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Broken to Breakthrough

Christian Berdahl

Description

Christian's testimony on how the Gospel transformed his life.

Presenter

Christian Berdahl

Founder of Shepherd's Call music ministry

Recorded

  • October 19, 2018
    6:45 PM
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Gracious Heavenly Father Lord thank you for another Sabbath Day One Sabbath closer to heaven Father I pray that you would bless us with your presence you would feed us with your Holy Spirit guide and lead us into truth and Father I pray as I give my testimony tonight that you would hide me behind your cross because this testimony is about you it's not about me I pray this in Jesus' name amen my testimony is intitled from broken to break through a journey of faith hope and victory and I'm going to start with Scripture even though being raised I didn't know what scripture was but I'm going to start there because it's always the best place to start with God's people Revelation 1211 You heard it earlier and they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb of by the word of their testimony and they loved not their lives on to the death and so this is talking about God's church that has faith in Christ and His all sufficient sacrifice and spilling of his blood on Calvary and they overcame by their blood of the blood the lamb on the word of their testimony as well and so it's my privilege to give you that tonight and to share what God has done for me some of you may not know my testimony and I really want to encourage the young people that are here tonight. It's interesting for me to say these words I love Jesus. Because I was not raised in a home where there was any Jesus I didn't want God in my life in fact frankly I did not want God to be the answer in my life I had seen a lot of people that were what I would classify as just full on hypocrites and so I wasn't interested in what I saw in around the world and in and around Christian done when I was a boy I was not raised in a Christian home in fact I wasn't raised in a healthy home my life started out as a struggle even my birth was a a tremendous event of stress my mother was 16 and she was a non-Christian my father was 18 and a non-Christian even though his father went to church it was just his personal thing that he had his own personal religion it was not shared in the home both of my parents were had siblings but they were 18 plus years old of them so they were raised basically as single children. And so what my mother didn't know was that my father had started using drugs by the time he was 14 years old he started stealing prescription drugs out of medicine cabinets of his parents and his neighbors and by the time he was 17 years old this is before my mother had even met him he was already a daily drinker and he was an alcoholic at the ripe old age of 17 over the next 5 years my 2 brothers Aaron and Brandon would be born and. By the time I was 7. We had moved from place to place from from East Coast to West Coast and all up and down California 13 times by the time I was 7 my father couldn't keep a job because he was drunk or on drugs and when you don't pay the rent you get kicked out we were living in abject poverty we were we were extremely poor and my mom did not work outside of the home and one night my drunk father was driving us home after a barbecue for the day where he had been drinking throughout the day he was swerving all over the road as he was attempting to get us home my mother was trying to wrestle the keys out of his hand before he got in the car and that didn't work and so we got home I believe by God screw his and God's grace alone even though my mom and dad and nobody was asking for God in their lives when we got home she said enough is enough and she said that's it I'm leaving and she told him I'm divorcing you and indeed she did we moved out and moved in with my aunt for a little while while my mom got a job and got on her feet and my biological father joined the military he now at this point was heavy in his addiction he was a drug addict and he was an alcoholic and he thought I'll just get my life I lost my family and my kids now and I've got to get my life going in a better direction unfortunately to his chagrin his dismay he found that drugs were just as rampant in the military back in the seventy's as it was on the street and within one week he was doing heroin with his commanding officer and so it didn't help anything in fact it was easy to source the drugs and alcohol. And my mother put us in daycare and while she was going to school and unfortunately about 6 of us little boys were being sexually molested by the teenage son of the babysitter and this would be one of the 1st secrets that I would keep and not share with anybody in fact I wouldn't even tell my mom until I was an adult I honestly wish I would've told somebody because I have often wondered how long that young teenager continued to do that with the other children I was scared you know when someone's engaged in that kind of inappropriate activity they twist the little minds around and make the children think that you know that you shouldn't tell anybody and if you tell somebody you're going to get in trouble and and I want to encourage the the young people here tonight especially the children listen don't go Christian nobody should be touching you in your private parts ever. Amen thank you parents thank you grandparents because unfortunately this problem is is everywhere in the world including the church it's everywhere and we can't be naive to think that because we're in church that maybe our children are safe because the reality is the church is not a place that's filled with Saints it's a hospital full since 6 souls and men. And so I want you tonight or tomorrow young people young children you have a you have Uncle Christian's permission to ask your parents what did he mean by my private parts if he didn't they don't know what that means mom and dad you need to educate your children because they're curious I taught my children when they were young about not not like major details but I I taught them some information because I wanted them to understand how these things work the way that God wanted them to understand it Amen not how the other little kids were going to educate them how the playground or or school play yard is going to educate them but rather the way that God wants a parent of God the parent to educate them and so it is our job to to not be so worried about this God gave us intimacy This is how we have children explain it amen and please young people go on ask your parents what did he mean what it Uncle christian mean by that and parents you better sit him down you better tell them because I'm one of those kids that was hurt because my mother never told me nobody should be doing this nobody should ever touch you like that and if they ever did you come and tell me because that's what these kids need to know these children need to know that if something happens like that they can come to mom and dad or grandma grandpa or the pastor and say here's what's been going on can you help me amen praise the Lord now this is not really a light testimony I have a pretty heavy testimony but Greater is He who is in