Category Archives: Culture vs Bible

Human Rights Festival 2018-Athens, GA

There is a human rights festival every year in Athens. This years was typical, I suppose.

On Saturday it was, for all intents and purposes an LCBTQ fest, complete with drag queens and an MC that asked the crowd how many straight people, homosexuals, lesbians, tri-sexuals and freaks were in the audience, to cheers from the crowd. As the Professor (Rich) said, it was “a case study in Romans 1” on display right in front of us. Due to the noise level we did not preach but had signs speaking to the rights of the unborn. The signs generated some good conversations. I had one such conversation with a gentleman that seemed to be prompted, by my sign, to consider the rights of the unborn. It seems, in the good ole USofA, we have so “normalized” abortion and “de-humanized” the unborn that people have to be reminded the “fetus” is an actual human being before they can even rightly think about what abortion is, the murder of a child. Hopefully our presence, at least, created some thought in the minds of a society that has numbed itself to the plight of the unborn babies.

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I had another long conversation with a man, his name escapes me, that was very reasonable but could not commit to unborn babies having the right to life, especially when it came to cases of rape. I agreed with him that it would be a tough situation but the question remains, should a child be executed for the crimes of his father?

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On Sunday I was back at the festival with Rich, Chike and Mike. Bobby also stopped by for a few minutes after his return from Kentucky. Sunday was not like Saturday at all. There were bands and climate change speakers and also an open mic time where they gave people 3 minutes to talk about whatever they wanted. Rich actually had 3 minutes to share a bit about his journey from Atheist UGA professor to Christian Apologist. There was also a lady who spoke about how we have known that extraterrestrials have been visiting us since 1900 and that we have the technology to time travel. Like I said, 3 minutes to speak about anything you wanted.

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There was a speaker who gave a lot of statistics, one of which was the number of people that would die due to climate change. Although I am no expert, I have to wonder how that can even be scientifically predicted, with any reasonable amount of accuracy. There was also a sign on the stage during the entire festival that read, “STOP ALL WARS”. Now that may seem like a good idea, but I think it implies and assumes a lot. First, it implies that there is no such thing as a just war. If they could speak, I believe there are 6 million or so jews that would beg to differ. The assumption is that ALL wars are evil and could, and should, be avoided. There is another implication that , as a veteran, I take offense to. Now, I’m not a snowflake and didn’t have to go find a safe place to cry through it, but I was offended by this sign because it also implies that all soldiers are warmongering murderers. I believe it is well known that nobody hates war more that a combat veteran. They have a first hand experience to speak from. When they say “we should never go to war”, I take that to heart, because they are speaking from an experiential position and not from an agenda driven one. I will say, the festival organizers certainly have a right to have the sign and think and say what they want.

Chike and I got to preach on the corner of College and Clayton during the festival on Sunday. I had a couple of ladies stop buy as I was preaching. One told me I should wear white instead of black because it shines the light better. Not sure what that really means. The other asked me if I thought the festival was all evil. I assured her that wasn’t the case, but did tell her that the Saturday night event was certainly a perversion of God’s design. She asked why and I explained that the entire night was a parade of homosexual perversion on the stage. She seemed puzzled, which puzzled me, since she had just told me a few minutes earlier that she was a minister. That’s a pretty broad term these days, so I guess I shouldn’t have been too surprised.

The overall take away for me was that the event, at least for the hours I was there, totally ignored the unborn children we slaughter at the rate of over 3800 per day. They do not seem to have any rights, and yet, society demands special rights for the LGBTQ community.

Rich was correct. The festival, at least on Saturday night, was nothing more than Romans 1 on display.  

Footnote: I was informed by a person on the festival’s facebook page that there were in fact pro-life folks there and I believe they even had some time to speak from the stage. This had to have happened when we were not present, but I will take them at their word. I have no reason not to.

Until All Hear!

