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This is my Christian testimony.
I was born and raised in northeastern Minnesota in January, 1947 (Chisholm, MN, and raised in Keewatin, MN). I am of Finnish/Croatian heritage, white, and of Roman Catholic background. At age 4, 1951, I had German measles which left me deaf in my left ear and severely hearing impaired in my right ear (I wear a hearing aid in that ear). In 1965, I graduated from Nashwauk/Keewatin High School; I attended the University of Minnesota-Duluth for two years and graduated in finance from Northern Arizona University in January, 1970.
My father died on Memorial Day in 1951 when I was four. From the time of about 5-6 years of age, I read comic books such as Superman, Batman, Spider Man and the like. Physical fitness advertisements in the comic books of that time influenced my perception of what a man ought to look like, e.g. Joe Joette, John Sills, Charles Atlas and later bodybuilding magazines like Joe Weider’s, York Barbell’s Strength and Health and Ironman magazine. Over my growing-up years I was aroused by pictures of the men who graced the covers and articles of those magazines. And when I became 18 or so, the stage was set for the homosexual world. I was not a good-looking guy like my older brother, and was rejected by girls who interested me so I gravitated over to men. By the time I graduated from college and lived on my own in Denver, Colorado (1971-1979), I engaged in the gay lifestyle.
However, the gym owner of the health club I belonged to was a born-again Christian, and left copies of Southwest Radio Church Prophecy Newsletter at the entrance/exit to the gym. Over the years I would read the articles, but it was not until I moved to Los Angeles, CA, in 1979, that I came to a crisis of faith. To get to the head of the matter, I decided to read the Holy Bible for myself, cover to cover. When I came to the verses of 1 Corinthians 6:9-11, I realized that in spite of my homosexual experiences, I could be saved or redeemed by faith in the blood of Jesus Christ. Tears rolled down my face as I got on my knees in my bedroom in Los Angeles, and I asked Jesus Christ to be my Lord and my Messiah, and I wanted to be a living sacrifice for His purposes. Upon doing that, the next morning, I had an unnatural peace that passes all understanding, and I knew Jesus had heard and delivered me from bondage of the gay life, Roman Catholicism, pornography, filthy language, etc.
Searching for a sound Bible church, I almost got swept into a borderline cult church. But the Lord led me to Calvary Bible Church in Burbank, CA, which was founded by Dr. Jack MacArthur (father of Dr. John MacArthur of Grace Community Church of the Valley). This was my home church for 10 years. Before I accepted Jesus into my life I did count the cost of doing so and true to Scripture, my brother and his family have rejected me and my new faith (now going on 31 years). My relatives also rejected me, but my dear mother and grandmother ultimately came to know Jesus as well. My mother is still living at 92 years of age.
My last place of employment was with a division of Walt Disney (Walt Disney Imagineering Co. of Glendale, CA)—16 years as a lead person in shipping. It was a wonderful place to work, but infested with homosexuals too. I kept myself separated from them but also witnessed to them, among a few who were of Jewish decent.
In May, 1995, the company outsourced my deptartment and we were all out of work. So my mother and I moved back to Minnesota, West St. Paul. I started looking for work— now 48 years old. In December, 1965, while waiting for a bus to take me to a job interview in Minneapolis, I had my first of two brain aneurysms. I had to learn to walk again after the second one about a month later, and re-learn to socialize, read the Bible, pray, and manage daily hygene. My left side of my brain is “dead” so I am functioning on my right side. I have recovered for the most part but have trouble running and walking down stairs. But I enjoy living again and am bodybuilding again at 64 years of age, reading the Bible, and active in my church (Valley Christian Church of Concord, CA—Pastor Chuck McKinney).
God has been good to me. I live in a senior citizen apartment complex of over 425 residents in Pittsburg, CA. I love to cook and even bowl again. Daily study of God’s Word is a necessity for me and my day usually starts with that at 3-4 am and I retire at about 10-11 pm.
Yes, no matter what a person’s sins are the opportunity is there to receive salvation by God’s grace and by faith alone. I no longer have “religion” but rather, a living relationship with the Son of God who hung on that cross 2,000 years ago and I am so thankful to be a small part of his church, the bride of Christ.
May God bless you and may many more come into His church before His return which is imminent. I close with the saying:
Marantha (even so Lord Jesus, come)!
David J. Kallio