us than he was in the world Amen and so I kept this secret never told my mom and I was. I thought back as a child and even as a teenager as an adult what if I had said something perhaps I could have saved some children from. A terrible situation so please go tell somebody it's criminal it needs to be dealt with properly what the authorities and you haven't done anything wrong that person has my mother got remarried to a man that seemed normal at 1st he was heavy handed right away and he took over the discipline right away eventually he became our family's worst nightmare he was violent extremely abusive and sinister in the way the abuse was just I'm not going to go into it tonight it was physically emotionally mentally it was tragic and the constant yelling and cursing and brow beating in the belittling just became a way of life for us in short I've been whipped I've been beat I've been tied up neglected the abuse was criminal the physical abuse was bad enough I mean it was on a level of legit heavy abuse I was hit so hard in the head by him I had a grand mal seizure and wound up in the emergency room with the ambulance ride to the hospital but we acted like nothing was wrong I just had a seizure because we lived a facade we lived a lie we lived a lie acting like everything was OK on the outside when everything really was an absolute disaster and we were terrified little children we were stressed out little children we were moved and motivated by fear and fear alone I don't know if you've ever experienced that I certainly hope you haven't and if you have my heart goes out to you I can understand and so that the physical abuse was bad enough but but the. The head games though he would play the emotional abuse in the a manipulation that he had for us and how we had twist up our little heads was actually was worse in some ways than the physical abuse John 1633 says in the world you shall have tribulation. Boy you knew what Tribulation was as a young family we understood that my mother was under his mental control and she feared for her life he had pit us one against each other if we said anything he threatened to kill our mother and if she said anything he threatened to kill a children and so life would go my mother would use her clothing when she would go off to work to cover up her black and blue bruises for us he didn't hit our bodies too much physically punching us creating bruises because you know we had we were going to public school and that would be seen so he assaulted our heads and he like to grab our hair and just violently shake us and hit us over the heads with metal soup ladles and different things and so he always attacked our heads we'd find ourselves after he was beating us laying down knocked out in the in the hallway or somewhere around the house and I wind up here and that was just life my biological father in fact by the way over time after a lot of this going on you really start becoming quite hopeless you don't see a way out you think this is going to be forever and indeed it continued on for a long time and my biological father was in and out of our lives as he drove deeper into his addiction he would have what are called blackouts where you would go for days and days high on drugs and alcohol many times not even eating just go on a binge and you blackout you don't even know what's going on on one such weekend after my mother thought he was doing better with his drug addiction he had fallen off of the wagon which she didn't know and that particular night that we can he took we and my brothers for my 10th birthday and. Unfortunately he was drugged out and we were with him for that weekend and we went got some food in some movies a video rental shop and he went and rented a couple of pornographic movies we got back to my grandmother's house which Gramma wasn't there for the weekend and. He gave me my 1st beer at the ripe old age of 10 you're a young man now you're going to drink like a man so I got my 1st beer when I was 10 my to my uttered amazement I look back now my father after we watched our kids' movies he put those pornos on and all 4 of us sat there and watched these pornos little 10 year old a 7 year old and a 5 year old and needless to say when you're on drugs you make horrific decisions in fact the front part of the brain the prefrontal cortex in that frontal lobe is specifically impacted and you don't make moral decisions indeed the capacity for moral decision making has been drunk and or drug and so he was not making decisions that were healthy for us children and unfortunately it went beyond that. Later that night he molested me and my middle brother Aaron and this was another secret that we would keep We wouldn't tell Mom we wouldn't tell anybody I didn't want to get in trouble I didn't want to get dad in trouble I just wanted my my mom to love me but she had largely checked out emotionally one of my dad to love me but he was on drugs and hurting me and I wanted my stepdad to love me maybe he'll work out maybe a 2nd death will help but no he was beating us and abusing us and was controlling our lives and frankly I began doing crazy things to her myself. I started hurting myself I started trying to make it all look like an accident. And even began fantasizing about killing myself and so when our life keeping secrets lying to maintain this facade and I became increasingly hopeless we 3 brothers were extremely violent with each other we were oppressed we were beaten down and trapped and we were just acting out what had been modeled for us as children we were all Oprah's beaten down and trapped and we were not seeing that there was going to be a way out in fact I just wanted to end it all I didn't want to go through it anymore we were truly heavy laden confused just young men looking for someone that care for us and take care of us you know I look back and I think you know home is supposed to be your safe place you know like the world is out there and they want to get they're going to hurt you but I had no safe place my home was the place that was the worst and so frankly being out with friends and out in the world was safer that's really backwards thinking but that was my reality this terrible life continued until I was a sophomore in high school nearly 10 years and living with this horrible man. This horrible brokenness and suffering but somehow someway in fact I believe and I want to know who that person was and by God's grace I'll find out when I'm in heaven I'm going to I want to find out who was the one that was praying God into my life. Do you realize that we're in a great controversy and that I was living in say tannic occupied territory and less God is prayed in he is not welcome and able to be there do you understand this is how it works so friends if you have people in your life when you pray you move the arm of omnipotence in other people's lives Amen prayer is legit prayer is powerful keep praying for your family members keep praying for your friends pray for those neighbors pray for those Abused children whatever it may be because I believe God eventually was prayed into or there was like seem like a dearth before but then things started happening and when they started happening they started happening in rapid succession because somehow someway I began