Friday, May 21, 2010

This Week’s Project Ezra, Sermon on the Mount Saturday, and Our Participation Map

Hello friends. This week’s suggested reading is Malachi chapter 3. Although I’ve read this chapter before, I didn’t realize what a powerful passage it is. This has actually happened to me a lot lately. Due to the layout of Grant Horner’s Bible reading plan, which we use to help pick our weekly readings, I’ve had to find appropriate open-air passages from sections of scripture that I personally, and I think the church in general, has tended to neglect. Outside of a systematic reading plan that covers the whole word of God I had the tendency to read only the New Testament, (along with Genesis and a psalm or two occasionally) and I am now finding jewels of wisdom and theology that I missed for years. I would encourage you to use Grant Horner’s system, or a system like it, so that you have a chance to explore the entire word of God. He inspired it all, so we should read it all!

The passage, like many we have read, deals with God’s faithfulness to those who love and fear him and his swift judgment against his enemies. However, it also shows that God’s faithfulness to us does not necessarily mean constant comfort and ease for the believer. He will use our circumstances, sometimes due to disobedience and sometimes not, to teach us, purify us, and refine us. At the same time, while he disciplines his children, he may appear to pass over the sins of the rebellious. As a result, nonbelievers may, and frequently do in my experience, say that it is vain and there is no profit in serving God (vs. 14). But another verse that comes to mind is 2 Peter 3:4 and following, which shows that rather than God being either unable or unwilling to deal with man’s rebellion, he is patient, wishing all to come to repentance.

I would suggest using this passage to encourage people not to presume on God’s patience. I have actually had people I witnessed to say they would repent at the last minute, on their death bed, so they could continue living the way they wanted to now. But although God is very patient with us, none of us is promised tomorrow. We need to remind people that only God knows when our time on earth will end, and when we stand before him there will be a distinction shown between the righteous and the wicked (vs. 18). And while on the day of his coming believers will be purified like gold and silver, those who have chosen to reject him will not be able to stand before his holiness.

We are now just over one week away from Sermon on the Mount Saturday. Tony pointed out to me that I actually listed the wrong passage on one of my previous posts. Rather than reading Matthew 26 through 28, which we used for Mission Good Friday, for Sermon on the Mount Saturday we will be reading Matthew 5 through 7. We have about 60 people signed up so far, and are hoping for many more. Invite your friends and your church family to join you and to pray for you, and make sure you confirm the Facebook event. I would love to see the numbers at least double in the next couple days, and we’ve had far more people that that participate in our large events in the past. Also, if you participate in Project Ezra, even if you can’t participate in this particular reading, please post your location, either on the event wall or on the Mapping Event so we know where you are and I can add you to our map. I know there are lots of people who have read before, and some that have read very regularly, that are not on the map, but I will only add those I hear back from so we have as accurate an idea of who is participating now as possible. To take a look at the map, go here:

We still want more pictures, videos as testimonies. Our last post including pictures and videos from several Project Ezra participants in the U.S. and Canada. Take a couple minutes to look at them if you haven’t done so already, be sure to post yours to the Project Ezra wall to, or email them to me. I will continue to look through videos, pictures, testimonies and blog posts looking for those that I think will encourage the group, and post them when I can. Thanks for being part of Project Ezra, and being faithful to share God’s word with the lost.

All for His glory!


Monday, May 17, 2010

Project Ezra Participants Across North America

Hello all! I hope you will take the time to check out some of our Project Ezra brothers and sisters and how they are participating, and please, share your videos and pictures too!

Tim Rector and daughter share Hebrews 1 and 2 in a public park in New Hamburg, Ontario, Canada

The Cyber Spring Project Ezra photo gallery, compliments of Fresh Spring Baptist Church in Angleton, TX

Michelle Pascoe Burgee at the Arch in St. Louis, Missouri.