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Samford vs UGA Saturday 9/16/17

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Kickoff was at 7:40 PM on Saturday so we arrived at the stadium around 4:30 PM and set up our equipment. We had a few new faces this week. Billy from Clemson joined us as well as Scott’s daughters. Scott, Chike and I preached as everyone else gave away Gospel tracts on the bridge. There was a lot of foot traffic, which increased as kickoff time drew closer. Hundreds, possibly thousands, heard the Gospel proclaimed for three hours, with many receiving Gospel tracts.Inline image 1

Although having one on one conversations can be a challenge before the games, there were a few on this Saturday. Before we began preaching a young man came and let us know that he was a Christian and a UGA student. He informed us that the students didn’t like preachers that come on campus and yell hate speech at them. We asked him to define what he meant by hate speech but he couldn’t seem to articulate what he meant and said he used the wrong term. Apparently it was “Hellfire and Brimstone preaching” that was offensive. Again, we asked him to define what he meant by that, and again he couldn’t articulate his definition of Hellfire and Brimstone.  Finally, Scott asked him what exactly was said that was offensive to him and again he couldn’t really explain himself. At this point Scott explained to him he was actually being offensive by coming up with his unsubstantiated accusations. I left the conversation at this point and heard the young man apologizing to Scott. To be clear, we are not against constructive criticism, but when you can’t even explain what you are criticizing, well, it isn’t very constructive.

It also seemed to be Mormon day at the stadium. Chike engaged two young Mormon girls and did an excellent job showing them how the Mormon church’s teachings contradicted Scripture. They talked for a while and were very polite young ladies.

Inline image 3Later, three young men, sporting “elder” name tags and the traditional white shirts and ties, came over as Chike was preaching and wanted a picture with him, to which he declined. All five of these young Mormons seemed to put forth the idea that, “Hey, we’re Christian too” which is really what lead into the discussion about the differences between the Mormon cult and Christianity. Finally, as Chike was wrapping up, right before kickoff, a young man who wasn’t dressed as a traditional Mormon came over and began to tell me how we only had two Testaments and we needed the Book of Mormon. I attempted to strike up a conversation with him, by asking him who wrote the Book of Mormon, but he was only interested in repeating his “You need the Book of Mormon” mantra over and over again.

It was a wonderful day of evangelism and fellowship! We are thankful for the Saints who came by with words of encouragement and thankful for Scott’s daughters coming out!  Please pray for the young Mormons and everyone who received the Gospel!

Until All Hear!

Alex

Football Season Arrived in Athens Sept 2

Appalachian State vs UGA 9/2/17

We arrived at Sanford Stadium about 3pm. There was a pretty good crowd already on the bridge so Scott, Chike and I set up, prayed and I began to preach as they passed out Gospel Tracts.

I was preaching from Ephesians 5 on how marriage is designed to be a picture of the relationship between Christ and His church, and used that as a transition to the Gospel.

After I had been preaching for a while, the UGA tuba section came out on the bridge, as they do before every game, and played a bit. That was a little distracting but I managed to work through it. After they were done, a couple of guys came out, just up the street from us with a huge bullhorn, and began preaching so we had to work through that as well.
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Scott preaching at Sanford Stadium as Chike, Bobby, Hannah, Eden and Lydia offer Gospel tracts to fans. 9/2/17

Bobby, Hannah, Eden and Lydia arrived and Scott began to preach while the rest of us were offering Gospel Tracts to the fans walking by. Scott shared the Gospel and pleaded for people to repent and trust the Savior. Chike preached next and I went down to the Tate center, where the foot traffic was heavy, to pass out tracts.

There was a large crowd at the game so hundreds and maybe thousands heard the Gospel and hundreds of Gospel tracts were given away.
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Near the end a young college student came and appeared to be pondering doing something to our amp so I asked him if he was considering touching our equipment. He stated that since we were out there preaching(he called it something else) he had the right to touch our equipment because it was freedom of speech. I tried to help this highly educated college student understand that the First Amendment did not give him the right to damage someone’s personal property just because he didn’t like what they were saying. Hopefully he wasn’t a law student. 🙂

He insisted he wanted to watch the game and we were annoying him so I suggested he purchase a ticket and go inside the stadium. He suggested I do the same. When I told him we were not there to watch the game he asked me what we were there for. I told him we were there to preach the Gospel so he asked me to tell him what the Gospel was.

I thought the door had opened but as soon as I started explaining the Gospel he shut me down yelling, “Y’all are stupid because you don’t believe in abortion!” Where’d that come from? He ranted about that and Scott joined the conversation, but there was no reasoning with the young man. It deteriorated to the point where he started making very inappropriate remarks about my wife, which hasn’t happened in all the years I’ve been involved in street evangelism, until recently.