talking to a counselor at a high school and I just said I I got to tell you what's going on with my friend I couldn't I didn't want them I didn't know how it works where they're going to go and tell my parents I've been out talking to them about some really bad stuff and then he really takes my life to a worse level so I just didn't want to I didn't know how it worked and eventually she knew it was me I think from the beginning and eventually we came up with the plan. And I sat my parents down and I said I've been talking to someone at school you know I think of Deuteronomy 316 Be strong and of a good courage I wish somebody would have taught me these scriptures that there was some sort of power outside of me that I could look to and I could think about like could I could pray to and I could find some strength I didn't have any of that perspective what oh what a blessing to be raised as a Christian I didn't have it and so that the do drop $3016.00 is be strong and of a good courage fear not nor be afraid of them don't be afraid of that person that's hurting you. For the Lord thy God he is to go with the he will not fail you nor forsake you and if you go and say something's been happening in my life something is is not going well it's not right and you talk to somebody that's a Christian that has some that has some perspective and has some strength and power in their life and that comes from God They will help you get the help you need they will eventually I face them and I declared that the abuse was going to stop and I didn't sit there and go the abuse will stop I you know know I was I was a terrified young person looking at the face of this man that had been controlling our lives for almost a decade but I had a phone number and if anything went wrong there was going to be investigations the police would come and it would be over I knew it was because I knew what we were living through was criminal and so through a series of events by the way that night as I sat there and I talked to her and to to him might my mother and my stepdad I just sat there and he got up when I said this and he was so mad punch in the walls yell and scream and profanities which was his normal way ran off to the back stormed off to the back of his the house where his bedroom was my mother was sitting there I was sitting there and I'm like I did it. I mean like you know that do you understand like I've been beaten down man you don't talk back or you get the worst and now I'm telling this Dude you ain't touching me that's huge You're not going to touch my mother anymore and my brothers anymore and he's off they're my mom's looking at me and then she looks software where he went looks back at me and I'm like you know and she goes after him. I remember just like what. And she came back within just a few minutes he had twisted little brain up as fast as he could she came back why are you doing this to us I'll get in trouble too because I spank you as a mother you spank us what the wooden spoon and we're like oh oh that's so tender you don't give me a break she didn't see it but God worked through I believe God worked through a series of events which eventually brought my mother to a place to where she woke up and she planned our own scape she arranged for the police to be present the morning that she would tell my step dad that she was leaving our extended family was scheduled to come with a moving truck and we that morning came by the way I had gone through the house and emptied out all of the ammunition in the different pistols and guns and rifles and shotguns that we had my 10th birthday from my step dad I got a shotgun my 1st shotgun and got the drugs and the other stuff I mean now and stuff for my other dad what a great life right. And so here I am emptying out all the ammunition and I stuck it under my bed the night before and I'm sleeping on this pant power Cade through the night waiting for hear my mother to tell him and she tells him the police are there he says Syria need to leave he was upset if you don't leave we're going to arrest you and my family members showed up and we loaded up frankly just a few things and we were out of there we took off we this was in central California in a little town called Mantega and we moved up about 30 miles north closer to Sacramento to a little town named Lodi California and so we escaped and we were free. Praise the Lord we were free you know what's so cool to me is that we escaped on a sabbath day. The Lord freed us on the 7th. What a beautiful thing we worked we labored but God understood him and so we escaped in the night when we got to my new high school and my brothers we got to that new area I just decided to reinvent myself I didn't tell anybody about our past I just and my mom divorced my dad and you know they didn't have a good marriage and we went on forward I never told anybody what was what happened I just chose in spite of my past to go forward that doesn't happen all the time it doesn't happen all the time people will get stuck the get stuck and they get kind of like in this loop where they get stuck and then there's triggers and I don't have time to get into all this if you want to see more and how this all works I have a 3 hour D.V.D. of our story and you can there's a lot of lessons and things on there and I encourage you get some of them given to people that are struggling and so I just decided I was going to go forward I didn't want to let my past define me I don't know how I made the choice but I knew why I made the choice I didn't want to be like my ex stepfather and I didn't want to be like my biological father I was going to do drugs I was going to do alcohol I wasn't going to be abusive I was going to be a victim and you are not going to have my your way with me in my mind anymore because what I eventually found out later and discovered later was those of us who have gone through really deep victimizations the challenges we can continue to keep the victimization going by choosing to keep going back there and living there and staying there and never progressing and then at that point frankly they're no longer abusing us were abusing ourselves that's a tough one for us victims to figure out but it's true and I've met a Savior and He knows how to free us but I'm getting ahead of the story. So anyway the hard life that I had frankly it forge some strength and resilience in me and I didn't realize it but I would need it later as I became a 7th they have in a speech are talking about one of the biggest subjects in all of the church music. We escaped and moved to a new town and that my new high school I found escape in the theater arts Interestingly enough my grades improved my my attitude was improving I was healthily challenged by a public high school teacher in fact this man played a profound role in my life he became a father figure to me and I want to encourage you educators that are here tonight you some of you already know the impact you've made on people's lives because you've been here long enough and they've become Back to you years later and said Wow you really helped me through and I just want to say God bless you in the work that you're doing here at Heartland and I encourage you to keep going and don't get weary and will doing it will pay spiritual