Lynne Bradley: Born Again, Spirit Filled, Jewish Singer, Author, Poet, Comedienne

 

Lynne Bradley

 

I was brought up in a loving home in North London. My father came from a devout Jewish family. Mum however, although Jewish, had attended a Catholic school. The nuns told her she was going to burn in hell for all eternity because she’d killed someone called Jesus. So you could say my Jewish family was partly traditional, partly liberal and very confused!

I always wanted to be a ballet dancer. My first role, aged three was very prophetic…a little lamb who had lost her way! I missed my entrance, came in late, got my own applause and was forever hooked on show business. When I was eleven I went to study ballet at the Arts Educational boarding school. I studied ballet in marble rooms and ceilings painted with angels. Sundays we all went to church until they discovered I was Jewish! Somehow I convinced them to let me keep going.

An accident ended my ballet career, but I enjoyed a few years in musical comedy and modelling. I gave it up reluctantly when I married. Instead, I learned to keep a kosher home, not understanding the reasons for all the rules and regulations. This birthed a desire to know God and I started attending synagogue. But I never felt the spiritual uplift there that I’d felt in church before. In fact, during one service I prayed, “God, there must be something more to a relationship with You than this. Then I visited St. Albans cathedral and had an overwhelming sense of God’s presence and love.

I really missed being on the stage so, after my two sons were born, I joined a charity theatre group who put on musicals in West End theatres. The musical director Paul became a dear friend and when he became a Christian I noticed a great change in him. He told me not to wait till the 12th hour to believe in Jesus, I could die at the 11th. He also said that Jesus was trying to get through to me but my line was always engaged, but I would find Him when I searched for Him with my whole heart!

He introduced me to Helen Shapiro who explained how her own musical director had shared his faith in Jesus with her, and how she had come to believe in Jesus. I thought, “How could a Jew believe in a Christian God?” However, when I watched her talking about her faith on stage I thought, ‘whatever she’s got, I want it.’

It was at this time that my marriage, sadly, ended. On the eve of the Passover I received a call to say that the house I was buying had been withdrawn from the market. This had already happened three times. I had a deadline to move out but nowhere to go. In desperation I cried out, “God, if You’re there…please help me.” A voice whispered, “What have you just done?” Terrified, I answered, “Prepared for the Passover.” “What is the Passover?” the voice asked. “It’s to celebrate when God…” realization struck! “When You led the Jews out of Egypt,” I whispered. God asked, “Did they know where they were going?” “No,” I replied. Then He said, “Oh ye of little faith. Why don’t you put your trust in Me, as your ancestors did?” Then silence.

I phoned Paul to share what had happened. He asked me if I believed in Jesus now! He told me to ask Jesus to prove He was my Messiah. Suddenly I ‘knew’ I had to get my son’s illustrated Old Testament. It dropped from my hand onto the floor, open at the last page with the words “Oh God, when will You send the Messiah to save us?” staring up at me. Two days later I found and bought the perfect house. However I spent the next eleven years with one foot in the Kingdom of God and one foot in the world, believing but not submitting.

Then I went to one of Helen’s gospel concerts and God seated me next to Leigh who worked for a mission to Jewish people called Messianic Testimony. We soon become close friends.

It was when I found myself betrayed and alone again that a familiar voice spoke. “Have I finally got your attention?” I called Leigh and she invited me to come church with her. That church was the Iranian Christian Fellowship! Apprehensively I went with her, and heard the congregation singing worship songs in Farsi. This wasn’t ‘All Things Bright and Beautiful’ from my school days, but it was beautiful.

The pastor’s sermon spoke right into my situation. Then he asked if anyone felt that God was trying to get through to them but their line was always engaged! Paul’s exact words to me eleven years before! Deeply moved, I asked God to come into my life and take over. Soon after, I joined their worship team, singing in both English and Farsi and was baptized alongside twelve ex-Muslims. Who says God doesn’t have a sense of humour!

While away on a trip with the church God healed my curvature of the spine, my I.B.S. and my craving for cigarettes. I came back from that holiday, cleansed, healed and literally two inches taller!

Leigh was a wonderful friend and teacher, so I was devastated when God called her back to South Africa. But God brought other amazing people into my life helping my understanding and relationship with Him to grow. On a visit to Leigh in South Africa I met David, and we were married in the Iranian church.

God has opened new doors for me and now I perform as a singer, poet and comedienne. This gives me perfect opportunities to witness and share my testimony. I love telling them how He has changed my life from despair to hope and from loneliness to fullness of joy. I have also had a children’s book, a collection of my poetry and my testimony published. My life is truly blessed.