Reza Rasti with Trailblazers reading for Project Ezra in North Carolina.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Project Ezra This Week - 1 Samuel 2:1-10 and 1 Chronicles 16:8-36

Hello Project Ezra brothers and sisters. Thanks for being part of Project Ezra. This week’s reading is 1 Samuel 2:1-10 and 1 Chronicles 16:8-36. These two passages are probably best described as songs of praise to God, one from Hannah and one from King David. There are many individual ideas that could be used as bridges into the gospel, such as telling of his salvation, his judgments being in all the earth, or all the gods of the people are idols, but the Lord made the heavens. But the common theme running through both prayer seems to be God’s superintendence and control over all that exists, and the appropriateness of praising him in response to that truth. Most people you will share the gospel with will likely believe that they are largely in control of their own destinies, but we know that’s not the case. The only reason this world keeps spinning is because God allows it to, and everything we have and do are dependant on him. So consider these ideas in your gospel presentation:

God is the true God, and is deserving of our praise for his creation. We should give him the glory due his name

God will be our judge or our redeemer, and holds our future in his hands.

God should be glorified both for his acts of love and his acts of judgment.

Our success and failure is not in our hands, but in God’s hands. He brings low and he exalts.

God’s steadfast love endures forever, and he is the God of our salvation.

We are just about two weeks away from our next major event, Sermon on the Mount Saturday. Last year this was the second major event, and was just before the group was formalized. For this event we will, as the name suggests, be reading the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 26-28). We always encourage you to invite fellow believers to join you, but the larger reading events are perfect for having others participate, since the longer reading make dividing the chapters up easier. So start thinking now about who you could invite to join you.

I also made some updates to our participation calendar. We have nearly 700 people in the Facebook group, but less that 100 who have posted their locations recently. If you are currently participating, or have recently, or are planning to in one of our upcoming readings, please let us know where you are. I will be adding you to our ongoing calendar this time rather than running a separate calendar for Sermon on the Mount Saturday so we can get a better idea of how spread out the group in general is. So, even if you can’t participate this week or for Sermon on the Mount Saturday, please do post your location information. The link to the map is here:

We’re looking forward to more pictures, videos as testimonies too. They are a huge encouragement, so please take the time to share yours.

All for His glory!


Monday, May 10, 2010

Project Ezra Participation Report - Bezeugen Ministries

Bellow is a repost of a blog from our friends at Bezeugen Ministries in Carrollton Texas. I'm sure it will be an encouragement to you.

SUNDAY, APRIL 25, 2010
Jesus is...
If you have been following this blog at all then you probably saw my article recently which referred you to the messages and research that Matt Johnson did on preaching about the Excellencies of Christ. I had been praying for awhile about reading the entire list of attributes of Christ in the open air. Lately, I've been doing Project Ezra with Pastor Ben from First Baptist Hebron. However, when he was unable to join me today due to illness, I decided to use the list of the attributes of Christ instead of the normal Project Ezra reading.

My Facebook friend Rob-Roy Nelsonprovided me with somewater bottle Gospel tracts. My youngest son went with me me to Arbor Hills Nature Preserve in Plano. I've done Project Ezra at this park many times. Brendan handed out the bottles of water. While I read.

So, I am standing on my box reading "Jesus is ... Advocate with the Father. John 1 says 'My little children, I am writing these things to you that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.'"

Then moving on to the next attribute I said, "Jesus is The Alpha and the Omega. Revelation 22 says, 'Behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to render to every man according to what he has done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end.'"

I continued reading off the attributes of Chris. So over and over people in the park heard "Jesus is..."

Brendan was doing a great job handing out the bottles of water. He would take the water bottles and track people down to give them to people. I notice a few people once they had the water, walking away reading the label.

Eventually a man came up and said, "do you have a permit to do this?"

I said, "no, and I don't need one. I am simply exercising my right to free speech."

He said, "I don't think it is right. You should stop."

