Jonathan C Holeman's Testimony

 Jonathan C. Holeman’s Testimony


“I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live”                                Deuteronomy 30:19


My mind became a vast decaying empire of miser and sorrow.  I’d lost everything I’d ever owned.  I’d failed ever one who ever cared for me.  I was 22 years old and facing the death penalty. 

I had no spiritual upbringing and had been addicted to drugs since grade school.  My mind and heart had grown numb.  I did care, but not for myself.  I cared about those who loved me, how my actions had hurt them.  I cared about all the pain and misery I’d caused.  It ate at me like a billion little pin pricks ripping away the veil of falsehood that I gathered around me like a mask to hide myself from others.

            Years passed and my destructive behavior continued.  Eventually I ended up completely segregated from others permanently and the anger and hatred I had for myself began to fade as I started reading God’s words again.  I’d turned to many religions over the years, even accepted and rejected Christ and though I became lost, our Heavenly Father did not give up.  “What man of you, having an hundred sheep, if he lose one of them, doth not leave the ninety and nine in the wilderness, and go after that which is lost, until he find I”?                   Luke 15:4

            I didn’t come to God seeking forgiveness asking for eternal life or knocking on church doors trying to find the “right” doctrine.  I came to God seeking peace and it was given to me and all the rest in time as well.  “Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.                        Mathew 7:7-8.

            When I was 30 years old, still a sinner, yet content and free within, after almost 9 years waiting in jail, my trial finally began.  The process took nearly 6 months of being chained; hand, waist and ankles daily for hours on end.  With little food or rest I sat listening to the pains and sorrows I’d caused.  Some days I read Gods words in court, one day I read; “But with me it is a very small thing that I should be judged of you, or of man's judgment: yea, I judge not mine own self. For I know nothing by myself; yet am I not hereby justified: but he that judgeth me is the Lord”  1 Corinthians 4:3-4, and laid it all in God’s hands.

            I was convicted in the guilt phase.  A death penalty trial has two phases, first a jury decides your guilt, and second the same jury decides whether to give you life without the possibility of parole or the death penalty. 

            I took the stand in my penalty phase, admitted my involvement and told the jury of all my violated rights that I tried to plead guilty and asked for a speedy trial.  That my own attorneys lied; even though I asked them not too and millions of tax payer’s dollars were wasted.  Then they were shown some of my art and published poetry.  They were told of those who loved me.  It was all in God’s hands, I was not nervous or stressed.  Either outcome was only mans judgment.   God was my Judge and He had already judged everyone in the past.  He judged us all with love.   “But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” Romans 5:8 and “For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved”                                      John 3:17.

            One of the reasons my jury decided not to give me the death penalty was due to my art and poetry.  Art and writing are one of the wonderful ways we can create and express beauty and emotion.  With those creations we can help make the world a little better with each and every piece.

            I live in a box surrounded by cold and bitter man made stones.  I’ll be locked in for 24 hours a day.  I was a terrible person, convicted of robberies, burglary, auto theft, weapons, drug charges, even murders and attempted murders, both inside and outside the system.  I was one of the most undeserving of men, yet, even in a situation like my own, there can be a freedom in your heart and mind; a flowing river of knowledge, a release from the prison of dark trees of memories with roots of never forgotten sorrows and branches of broken hope in your mind, a light to erase the black and shadowed places in your heart.  That freedom is the freedom of choice, life or death.  A choice we all have.  “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord” Romans 6:23 and “I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live”
               Deuteronomy 30:


Greatest Gift From God

My greatest gift from God
Wasn’t found inside a garden
Wasn’t bought off or begotten
My greatest gift from God
Was a smile on her face
My child’s lasting love
With her beauty and her grace
Knowing that she has
An eternity of life
Is the greatest gift of God
Through Jesus Christ’s
Final sacrifice.


In a deep and dark and dreary place

with a foundation bound in waters;

pushing up stream, against the current

struggling in the wrong direction

to get to nowhere, where no one cares.

To an empire of fire, dirt and sand.

To be a man with his head hung low

and tears upon his face in disgrace

until he lets his pain and misery go.

No longer fighting in the currents

accepting truth belief and trust

As a newborn in a mother’s arms

Falling down stream, flowing to a river

And guided to a deep ocean of eternity and love.


We are lambs lost in a wilderness of woes
In our lands of distrust, devoid of love
Memories of unforgotten sorrows
Clasping hands looking for hope from above
Show us the way through trees of distant dreams
And bring us the truth buried in our roots
Be the light in the dark to end our screams
A Sheppard of truth to show us the way
And guide us through the dark we face every day.

I hope this testimony has been a blessing to you. If you would like to read how others in similar situations have experienced the life transforming power of God please write to me at the address below. We now have over 40 testimonies of those whose lives have been transformed by God’s amazing Grace. Please send us your testimony as well. We also would like artwork and poetry to share with others.

Bro. Otto Ball C/o
Crossroads Ministry
P.O. Box 363
Hyde, PA 16843

All poetry and artwork on this testimony done by: Jonathan C. Holeman