third day defeating death and hell. When people see this, then they will see how amazing grace really is.

If you don’t have much experience sharing the gospel, I would highly suggest listening to or watching Hell’s Best Kept Secret by Ray Comfort. It will help give you a framework to biblically share the gospel. You can watch it here:
Hell's Best Kept Secret

Also, consider watching “The Most Important Word in the Bible” here:

All for His glory!

Dan B.

Psalm 36
The transgression of the wicked
The steadfast love of God

Romans 5:1-11
Justified by faith, peace with God through Jesus Christ
While we were still sinners, Christ died for us

1 John 3:11-24
Love one another
We know God’s love because he laid down his life for us
Believe in Jesus’ name and love one another

1 John 4:7-21
Let us love one another
God loved us and send his Son as propitiation for our sins
Love is perfected in us when God abides in us

Thursday, February 4, 2010

This Week's Suggested Reading - Psalm 51

Project Ezra
Suggested reading for week of February 6th
Psalm 51

This week’s Project Ezra suggested reading is Psalm 51. We actually read this passage last year as part of a larger reading, but there is so much depth to it that I thought we should read it again. This chapter shows so clearly why David was called a man after God’s own heart. Following his sin with Bathsheba, David showed a true recognition of his sin and a truly repentant heart before God. THIS is the kind of prayer you want to hear from someone to show they have a true understanding of repentance and faith in Christ. It is a “sinner’s prayer” in the truest sense of the word. David not only acknowledges his sin, but understands that sin is primarily against God (vs. 4). His heart is broken before God (vs. 17), as ours should be.

Another thing that struck me regarding this passage is the obvious passion coming from David. He poured his heart into it. I pray that we will have even a fraction of that passion in our own readings. The reading of the word of God should never be flat or emotionally anemic. Read the passage several times before you head out to read it publicly, so you have a sense of the flow and emotional content. I’m not talking about just adding drama to the reading, but understanding as much as you can the intent of the passage so you can add your heart to it. I am currently reading a book called Soul Winner by Spurgeon (I highly recommend it!) and he describes it this way:

The genuine soulwinner knows what this means. For my own part, when the Lord helps me to preach, after I have delivered all my matter and have fired off my shot so fast that my gun has grown hot, I have often rammed my soul into the gun and fired my heart at the congregation. This discharge has, under God, won the victory.

I believe that it is this kind of intensity, this kind of genuine love for the lost and desire to see them saved, that we must pour into every reading we do. We are sharing words of life, so show that you care about and believe what you are reading. If you are not excited about reading God’s word, those listening are not likely to be excited about hearing it.

All for His glory!