dividends on one of those people now it wasn't through places as amazing as heartland it was to a public high school in California but it was through an amazing teacher he took interest in me in fact he eventually became a father figure I even started calling him dad in a public high school you know do that and he started secretly calling me son you don't do that either big time. But what was interesting was it's exactly what my broken heart needed because in my Imagine this in my picture men were the devil a father figure whole I was going to meet a father in heaven but imagine this a father figure this why didn't want a father that was in heaven because I had heard that this is Father in heaven is very much like mice evil step that I was living with if you steal a piece of gum you'll burn in hell forever if you don't confess it what little tiny thing you do eat charnel consequence. Yeah God sounded like my evil step dad and I wanted nothing to do with them it's it's quite a miracle quite a testament that I stand before you as a preacher has preached all over the world no it's amazing. So eventually this teacher began challenging me and wanted me to step up even higher and go beyond where I was I was just skating through school and he's like That's not good enough you need to get a higher grade average you can't just have a C. average to be in these shows I'm I'm allowing you to audition for you need to have a B. average I said that's not very sad too bad I'm your father. And so when I when got be this and I succeeded and it started to well up inside of me that I liked this feeling of success I liked doing something more I was always told I'd never amount to anything and now I was amounting to something I was doing good in school and I was getting the lead roles in the shows I was additionally for I was getting pats on the back for the 1st time in my life and my head started going like like this for the 1st time in my life. My ego was being stroked and filled and unfortunately that's you when you do it the wrong way that's not healthy. My brothers went in entirely opposite direction when we moved out they got involved in drugs and alcohol my youngest brother began using when he was 12 years old Aaron when we moved out he was 14 and he got involved in drugs and alcohol as well and their life would prove to be a mess for the next 20 plus years. My mother remarried to a new man his name is Richard or we call him Rick and he is a good man praise the Lord she finally found a good one both began regularly attending church he was raised as a Christian and lived as a Christian and because of my brother's broken choices frankly the 2 of them went through a lot of very difficult times trying to raise these young teenagers I graduate from high school I started went to college and started working for a T.V. station and there I got into television and video production and I work from what was called back then a tape operator to cameras to directing to editing script writing and eventually grew into producing commercials that went on television and I did that in rapid succession I just took to it I continued my acting into Civic Theatre and in Civic Theatre I continued winning awards and always getting the lead roles and then from there I morphed into not morphed I a graduated into professional theatre and continued to get lead roles and win awards there while I was learning television not learning a new more producing television I started a company with 2 friends which eventually grew into 3 separate companies and we were wildly successful making tremendous amounts of money we had 32 employees and life was good and so I think in life passes behind me the whole future's ahead of me but life is good and my brothers were diving deeper into their addictions they're now in jail they are now my youngest brother Brandon is now a junkie and he is he's really in a bad way and both of them had children out of that result had a relationship that resulted in children and they were neglecting their children just as much as our father had neglected us. And so. My my my my life was gone and a great way of my mother's was gone in a great way she was having to struggle and deal with her others sons and at the age of 24 Now the bottom fell out from under me I lost everything my business partner had embezzled our companies into the ground and I at the ripe old age of 24 had a 6 figure bankruptcy in other words a lot of money I couldn't save my businesses the programming of my childhood frankly disrobing out loud and clear and I couldn't save them and I lost it I failed and it ruined my credit back then and I lost my friends I lost everything I even lost my sports car I lost everything called my mom said Can I move back in with you I got to get back on my feet somehow and she said absolutely and again I'm just thankful I decided I'm just going to go forward I'm not going to let the loss of this whole thing that I thought I was on track to be a millionaire before long before I was 30 and I'm like that whole dream was shattered and so I do believe that God was out work because the 1st job that I got when I called all the producers that I work for I said look guys I'm back in the production game and I'll take any job that you have in production I don't care what it is I don't care if you want me to pull cables or direct or edit something or write something I'm in shortly after I get a phone call from a producer and he says I have a job it's 4 days 3 cameras you'll direct it do you want it what's it pay OK I'll take the job I don't care what it bad I needed every kind of work I could get interesting Lee enough I find myself going to the Lodi great festival grounds looking for a man named Danny Vieira. Some of you were giggling because you know who Danny Vieira was Danny I didn't know it was a 7th Day Adventist health reform or and here I am just taking this job because I needed money and I go there and I I find myself looking for Danny I said Danny I did how you doing my name's Chris by the way I didn't go by the name Christian even though it's my birth name I didn't want to be associated with Christians so I went by the name Chris and so I said I My name is Chris let's talk about camera positions and how we want to set things up show me the venue and so I'm like you know do we need maybe like a hand-held remote camera for your your tent demonstrations or whatever you're doing because I I knew it was a camping meeting that's all I knew it was a camping meeting so I grew up camping and I thought OK what are they going to do I don't know they're going to talk about camping and certain ways to find good places you pitch your tent in you know a demo high altitude cookstoves or I don't know what they're going to do but then he said camp what do you mean tent it goes Oh no I'm in the. Because I was silly and I didn't understand what a camp meeting was he goes No no no no these are religious meetings that people can't that. Oh. Great. My life in my mind had sunk as low as it possibly could I'm now shooting religious content. I felt like my production production days were over quickly what's interesting is Danny and I have build a friendship Danny was this crazy guy talking about Daniel and Daniel is diet and it's a funny story I don't have time