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'If you're real and you're there – answer me'

Singer and poet Lynne Bradley tells MANDY PILZ how her life in show business played a key part in her journey to faith ...

Singer and poet Lynne Bradley tells MANDY PILZ how her life in show business played a key part in her journey to faith ...

“My father came from an ultra-orthodox Russian Jewish family and my mother from a very English Jewish family. We didn’t speak about Jesus, but I was drawn to Christian hymns on Sunday TV like a moth to a flame.

“At boarding school no-one knew I was Jewish so I was sent to church. At age 13 I transferred to a London school. Every day on the way there I used to pass a church spire and talked to it like God was my best friend.

“But then life got busy as I went into show business, married and had children. My interest in God lay dormant. However, at age 28 I started to work for an amateur theatre company. There I met a musical director who eventually became a Christian.

“One day he told me: ‘Jesus is trying to get through to you but your line is always engaged. Don’t wait until the twelfth hour to believe in Jesus – you could die at the eleventh’. He also told me if I called out to God with my whole heart he would answer me – and that stayed with me.

“Life went on and I ended up going through a divorce. It was the eve of a Jewish festival called the Passover, and I had just prepared everything when I got a phone call from my estate agent saying the house I wanted had been withdrawn from the sale. I had 12 weeks to get out of my house.

“I had two young children and was desperate to buy my own house in order to move out. I called out to God saying: ‘If you’re real and you’re there, answer me’ – and He did.

“As I called out to God, I heard him reminding me of how he had led the Israelites out of slavery and how they, like me, didn’t know where they were going. I felt God was challenging me to trust him in the same way my ancestors had.

“I was quite shaken up by this and phoned my musical director who invited me to come round and meet Helen Shapiro, a Jewish singer who believed in Jesus. I met her and she told me about her faith. My whole life had been about glamour, modelling and being on stage. It had been very me-focused. I knew I had to turn my eyes away from myself, but I found it hard to let God take over.

“Eleven years later I’d been to a Helen Shapiro concert in London and went to see her afterwards, as we had become friends. She asked whether I had given my whole life to Jesus yet – I said no and she said: ‘What are you waiting for?’

“I was invited to church by a friend, but on the way she told me it was an Iranian church. I thought all Iranians were Muslims and they would eat me alive because I was a Jew! So I asked my friend to turn the car round, but she laughed at my fears, kept going and finally pushed me through the door of the church. Once inside it was so different to my expectations. There was Iranian style Middle-Eastern music and I could see the love on the people’s faces.

“As the leader spoke I felt his words were directed straight at me. He asked: ‘Is there someone here who thinks God has been calling them for a long time? Jesus has been trying to get through but your line has been engaged’. I don’t remember getting out of my chair but I found myself at the front giving my life to Jesus.

“Now I perform as a singer and comic poet which gives me a platform to talk about my faith. I do this mostly at Jewish venues. I sing songs from musicals, put my life story to the songs and lecture on the musicals. I’m not allowed to mention Jesus but I always ask God to show me who he wants me to talk with afterwards – and he does.

“I lost all my Jewish friends except one when I announced to them that I believed in Jesus – but instead I now have a relationship with God. What could be more exciting than that?”

  • Lynne’s autobiography What’s a Nice Jewish Girl Like You Doing in a Church Like This? is published by Instant Apostle on 1 April. ISBN 978-1-909728-29-5

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