Friday, December 20, 2013

True Gift of Christmas 2013 - A Project Ezra Event

Hello all!  I’d like to ask you, and encourage you, to join us for our next Project Ezra reading event, this year’s True Gift of Christmas reading.  For those of you not aware, Project Ezra is a group dedicated to sharing the gospel through the public reading of scripture.  Since we are doing our readings less frequently now, I’m very excited for this reading, which has traditionally been one of our best attended.  Once again, we will be heading out to read the Christmas story.  Most towns and cities have a park, or square, or some common area or special event where people gather to celebrate Christmas (or “The Holidays.”)  Our goal is to gather a group of friends and church family members, a few stacks of tracts and Bibles, and to find a spot where people can gather and listen to the story of the birth of Christ.  So, here are our guidelines:

First, choose a public area near a popular Christmas event. This could be a fair, a parade, outside your local mall on a weekend, or any other place that draws groups of people. You know your area, so pick a place you would want to visit with your friends and family.

Second, get together a group of like-minded believers to participate with you. This is the ideal time to get additional people involved, since the reading will be long and can be easily divided up. Call Christian friends and family, and see about announcing it in church on Sunday.  If you can’t get a group together, then there’s nothing wrong with going by yourself.  Just be wise about time and location.

Bring a small ladder or box to stand on, and consider making a sign stating the name of our group and what you will be reading for listeners who arrive mid-reading. You may or may not use amplification, depending on personal preference and local laws.

Be sure to spend time in prayer as a group before you start!

Read the Christmas story.  The suggested passages, in order, are John 1:1-18, Luke 1:1-80; Matthew 1:18-25, Luke 2:1-38, and Matthew 2:1-23.  Consider picking one translation that everyone will read.  It’s not a requirement, but can help the reading flow more smoothly. You also might want to consider printing the reading in larger type and putting in into a binder that can be handed from one participant to another, or bringing a large-print Bible. You can get the whole reading here:
The link leads to Bible Gateway, and you can either just print it online, or cut and paste it to a document program.  This particular link is for ESV, but all you have to do is go to the top of the page, and you can select you Bible version of choice.  It will change to the whole passage to that version.  If you will be out in the evening, be sure to consider the lighting level too.  You may need a reading light.

If you have a more experienced open-air preacher in your group (or even if you don’t) consider following the reading with a simple gospel presentation

Make sure you have plenty of tracts and bibles to hand out!
When should you do your reading?  Anytime between now and New Years is fine.  People will still be in the Christmas spirit, the decorations will still be up, so there will still be a
The official Facebook event is up here: and we are putting this note to our blog as so you have someplace to send your friends for more info. Please let us know your thoughts, be sure to RSVP the event.  We look forward to lots of pictures, video, and stories!

All for His glory,

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Black Friday Suggested Readings/Verses - Acts 17

Hello Project Ezra, and for those in the States, Happy Thanksgiving!   I hope you have a wonderful and relaxing day.  I also hope and pray that many of you are getting prepared to head out tonight or tomorrow morning to share the gospel with the Black Friday crowds.  For those of you who have not chosen to brave the crowds to snap up that really cheap Christmas present or latest TV/Computer/Game System/Smart Phone, Black Friday is by far the busiest shopping day of the year, and the evening/morning crowds at your local Walmart or Best Buy can provide a good opportunity to share the gospel through tracting or open-air preaching.  Do be careful, since some of the crowds will be on private property, and some late night shoppers can be cranky (DON’T go alone), but don’t miss the opportunity.  Millions will be out, many of them seeking to further support their idolatrous, me-centered lifestyle, and desperately in need of Christ,  the only true source of meaning and purpose.