A couple of weeks ago in Athens another young guy did the same thing. Neither of them has ever met my wife and she was not with me on either occasion so I shouldn’t take it personally, but that’s one thing that I do not tolerate well. I mention this as a prayer request. Please pray that I will handle those situations better.

FYI, I did not beat the boy or hit him but I did, on both occasions, let them know they should be glad I was a Christian, because the old me would be beating them for saying that. See why I need prayer?

Pray for those who received the Gospel!

Until All Hear!

Alex

I Couldn’t Believe What Happened to Me at the VA!

dscn4379.jpgLast Friday I had an oppointment at the VA hospital in Augusta for a medical procedure. Now you hear a lot about problems with the VA these days, but my experience has always been pretty good. I guess they could always do better but they have always been good to me.

Anyway, Kim and I showed up at the clinic and the nurse took me back to the prep room. They didn’t waste any time and had me get into the hospital attire and climb onto the bed. They proceeded to hook me up to different things and got my IV started.

As one nurse was doing all of this the other one began asking me the usual questions.

Nurse 1:Do you smoke.

Me: No.

Nurse 1: Do you drink alcohol?

Me: No.

Nurse 1: Do you do illegal drugs?

Me: No.

Nurse 2: Why not?

Me: What?

Nurse 2: Why not?

Me: Because there’s no future in it.

They were very nice and joked around to lighten the mood, which is always a good thing when you’re fixing to have a very invasive procedure.

After they were finished they told me the doctor would be in soon to get me to sign the consent form, so I just relaxed and began to ponder all the possible things they might find wrong with me. Nobody else does that, right?

While I was waiting they brought in another man and put him in the bed beside me. As they were getting him prepped I tried to doze off and just relax but I kept thinking how I would react if they found this or that, coming up with some things that I’m sure aren’t even possibilities. You see, I really hate having any kind of medical procedure done. Especially the kind where they take all your clothes and leave you in a hospital gown and your socks. TMI? Sorry. 🙂

Eventually the doctor came in and spoke with the other gentleman first, telling him the possible risks etc. And had him sign the consent form. They kind of new each other because the other man’s wife apparently works at the hospital. So, after the official business they chit chatted a bit and the doctor asked him if he could pray with him. First I thought, oh no, is this going to be some silly prayer to the universe or something? I know that’s terrible, but that’s honestly the first thing that came to mind. I was thinking, they must belong to the same universalist church of Satan or something. Anyway, the doc began to pray and it was one of the sweetest, loving prayers I’ve ever heard. It began with, “Heavenly Father” and ended with, “in Jesus’ name.”  I felt bad for my previous thoughts and thanked God for giving me a Christian doctor. That eased my anxiety a bit and I was thankful for God allowing me to hear that.

Then it was my turn. The doc came over and gave me the same schpeel about possible things that could go wrong, blah blah blah and asked me if I had any questions. After I assured him I was fine and had no questions he looked my in the eye and said, “Mr. Burt, do you mind if I pray with you?” I told him I would love for him to and he asked God to bless me and take care of me just as sincerely as he did for the man he knew.

I couldn’t believe it! I’m in a government hospital and this happened to me! I have never had a doctor or nurse EVER offer to pray with me! I thanked him again in recovery for the prayer and told him I didn’t think they would allow him to do that. He just smiled and went about his business.

Maybe by the title of this blog you were expecting another sad story about VA incompetence, but not this time. The entire process was done very efficiently and professionally. I have to say, my latest VA experience was excellent all the way around!

May God bless those who bless those who serve!

Alex.

Oh, just n case you were wondering, my test went well and all seems to be good!

The Broken Umbrella Incident…and other happenings April 2016

After the Super Bowl trip to San Francisco it was difficult to get back in the groove, ministry wise. I guess I just let life get in the way or maybe I just needed some time to back up and reflect.

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The first Friday night was rainy and we didn’t really think there would be many people out in Athens.  As it happened, we had a pretty interesting night. As I began to preach, a young man walked up and asked some questions about the trustworthiness of the Bible so I stopped preaching and began to discuss the matter with him. As we were talking another young man came up and started interjecting things that were not really relevant to the conversation. Then another guy came up and got right up in my space saying crazy stuff. So my conversation began with a young man who had sincere questions, got off track with a guy trying to get it off topic and ended with a guy who made no sense at all.