to get into it because he's he's talking about polls and I'm thinking Paul says you know your polls you know and and I'm thinking there's vampires in the Bible all this crazy stuff you know and he and so I finally figured out was talking about vegetables we talked about how his his body was built on plants and not dead animals in their stomachs not a cemetery 1st dead animals and all and I was like whoa I mean my brain was totally bent in in a good way though because it made him you know here's I'm a worldly heathen as suspect killer is you can be and I'm like that makes sense. And I explained it later I believe I didn't meet Jesus but I I could say I was introduced to him through the eye of the camera as they sat in that truck directing that 4 day event and Danny be friended me and eventually I would go on to shoot some of his. Programs and different messages at his church I brought this young lady that I had met name Coby and she just absolutely hated it she wanted nothing to do she became my wife later and she wanted nothing to do with this religious stuff and this religious guy because I mean she was far more heathen than I was definitely. And what's interesting is everything I started to focus in on and work on things were exciting and they were exploding and things were going well and I met this new guy and Danny and I became friends but I was the problem was I I met that young lady Koby and and I just was never able to open up my heart completely to her because I had so much damage I didn't trust. People and I had built up a lot of walls and eventually Colby and I became an item and I did ask her to be my girlfriend and we moved in together actually with a 3rd roommate who was a 7th Day Adventist and we eventually went to Santa Barbara we moved there because I was going to go to film school they had a great. Liberal arts college there with an amazing film school and while I was getting ready to go to school I prolonging it forward to enter into the next semester and I began to put my resume out there and I got job offers all over the place I started working as a and independent contractor and working for P.B.S. and Nickelodeon E.S.P.N. and my resume explode and I was doing some amazing shoots and I delayed it even another semester because it was really a lot of fun I was making a lot of money which I had to pay for college anyway so I needed save up some money got Koby pregnant and that started to rattle my cage a little bit wait a minute whoa OK I'm going to be a dad here OK probably not film school anymore I need to save money on will be a daddy and I was terrified I did not know the 1st thing about being a father all I had was horrible models in my life so I was really terrified at 4 and a half months we lost the baby. And that was rough we moved to Arizona where Kobe's parents moved to and we started taking a step backwards in our relationship but really in the world's eyes we were starting to take steps forward in God's eyes we decided to not to be intimate with one another and we decided to not even live with each other because it was too hard we really were attracted to each other and so we decided I'm going to move out understand by this time I owned a bible I had quote unquote given my heart to Jesus at a big convention but it was just like a transaction I was told to give your heart to Jesus because you're a sinner and now you get to go to heaven so once saved always saved I'm like Well that sounds like a legitimate trads action I'd be silly not to do it in case it happens to be real so I became a Christian I guess and I started listening to Christian radio and I had a Bible never opened it or read it which my parents gave me my mom and my step dad Rick. And I was not cussing anymore and I had already become a vegan vegetarian because Danny helped me through a health crisis and so I was like on the trajectory of becoming a better version of myself if you will and. I'm going to go real quick now we lost the baby move to Arizona I could not find a job in production I'm now working at different jobs and move out move in with a friend of mine a coworker who is the absolute opposite of who I am now and it just made the water was just turning I think the Lord was saying hey angels watch what's going to happen next because eventually I had decided to go and see my friend Danny in Arizona in California where my family was and to see my family as well I got there we prayed I tell him everything that was going on in my life and he was like wow that's amazing That's incredible that it and I was like No it's terrible what are you talking about you know I'm no longer intimate with my girlfriend I've been stepping out I'm living with this horrible guy and I can't find a job production is a Chris Chris I told you and he always Actually he called me Christian when he found out what my name was Christian he refused to call me Chrissy go Christian and I'm like stop calling me that and he'd say Christian the Lord has has got a calling for your life he's got a calling on your life and like I don't know what that means but he always said that to me and he said you know what I could use a guy like you come work for the ministry I was like in my mind like you know my girls in Arizona I'm a professional production guy you have these little toy cameras no I'm not going to I'm not going to come work for you you don't even do this stuff right you know and so amazingly that's what I was thinking but what came out of my mouth was all take the job. And I think it was the lord going I'll take the job you know so anyway. I did I took the job and I prayed about it within me I didn't really pray he said he was going to pray and I took the job and I was shocked at how much it didn't pay. And I had debt I had I mean I had stuff I had to pay back and I'm like well I'll just be broke. And so I wound up going back to Kobe and telling her I'm moving to California and I'm going to go to work for that guy Danny and she's like. Have fun with that one and so I moved over there and Danny said you know what since it was it was the 1st Saturday and he said I got there on a Friday so you know if you're going to work for me you need to understand why I'd like you to understand why I am. A 7th Day Adventist why I keep the Sabbath the way that I do and why I don't do any work and I never paid you when you came and shot the book I said you know the study it out so we started out and I remember sitting there saying to Danny when we were done with that very long Sabbath study it was hours long but I was fascinated by I've always been an intense intensive inquisitive guy and when he shared all that and every hence or was right there in that Bible I thought before the Bible was this kind of a myth the coal sort of a weird thing you had to kind of fellow I guess I kind of see it it was so clear I was like I asked him Is everything you believe that clear he said Christian and everything I believe is that clear in the Bible and I know it. And I thought for a 2nd I said Well. I'll probably become a 7th they have and. He said yes you will. True story. I don't know how he knew that but true story and then I'm sitting there the next Sabbath and I were in his family room and next to this it was it was wintertime it was it was getting there and