We have used Acts 17 as our Black Friday/Thanksgiving suggested reading in the past, and it is still a great choice.  While those at the Areopagus spent their time looking for new ideas and beliefs, many in our day spend their lives looking for the newest fashion, the newest electronic device, or one of a host of other things that promise fulfillment that they cannot and never will satisfy.  They are really very much alike, below the surface, so this passage provides a great message.  I’ve also included a couple other passages, which you may want to use in place of (or more likely along with) Acts 17, which address some of the same issues.  You may also want to include several passages regarding being thankful to God for what we have already received, and particularly for the greatest gift of all, salvation through the blood of Christ.

I’ll be heading out for Black Friday myself soon (I work in the retail industry, and don’t have an option), and I look forward to hearing your testimonies and seeing your videos and pictures when I get back, sometime tomorrow.  I’ll be praying for the outreach, and God willing, will be heading out Saturday evening to share with and preach to those visiting a local Christmas event.  I’ll be praying for all of you, and would appreciate your prayers as well, for Black Friday and the outreach as well.  May God be glorified as His word is preached!!

All for His glory,

Paul in Athens
Now while Paul was waiting for them at Athens, his spirit was provoked within him as he saw that the city was full of idols. So he reasoned in the synagogue with the Jews and the devout persons, and in the marketplace every day with those who happened to be there. Some of the Epicurean and Stoic philosophers also conversed with him. And some said, “What does this babbler wish to say?” Others said, “He seems to be a preacher of foreign divinities”—because he was preaching Jesus and the resurrection. And they took him and brought him to the Areopagus, saying, “May we know what this new teaching is that you are presenting? For you bring some strange things to our ears. We wish to know therefore what these things mean.” Now all the Athenians and the foreigners who lived there would spend their time in nothing except telling or hearing something new.

So Paul, standing in the midst of the Areopagus, said: “Men of Athens, I perceive that in every way you are very religious. For as I passed along and observed the objects of your worship, I found also an altar with this inscription, ‘To the unknown god.’ What therefore you worship as unknown, this I proclaim to you. The God who made the world and everything in it, being Lord of heaven and earth, does not live in temples made by man, nor is he served by human hands, as though he needed anything, since he himself gives to all mankind life and breath and everything. And he made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined allotted periods and the boundaries of their dwelling place, that they should seek God, and perhaps feel their way toward him and find him. Yet he is actually not far from each one of us, for
“‘In him we live and move and have our being’;
as even some of your own poets have said,
“‘For we are indeed his offspring.’

Being then God's offspring, we ought not to think that the divine being is like gold or silver or stone, an image formed by the art and imagination of man.  The times of ignorance God overlooked, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent, because he has fixed a day on which he will judge the world in righteousness by a man whom he has appointed; and of this he has given assurance to all by raising him from the dead.”

Proverbs 30:7-9 - Two things I ask of you;
deny them not to me before I die:
Remove far from me falsehood and lying;
give me neither poverty nor riches;
feed me with the food that is needful for me,
lest I be full and deny you
and say, “Who is the Lord?”
or lest I be poor and steal
and profane the name of God.

Matthew 6:19-34 - “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

“The eye is the lamp of the body. So, if your eye is healthy, your whole body will be full of light, but if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light in you is darkness, how great is the darkness!

“No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money.

“Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. 

“Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Thanksgiving/Black Friday 2013 & Project Ezra Holiday Plans

Hello Project Ezra!  It’s been a few weeks now, and I hope you are all doing well.  For those who did not read our most recent post, the project is undergoing some renovation and re-thinking.  Due a variety of factors, Tony Miano and I have been talking over changing the format and frequency of posts.  We are still considering exactly what that will look like, but for now we will likely be doing a smaller number of more focused reading, particularly around days and seasons where they can have the largest impact.  That was the original format of the project, so we will likely move back in that direction.  A list of suggested holidays is below, and we would love your feedback.  These are primarily US holidays, so we would particularly like feedback from those overseas, and more information on holidays where you are, so we can work on integrating them as much as possible.  However, nothing is final, and we are still talking about and praying about the future.  Your prayers would be very much appreciated as well.