Anyway, Peter began talking with the first two guys and I was left with the other guy. I was still standing on my stool and as we were talking he gave me a gentle push but not hard enough to push me off the stool. At that point I thought it was a good idea to step down, so I did. He called me everything from a pig farmer to things I cannot say here, but I tried to hang in there to get to the Gospel. At another point he pushed me again off of the edge of the curb but it was a weird almost gentle push like he was testing the water. He had already told me a couple of times that he wanted to punch me and each time I asked him why he wanted to be violent when we were just having a conversation and he would calm down and continue the conversation. Finally I thought we were getting somewhere as he opened up and told me he was a good child until his parents split up and then everything went to hell. I lovingly tried to get him to see that he was responsible for his own actions and was accountable to God for his sin but he kept blaming everything on his parents. I tried to help him understand and at some point I guess he got angry and decided to take a swing at me.  I was holding an umbrella because of the rain and his fist struck the umbrella which absorbed most of the shock and then either the umbrella or his fist made contact with my jaw. At that point I knew our conversation was over. The first young man I was talking with saw it and came over and helped me scoot the guy on down the road. Although the next day I felt kind of like a wuss for not retaliating, I know it was not the right thing to do in this case. I wasn’t even sure the guy didn’t have a mental issue. I was mostly upset because he bent my umbrella. That was a first. In the 7 years I’ve been going to Athens and the time before that in Arizona I have never been punched.

So the other guy and I began to talk again. We discussed all sorts of things, but his main thing was that he wasn’t sure he could trust the Bible. We exchanged contact info because I wanted to send him a book to help him investigate the reliability of the Bible. So a couple of days later, I sent a text, asking for his address so I could send him the book. He responded and I was able to mail him an Evidence for Christianity book, a Hell’s Best Kept Secret CD and a 180 movie DVD. I checked in the next week to make sure he received the package and he did.  I pray God uses it to help him see the trustworthiness of the word of God. That was another first. I’ve given my info to countless young people over the years but have never really had them respond, until now. I guess it just took a punch in the face 🙂

The very next week I was able to talk to a young man who had been hurt by his church. He began by yelling at the preacher who asked me to go talk with him.  He felt like God had betrayed him because of the way the people in his church had treated him. We talked for a while and he asked me if I would pray that God would reveal Himself to him for 14 days. I agreed and promised to text him everyday so he would know I was praying for him. Everyday I prayed for him, sent a text letting him know, along with some encouraging Scripture. On day 11 I heard from him when he sent me a text and thanked me. He also told me he was going to start going to church with a friend. On the 14th day I let him know I would stop blowing his phone up every morning but that I was still praying for him and I was here if he needed anything. What had not happened in 7 years of ministry happened twice in 2 weeks.

The moral of the story is, Never, Ever Give Up!

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The next week was pretty non eventful for me but this past Friday was interesting. Being earth day there was a concert in downtown Athens so there were some different folks out. I met a guy who called himself Peter the Rock. This Peter claimed to be a disciple of mother earth and then claimed to be a disciple of Jesus. Later in the evening he came back by and told me I was a good man and said he would lead me in the right direction. I thanked him for the offer but told him that was Jesus’ job and I would just stick with Him.

Earlier in the evening as Scott was preaching a woman came over and was extremely upset because Scott said Jesus was God. She kept yelling that the Bible said He was the son of God so He was not God. Several of the guys tried to speak with her about that but she just kept yelling and would not listen. Funny thing, a man with her, who was trying to get her to leave finally told us we needed to shut up and move on, but we had been there for a hour or so and she came to us. Shouldn’t she be the one moving along? That happens a lot. People will come and get angry with us and instead of just going on down the street will insist we need to leave. These are usually the tolerant folks who believe everyone should be able to do whatever they like, well, except for us. 🙂

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There was another woman that came over and told us we were not to judge according to Romans 2:1 which states, “Therefore you have no excuse, O man, every one of you who judges. For in passing judgment on another you condemn yourself, because you, the judge, practice the very same things.” Like Matthew 7, which is also quoted to us, this is speaking of hypocrisy when read in context. The thing that is interesting is this woman was doing the very thing she was accusing us of doing, which is usually the case.