and we're sitting there bias fireplace and he had big library over here and and I saw this on the spine a prophet of destiny and I said oh what's that because I thought prophets were cool I used to read Nostradamus and different ones and I thought I had no problem with the Prophet I didn't know God had prophets and so when he said all this about a prophet of God and her story and so I go can I borrow that he goes yeah go ahead and just like kind of mean almost nothing of it which was good for me because I'm not like you. Know I would've been like whoa whoa whoa you know and he was just like Yeah sure go ahead if you want to so I took it I read the whole thing is a pretty decent sized book read it Sabbath and that Sunday I came back and I went I said Danny and I and I misquoted her name I said Did you know that Allonby wife was a prophet I mean she's a prophet he goes I know Ellen G. White is a prophet and I said Do you have anything that she's written he said be home. So I was like what she Ritchie wrote that is like oh yeah I go why do I start he goes let me let me give you a little one he pulled out this little book called steps to Christ by the way if anybody here is don't have it's never read the book or you don't have a copy in your home out of my little table over here shepherds call we have some free steps to Christ for you that book changed my life straight up I mean when I started reading the book. And I was like wow I didn't really know the stuff the plan of salvation I didn't know the plan so vision I didn't know anything so for me I was like whoa the my eyes started being open then after I read that he said Now go back and grab that Bible that you have that you've only been in one time which was a Sabbath started the week before and I want you to I want you to study every single Scripture that was referenced in that book and the reader from that top page to this page and a little bit more if you need to every scripture and so I went back through it and then it's like you're done already I'm like yeah this is awesome because what do I do now what do I read now it goes here's a nother book it'll take you a little bit time desire of ages. 87 chapters I think and I just went through this and I went through it and he's like You're done has it I could get all right go back through and look up every single scripture reference I'm like done and I just went and I went and I went and I went and then it by this time it was Christmas time and he gave me a gift he gave me the conflict of the ages series the 5 volume set hardbound beautiful set he said this by the way if you want your Ph D. in theology read it through go back through it look up every single scripture reference understand it in context and don't move on until you do you'll have your P.H.D. So I got my Ph D.. And frankly what I found was much more than that what I found was a savior what I found was a father in heaven who wanted to do everything he possibly could to save Christian Berdahl. And that was a revolutionary thought. And it changed my life and found a father that loved me so much that he wanted to spend eternity with me I found a father that didn't want to hurt me I found a father that wanted to help me in GROW me and nurture me and give me everything I needed to be successful on this planet I found a father that promised that he would make me a complete man I found a father that had a son and his name was Jesus Christ and that Jesus loved me so much that he died for me. Still gets me every time he died while I hated him. And I became a Christian named Christian. And then he began to teach me and he began to heal me and that was quite profound to lift the burdens that I've carried my whole life and I found a scripture that broke my heart and still does. Come unto me all you that labor and heavy labor and I will give you rest I didn't know what a real rest was yet and I was about to experience it because I just broke and I gave Christ everything I started downloading and it was a long process lots of crying lots of tears lots of anger lots of pounding the hitting the floor and sometimes literally I understand what it when it says that Christ dug his When using a simile dug his hands into the earth as though he's been pulled from it I had that kind of experience I dislike it was like the great controversy going on the swirls of the devil in craziness but I was being held by Christ in and it started to change my thinking in fix and repair my heart. I didn't fix it all overnight because I had gotten into this mode of laboring for the approval of the world and my friends and everybody in every If you didn't like me I couldn't quite handle that because that you have to understand there was a trigger for me you know if if I did something wrong it upset you then it was it wasn't just a little thing it was a really big thing the reaction was horrible inside of my mind and even though I had been physically freed from my past and I had moved forward by strong decisions I was never truly freed in my mind it's like I was running away from all of it didn't want to deal with it but God was like we're going to we're going to open it we're going to crack it open and I'm going to take it and I'm going to cast it into the depths of the ocean and you don't go fishing for it man these are these are these are lessons that some people spend years in therapy to understand but God was able and then why I was willing I was willing are you are you willing to let God take you through the hard stuff to grow you up as a calf in the stall because he's got great things in store for you but if you're bound by your past or you're bound by your stinking thinking then he can't take you to where he needs to get you is that right it is I was heavy laden I was never free in my mind or in my emotions and I didn't realize that up until this point I was never really freed to love and to receive love the way that God was going to eventually grow me into this is why I believe God separated me from Koby because I was not good enough for her yet and I needed to have my eyes refocused to him. My husband in heaven and I'm now the bride of Christ and I needed to have that focus for a while and so 10 months had gone through and I was I realized I had been to self focused even even my prayers when I 1st became a Christian were all so focused I needed a miracle I needed a new heart and now I was in the Word of God and I found these equal 3626 God promised me he said a new heart also will I give you not mean make That's what some people want to do if I just do this this and this and distant things are going to get better no God said surrender to me and I will give you a new heart and I will put a new spirit within you and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh and I will give you a heart of flesh god god god god and then well far too many advantages are me me me me me it doesn't work doesn't work I tried it by the way venture became a fair sing I got I got along testimony and I'm going to run out of time I think I got like what 10 minutes left and I have like 30 years still to cover. So I learned that as long as I walk with God and be given every resource to be safe I need someone to give me time cards so I know because I've got to I want to get to some points and