Next week is the official start of the holiday shopping season here in the States.  For those abroad, next Thursday is Thanksgiving Day, followed by Black Friday, by far the biggest shopping day of the year.  If you haven’t been out on Black Friday before (I certainly wouldn’t be if I didn’t work in the retail industry), people will be out in droves, many from the early hours of the morning until late in the evening, trying to get the best deals on their Christmas gifts.  Malls will be packed, shopping districts will be packed, and the heavy vehicle and foot traffic means plenty of opportunities to pass out tracts and preach the gospel.   I would encourage you not to go alone (people who have been up all night can get a little tense), so this is the perfect time to gather some friends and members of your church body, and make a short-term missions trip out of it.  Even if you can't make it on Friday, the whole weekend with be a shopping frenzy, so find a different time if you have to, but be sure to get our there! 

I'll be posting some suggested passages for the reading this weekend, so be looking for those.  Be sure to take a look at and sign up for our Facebook Event HERE, if you are on Facebook, and share with your friends.  Also, when you do sign up, let us know where you will be participating.  I will be putting together a participation map, which I will be sharing on the event page.  And finally, if you would like to be part of our event prayer team, please let me know.  I will have a separate list for our prayer team, hopefully with more specific information and updates.

Thanks again for joining us.  I'm looking forward to your event reports, pictures, and videos.  May God be glorified!

All for His glory,


Suggested Project Ezra Events for the Next Year
November 28th/29th     Thanksgiving/Black Friday 

December 25th     Christmas

January 31st     Chinese New Year 

February 14th     Valentines Day

March 17th     St. Patrick's Day

April 20th     Easter Sunday

May 5th     Cinco De Mayo

May 25th     Memorial Day

July 4th      Independence Day (US)

September 1st     Labor Day

October 31st     Halloween

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Reworking Project Ezra

Hello all!  You may have noticed, if you follow this blog regularly (and I hope you do), that there have been no posts for the last couple weeks.  My apologies for those who were looking for them.  Don't worry, Project Ezra is not going away.  However, due to a number of factors (decreased readership, additional ministry responsibilities, etc.), we are looking at reworking the project, so that we can still encourage others in preaching the gospel from the word, while meeting other obligations.  We are still planning to have posts for Black Friday/Thanksgiving and for Christmas, so please be looking for those.  We will also be posting soon to let you know what changes, if any, we will to our weekly posts going forward.  We covet your prayers, and your feedback, as we look at what the Lord would have us do with this ministry in the future.  Thanks!

Dan Beaudoin
Project Ezra Administrator

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Luke 16 – Lazarus – Law and Prophets

Hello Project Ezra!  This week’s suggested reading is the story of the rich man and Lazarus, from Luke 16.  It is also another example of a story that is so appropriate for sharing the gospel that I can’t believe I haven’t used it in my outreach more often.  It is a wonderful, compact description of the truth of hell and real issue in man’s disbelief, that of the suppressing of God’s truth.  I’ve shared many times with others I’ve helped to mentor in public evangelism that disbelief is never an intellectual problem, but a moral and spiritual one.  Certainly there are those out there who have unanswered questions, and if those questions are sincere (many are not), we should be willing to take the time to answer those questions, or to look for the answers.  But as is made clear is this week’s passage, if they do not believe Moses and the Prophets (primarily the moral law and our conscience, and fulfilled prophecy), they will not believe even if someone rises from the dead. 

Many people will ask questions and claim lack of proof simply to try to shut Christians up.  If they can stump you, or confuse you, or catch you in what they think is a logical mistake, it will help encourage them in their disbelief, and they will think they are smarter than you.  It is that pride that is the foundation for much of people’s denial of God.  But don’t let it get to you.  Remember, it’s not your job to convince somebody of the truth of God’s word, or to save them.  Your job, and my job, is simply to be faithful to the calling God has given us, and God is glorified and honored in that.  We should study to show ourselves approved (2 Tim 2:15), and present the truth as clearly and plainly as we can, trusting that the Holy Spirit will do the rest.  And it is only through a change by the Spirit of God that anyone will come to true salvation.