On Saturday the 23rd, there was a nationwide protest against Planned Parenthood and I was able to join Bobby, Hannah and Scott in Lawrenceville for this. Bobby is at Planned Parenthood almost every week pleading with women not to take their babies into the murder mill known as Planned Parenthood. Although there is hard video evidence that Planned Parenthood not only kills babies but sells their body parts, people still support them.

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Possibly the saddest part of the thing was the counter protest by PP. They had a huge banner that said, “Healthcare Happens Here.” Others were holding signs that read, “Stand Up for Choice” and “Don’t Take Away My Care”. First of all, killing babies is NOT healthcare.  Second, what about the baby’s choice? Third, If Planned Parenthood closed its doors there would still be real healthcare provided for women.  What the sign really means is “Don’t take away my right to have my baby murdered.”

 

Missouri vs UGA 10.17.15

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UGA Sat

The mood in Athens seemed a little gloomy on this beautiful Saturday evening, which is expected after suffering their second loss in two weeks.  With yet another season, which the fans had high hopes for, seemingly being dismantled in two short weeks, that is understandable.  Especially for those who seem to eat, sleep and breath UGA football.  When we arrived the Tuba Section was already on the bridge doing their thing with a decent crowd gathered around to listen. 

After set up we prayed and I began to preach.
With the somber like atmosphere it was easier than normal to preach and at some times I felt as though I was too loud because of the low crowd noise.  It wasn’t that there were fewer people than normal, they had just lost some excitement after being let down by their team two weeks in a row.  There were a few people that came by and spouted off some things but I tried to ignore them and continue with the preaching.  While hecklers are sometimes good for drawing a crowd, they do not seem to have that effect on the bridge before football games.  People farther down the bridge from us, who cannot hear the hecklers right by me, might get the impression that I am too harsh or condescending  when all they hear is my response to the heckler.  Therefore, I have determined to either cover the microphone if I feel I can have a good conversation with them or just ignore them and preach on, so to speak.   I was somewhat successful in doing this but it will take some discipline and practice.    

At one point there was a guy with a DSLR camera videoing or taking pictures of me.  I didn’t mind but at one point he was pretty close and it was a bit of a distraction.  Then there were three guys who stopped right in front of me and would repeat words that I would say.  After a few minutes when I didn’t respond to them they went on their way.  I was hoping they would stay around and listen longer but I wasn’t going to stop what I was doing to address them.  me10.18.15

Later I was reading John and a young man came up and stood in front of me and said, “give it to me!”  I cannot remember what verse I had just read but it was perfect, so I told him what the verse said.  He replied, “So we’re all born with a sin nature?”  I said, “yes, that’s why Jesus came and died so that we could be forgiven.”  He said. “So can I come back from sin?”  I assured him he could through repentance and faith and he went on his way.

There were several people with encouraging words as well.  Our US Congressman and his wonderful wife even stopped by with encouraging words.  Another man stopped when Bobby, Hannah and myself were on a break and shook my hand, asking me how I was, like he knew me, but I have no clue who he was.  🙂

You get all kinds of responses and reactions out at the games.  I had no clue, until I actually went out and began doing street ministry years ago, what it was like out there in the world.  Sometimes we sit in our churches and fellowship with one another, hang out with our Christian friends, without ever really engaging the culture and lost people with the Gospel.  It is a wonderful ministry to go out into the highways and hedges and compel the lost to come into the kingdom.  There will always be those who discourage, even some Christians will critique and criticize what you are doing and that’s okay.  The important thing is to keep the focus on Christ.  Religious people were always critical of what He and the Apostles did so do not let that discourage you.  That isn’t to say we shouldn’t accept wise council and examine ourselves if someone comes to us with a sincere concern.  We just have to understand not everyone will be encouraging and drive on with the mission of reaching the lost for Christ!  The blessings far outway the criticism!  20151017_184006

1 Peter 3:14 But even if you should suffer for righteousness’ sake, you are blessed.

 

A shot of the crew for the day!

 

Until All Hear!

Alex

Three in a Row!