I've got a I've got to wrap it up properly and yes I figured out I had an amazing father I didn't know this before and he believes in us and he wants to help us and they feel us and to set us free I'm living proof that Luke 418 is true the spirit of the Lord is upon me he that is annoying to be to preach the Gospel to the poor he had sent me to heal the broken hearted Amen not keep them where they are to preach deliverance to the captives all deliver you Christian. And the recovering of sight to the blind and to set at liberty them which are bruised Oh I had plenty of those and my heart my spirit my mind was broken was bruised and it needed deliverance and so do you all of a struggle different things give it to Lord if you can help me you can help you and indeed he did help me I'm a changed man compared to who I used to be this is my testimony God is alive and well this is my testimony and man is your god alive and well God loves me this is my testimony God loves you this is my testimony is God done with me you know this is my testimony is he done with you know this is your testimony God can fix this broken universe this broken world his broken church and he can fix you his broken child he is that powerful if we let him 5 minutes Lord have mercy. This is just really unkind to do to a speaker. So I was set free what some things rather quickly other things like true forgiveness took much longer and deep forgiveness Eventually I did forgive my mother and we've rebuilt a relationship and she she and I have a beautiful relationship right now and we have for many years eventually my brothers came to the Lord in prison both of them both involved in drugs and alcohol and drug manufacturing and drug dealing and both of them met their maker in the prison system in fact they've both been clean respectively Brandon for 11 years and Aaron now for 5 years they got married they're now attentive active parents and they're engaged and they're productive members of society and they both Minister for the Lord amen and then God eventually took Koby and I away from doubt a modern manna we serve there for 2 and a half years we went to another ministry in the Midwest and worked there for 3 years and eventually I became a fair a C. and I started mat maximizing and looking at all the do's and all the don'ts and for getting and Jesus became clouded by all of my you righteousness can anybody understand what I'm talking about here come on I know you can and I started having this struggle and then God put told me Go sell everything that you have Christian and we bought a little motor home or what around the entire country for a year and I'm telling you what I found God's people like I had never found before and I found encouragement I found disappointment I found all these things but I found my Savior before you know it radically revolutionary change my mind and change my heart again so much so that Kobe's father that wanted nothing to do with me and her mother was terrified for her daughter they were now like we're very pleased that you are our daughter's husband. You're you're a good man Christian keep doing what you're doing that's a real a call may be a good husband are you kidding me may be a good father because eventually we wound up having 2 boys and we raise them in the nurture and admonition of the Lord the 1st Christians to be raised in our families whole new paradigm now Amen Get thee behind me Satan we are a new brand of family here that's good stuff Amen and so we continued to go Tyler was born we stepped out in this new ministry we called it chef or god named it shepherds call ministry back in 1909 my 2nd born son Michael was born and we simply prayed a prayer Lord of this is what you want me to do you need to make the phone ring I'm not going to go around going hi can I come to your church and preach it no no no you make the phone ring a little bit of pride still but God was working with me. And you know what 1000 years later that phone has not stopped ringing we have been all over this world and all over this country every state but Alaska and I have been in. 6 of the 7 continents on this planet in front of countless people from thousands upon thousands to 5 people in a living room in New Zealand wherever God wants that's where we go Amen and what a joy to serve the Lord what a joy God continued to open the doors in still does and I met that that Lord I met my Lord and he and I learned how to work I learned how to work with him every day and surrender to His plans and not my own in 2004 a face to what was called the Cholesky of Toma which is an inner ear tumor which had taken my hearing and I had a radical surgery they basically cut my ear off laid it on my face went in there and drilled out 80 percent of my mastoid but friends I had so grown close with the Lord that as I was doing this and lost my hearing now I'm a singer in a speaker losing hearing that's a tough thing for a singer and so I'm like Lord I'm yours this is your year I'm bought with a price do whatever you want to do and he helped me to learn how to sing with it's not impossible to sing with one ear little difficult at 1st but you really learn I lose my stereo image which is kind of lame but I still can enjoy music and listening to things but God I can tell you through that whole trial why I was told get your affairs in order we don't know if it's interview brain we cannot tell if so it can be deadly You may not make it off the operating room table I can tell you God gave me I had learned to surrender I had perfect peace through the whole thing. God has been good and so eventually it leads to my my father in law coming to work for us in the ministry he eventually gives his heart to Jesus Christ my mother in law came and worked after my wife contract in line disease and struggled struggled intensely with it she wound up going from healthy active mommy jumping on the trampoline and hiking and biking too I'm in a wheelchair with the neck brace to hold my head up God helped us through natural remedies it took as many years but eventually we beat the Lyme disease but what she has now is de Milo a nation of the central nervous system and for the last 10 years we've been struggling with that and she is increasingly becoming. More limited and life is really hard and so we've had our ups and downs and we're strong in the Lord now we've had some struggling times I mean I started bargaining with God I wish I had time to get into all this with you I started bargaining with God and just said you know. You heal her I'll do whatever you want you don't heal her I'm thinking I don't want to serve you anymore I mean I'm just telling you honestly where I was and I haven't publicly confessed all that the reality was I was really struggling with it all and finally because I would sit there and say Why Lord we're actually a couple that want to serve you until you come or till we die there's not a lot of people doing that today and we're told from The Stir prophecy where there is one there should be $99.00 more so we're like 99 percent understaffed and she's struggling just below will serve you we're going to serve you anyway but please pretty please. No no why and I stopped asking why and God finally impressed in my heart and we started saying why not us why not us suffer and struggle. 