I pray this outline is a blessing, and that the Spirit will bring many to true faith this weekend.

 All for His glory,



This is the story of a rich man, and a poor man, but it’s not really about money

It’s a story about eternity

During life the rich man had all that he wanted, but nothing that really mattered

While the poor man had nothing of earthly value.  No money, no health, and no help.

But when they walked off into eternity, things changed dramatically.

I want to share a few truths, that I pray, by God’s grace, will change you dramatically.

First, hell is a real place, and it is terrible beyond comprehension.

It is a place of fire and pain.  The rich man was in such agony, that he begged for a single drop of water. 

No one should want to go there.  I don’t want to go there, and I don’t want you to go there. 

That is part of why we are here tonight.

Second, there will be no second chance after this life.

When the rich man saw Lazarus, there was a wide gulf separating them, which could not be crossed.

Whether that picture was figurative or literal, the message is clear.

As scripture says, it is appointed unto men once to die, and after that the judgment.

Third, you will not be able to claim ignorance, or lack of evidence, on that final day.

Though God is not obligated to prove His existence of power to us, He has still chosen to provide us with evidence.

The Prophets foretold many truths about Jesus Christ

They told us what family He would come from, where He would be born, where He would live, that he would be betrayed, and the details of that betrayal, that He would die for sin, how He would die, and even that His garments would be gambled for.


The Law also shows us the truth of God’s existence.

The Bible tells us that God writes His law on our hearts, and our conscience bears witness.

Every one of us has a conscience, and a knowledge of right and wrong.

Though we may try to suppress God’s truth because of our unrighteousness and desire to sin and go our own way (Romans 1:18-23), in the end we will be without excuse.

If you examine yourself in light of God’s moral law, you will find this to be true.

Consider the 10 Commandments.  Though God says much more in His law, the Commandments are a good litmus test, an over-arching view of God’s expectations.


So we see that there is an eternal punishment waiting for those that rebel against God.

We see that all of us deserve to go there, and that we can no claim ignorance as an excuse.

And we see that there will be no way of escape, and no second chance.

So what should we do? 

Though we know we are guilty, is there a way our case can be dismissed, so we can go free?

There is a way, one way, and it is through the man who told us this story.

Jesus Christ, who lived almost 2000 years ago, was more than a wise man, or a teller of stories.

He not only told the story.  He was the answer to the story.

Jesus lives a life like no other person in history.  He lived a life of perfection.

He could live that life because He was God in human flesh, who came to earth for our sake.

By the power of the Spirit, He lived in obedience to God, taught the people, worked many miracles, and then suffered and died.

When He died on the cross, God laid all our sin, all our iniquity, on Him, and punished Him in our place (Isaiah 53).

Then, as He has prophesied, He rose again from the dead, proving His power over  death.

Then He ascended into heaven, where He will represent His people before the eternal judgment seat.

Every one of us will stand in judgment one day.  It is appointed unto men once to die, and then the judgment (Hebrews 9:27)

On that day sentence will be passed.  Will you have to pay for your own crimes?

There is only one other choice.  God is perfectly justice, so justice will be done.

But if you turn from your sinful, selfish life, and turn to the Savior, Jesus Christ, trusting in Him alone, then His blood will be the payment for your sin.

Colossians 2 tells us that God satisfied the legal demands of the law, nailing them to the cross.

Through Jesus’ blood our sins can be washed away.  Though you deserve Hell, you can spend eternity in Heaven, worshiping and loving God, and mankind was intended to do.

If you have not done that, if you are denying God and continuing to live in sin, please repent and trust in Christ today.

Life is short.  None of us is promised a tomorrow.

Turn to Christ today, and live, while you still have time.