Scott1I’ve had several busy weeks, with 3 home games in a row, work etc., so I haven’t had an opportunity to write much. On September 26th Southern University came to Athens to play UGA. I got to share the Gospel through open air preaching and then gave away between 800 and 900 tracts. We had the usual encouraging words from other Christians and some heckling as well. Two or three hours before the game there is usually a small crowd hanging out on the bridge or just walking around waiting for kickoff. It’s a little easier to preach then, with less noise pollution to deal with and easier to hand out tracts later, as the crowd grows. The only real noise competition when preaching early is the Tuba Section of the UGA band. They usually come up to the bridge and play for a few minutes but it’s not for long.

On October 3rd Alabama came to town. There is usually one big game every year where the Friday night before is a little more crowded than usual, and this was it. Hundreds heard the Gospel through preaching with many receiving Gospel tracts. There were also a lot of one on one conversations between the evangelists and passers by.

Christians are often afraid they will not have answers to the questions and objections thrown at them and at times we allow this to hinder us from sharing our faith. The only real way to overcome this fear is by just doing it. When you do this you will discover that while there are some tough questions, most of the time the person with the objection has just heard something from a friend, professor or website and only uses it as a dart to throw you off track. With study and a lot of experience, these encounters become easier. In fact, these encounter are good for the Christians because they drive us to our knees and to the word. I had one such conversation with a young man that I hope will be encouraging to you.

This young man and his friend/friends (not sure who was with who) came by insisting the Bible was false because it was written by men. They began their “gotcha” argument with the tired old question: “Who wrote the Bible?” I told them the Holy Spirit used men to write the Bible, which is the answer they expected and thought by making me say it, it would expose the ignorance of such a statement. I cannot remember the exact dialog that took place but they insisted thinking God wrote the Bible, using men, was a preposterous notion. The young man began to throw other objections out about things in the Bible that he thought anyone would be an idiot to believe. Questions like: “You don’t believe Adam and Eve were the first humans, do you?” (Add sarcasm when you read that question.) I told him I sure did and asked him how he knew they were not. His reply was, “Nobody believes they were the first humans!” I assured him many people did and pressed him to tell me how he knew they were not. He never gave me an answer, outside of insisting nobody really believed it.

Then he moved on to, “There is no way Noah could have fit all the animals on the ark!” I asked him who said Noah put all the animals on the ark. He insisted the Bible says it. I had to let him know he was mistaken and that there were only 2 of every kind of animal on the ark, not every animal on earth. He had this weird look on his face, so I tried to clarify. I said, “you know, 2 of the cat kind, 2 of the dog kind, etc.” to which he just had a blank look.

Finally I asked him where life began, trying to turn the conversation and have him answer some questions, to which he said, he did not know. I asked him what his favorite piece of evidence to support his molecules to man evolution faith was and he began a little tap dance. I pressed him to give me just one saying, “surely you can come up with at least one to support something you so strongly believe in!” He could not produce even one.

After I saw that I was getting nowhere, I decided to just end the conversation. I wanted to give one more attempt to help him see the flaw in his original argument before I did. I asked him where he learned his information. He ga
ve no response, so I clarified and asked him if he learned from books at school, to which he kind of agreed. So he trusts books that were written by men that contradict the Bible but his reason for not trusting the Bible is that it was written by men? He couldn’t see that he was not applying his standard consistently to all books.

I finally said, “so, you do not know where life came from, you have no evidence to support your belief in evolution and you really do not know anything because by your own standard for written material, everything you have learned from books is false because they were all written by men (humans). I cannot remember if he accepted a Gospel tract, but I hope he at least left questioning why he believed what he believed.

Over the last few weeks, thousands havUGA Bamae heard the Gospel preached and hundreds of Gospel tracts have been placed in the hands of football fans and college students. Not just at UGA but all across the country we have brothers and sisters doing the same thing at football games. Please pray for them! Tomorrow is another home football game at UGA, which I will be at, Lord willing, with some other brothers to preach the Gospel and give away Gospel Tracts. If you want to join us, email me at dalexburt@gmail.com! Would love to see you there!

 

Thanks for your partnerships in prayer and financial support! I couldn’t do it without you!

Until All Hear!Me2

Alex
http://www.UntilAllHear.com