I told him that I had the right to be there and the command from God to share the Gospel. We spoke briefly. He said he was an atheist. I asked where creation came from. He said that scientists are "working on it." He claimed that if we give the scientists enough time they would figure it out. I told him they need to look no further then Genesis 1:1. He had his cell phone in his hand when he turned to walk away. Brendan gave him a water bottle and I returned to reading the attributes of Christ.

As I looked over towards the direction he was walking off I could see that he was on his phone. I told Brendan that he was probably calling the police. I told him not to worry, that I am not doing anything wrong and that if the police come to just remain calm.

Sure enough, five minutes later a police car came up. I got down off the box and greeted the office. He said, "you don't have to stop. I simply came by to let you know that we got a complaint, but that you are not doing anything wrong and can stay as long as you like." I thanked him for his time and offered him a bottle of water which he declined.

So add to the list, "Jesus is offensive!" Actually we know that the cross is an offense to those that are perishing.

After I finished reading all the attributes of Christ on the list, Brendan and I packed up and went to the car. We handed out the last two water bottles as we loaded the cooler into the car. We then drove home and went to church.

At church we first had Sunday school. After Sunday school, Brendan's teacher said, "we prayed for the guy that called the police on you!" So I shared the story with a number of people at church.

I am thankful that the officer knew the law and my rights. I am thankful that it was not a hassle. We have already had to "fight" the City of Plano over free speech issues. And I certainly did not want to have to do that again. The Gospel went out.
Posted by Bezeugen Ministries

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Project Ezra Suggested reading for week of May 8th - Proverbs 2

Suggested reading for week of May 8th
Proverbs 2

Hello, and welcome to another exciting week of Project Ezra! This week’s reading is Proverbs chapter 2. I got to read a little earlier than usual this week. Last night I had the privilege of joining several brothers in Christ to witness and open-air preach at a local street fair. Proverbs 2 provides a great interface between God’s word and the common misconceptions of our current age that I was able to use as a bridge to the gospel. Contrary to “common wisdom” (which is frequently common ignorance), our Christian faith is not blind, and we don’t have to put our minds in check to believe.

The beginning of the chapter tells us that if we are searching for wisdom, knowledge and understand, we will find them in God, as well as finding God through the proper use of them. We know that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and need to pass that on to those we speak to. There are a few ideas below, but many more that you could choose from. Simply contrast common wisdom with a true biblical worldview, and you will immediately have a multitude of subjects to discuss. For example:

Wisdom – God is not contrary to wisdom, or knowledge. The fear of God is the beginning of wisdom, and no knowledge is more important than the truth of our sinful state before a perfect, holy God, and the truth of his sacrifice on the cross.

Scientific knowledge – True science, and the scientific method, are in no way contrary to God’s word. The only reason that logic is logical, and the only reason that scientists can expect meaningful, consistent results in their experiments is due to the fact that God made the world in a logical, orderly fashion. Our universe

Justice – The true God is not the cause of war, hatred, evil, and injustice, but the solution to them. He is perfect, and just, and will punish all injustice. But his justice is unbending. So if he were to wipe out all injustice and evil tonight, where would we be tomorrow morning? See 2 Peter 3:9

Any one of these alone is a good transition into a gospel presentation. Or, you could use all three for added impact. And these are just a starting point. There are many areas where the bible speaks directly against the humanistic worldview that is so prevalent today. If you come up with any good ideas, please share them with the group on the Facebook group wall:!/group.php?gid=103701805742

or share a comment on our blog:

I will be putting up a couple special posts from some of our participants this weekend, so be sure to check back. There will be written accounts, pictures, and video. We’d love to hear your stories and see your pictures and video too. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy, just a record of your participation and anything you want to share. You would be amazed the impact that a simple, heartfelt testimony can have, and what an encouragement it is to people for them to see someone just like them who is willing to stand up for Christ. And please, share these Project Ezra posts on whatever social networking sites you frequent, so other believers can find out about Project Ezra.

See you on the streets!