3 years ago I I get a fire all infection I'm a speaker and singer I couldn't even speak anymore we were shooting a in our studio we had built a studio in everything in New Mexico and I couldn't talk anymore I thought I was having a stroke I couldn't talk I couldn't even vocalize anymore what was going on viral infection paralyzed my vocal cords paralyzed the side of my mouth what Lord I'm a preacher and a singer are you kidding me eventually I got my my speaking voice back now therefore going I will be the mouth and I will teach you what thou shall say all right but I was down why do I now go points and I did point and it was very embarrassing for me but I did and eventually over the last 3 to half years I've been working very hard I now speak with a normal voice and I've just been released to start singing again after 3 and a half years of work pray for me next week I leave here go to Marilyn I have to have surgery so pray next Tuesday pray for Brother Christian I need my stomach doesn't close I lost that as well so I have acid and burning and all that stuff and I'm not saying Well well well what I'm saying is through it all when you're connected God gives you peace that's a mirror that is a revelation that he is alive and well amen I think I'm out of time aren't I All right time is up that's what they're saying. Anyway my boys now are 18 and 20 they no longer live with us they're out on their own they're make becoming men and they're working and last November we were impressed to sell everything that we had understand we had a commercial greenhouse we had an orchard we had our barn we had a big ministry building with the studio and offices and everything and I had spent 10 years building all of this living by the blueprint as much as I could and God said sell it all surely this must be the devil. And so we prayed through it but it was the Lord and God work through miracles and we sold everything everything without even putting it on the market and we decided to buy 5th wheel trailer and go on the road full time and I'm going to tell you when you do it God calls you to do it's the most satisfying position you can be in as a Christian too many Christians are stuck in a mediocre Christianity in a frankly a mediocre religion and what I learned was that religion doesn't save one person but Jesus Christ can and truth does and valid truth can set us free Amen and so I want to encourage you even though that was kind of a a small a very quick representation of what we went through I'll stop with these 2 with this last thing. For 20 years I prayed for my mother and my step dad that they would come to the truth they were at our house about a year and a half ago it was getting to be it was Christmas time they came out for the holiday and they wanted to they were sitting in our They wanted to join our Bible studies in the morning and at that in our staff meetings and we were sorting through the great controversy we happened to be in the section where I was talking about the change of the sacredness of Sabbath to Sunday and my mom was like we were in and she said didn't you tell us that before and I said yes and so they said would you study that out with us now after 20 years of praying I got to finally have my 1st Bible study with my mom and my stepdad we studied out the Sabbath my mom started crying and I said was wrong mom and she turned and looked at my dad and said well what are we going to do now and he said we're going to find a new church. And we started studying together took us about 18 months to go through everything that we believe we are studying we've been on the road the wife and I've been on the road but we started studying through Face Time and my parents have accepted absolutely everything that we believe a 7th Day Adventist and I'm going to get to baptize them this winter is not amazing So this is been a really quick overview of my testimony. But the reality is that God can take each one of us from broken to breakthrough my brother Aaron our Brandon from broken to breakthrough he now goes back into prisons and tells his story and leading people to Jesus Christ from broken to break through Aaron now is President of what's called Soldiers of the Cross a motorcycle group that goes in the inner cities and talks about drugs and drugs and drug abuse and he leads souls to Jesus Christ from broken to break through Amen my mother found Christ and now she goes back into Salvation Army and was instrumental in building a woman's shelter for battered women and their children and she said certain ministers to these young ladies because my mom is kind of a yuppie now she's got some money and she looks kind of sophisticated and they're like when she sits there and talks and says yeah I know what you're going through like no you don't know and she tells her sort of like oh you do and you're going to get through it and she witnesses from broken to break through Amen and for me and for Koby and for my in-laws and then my biological father comes and says he calls up on the phone one day i'm sorry i'm taken a couple more minutes he calls and other production people are upset about that please forgive me and have grace almost done and make this is important my friends my biological father calls the ministry and he says I hear my by my father in law take the call Yeah OK you know Christian OK just a moment in the guy's upset and crying calls a Christian to take a call there's a man on who says he knows you can barely make out what he's saying he's upset and I pick up the phone he says Christian it's dad now you have to understand I had not talked to that man for nearly 17 years I think it was. Because he was sober for almost 20 years but still didn't want us kids in his life and so that was harder for me yeah you're so over but now let's maybe we can rebuild No I don't want anything I don't want anything I don't and he was an intensely selfish man and he's crying and saying Dad what's going on I didn't call him Dad So what's going on why did you call with what he says I don't know how it happened I don't know how it happened but I was I was on my computer and he's not a really computer literate guy you come to find out and up on the screen comes a video of you giving your testimony all of my testimony. And and he said Did you sit on there that I molested you and your brother is that true did I do that I said yes or you did. You just lost it can you ever forgive me can you ever forgive me friends I want to tell you God had already given me forgiveness from my mother she had already give me forgiveness for my evil step dad and he had already given me forgiveness for this man that had neglected me and never done anything but harm me and I had already forgiven I said I forgave you a long time ago now it's time for you to forgive yourself you need to take it to God and He will forgive and I prayed with him right there and he gave his heart to Jesus Christ from broken to break through. This is produced this media was brought to you by audio verse a website dedicated to spreading God's word through free sermon audio and much more if you would like to know more about yours or if you would like to listen to more service leave a Visit W W W dot. Org.

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