Major James Bradley Teaches Ultimate Lesson
A Brother’s Tribute
By Captain Steve Bradley –
The highest tribute I can pay my brother is to testify with absolute certainty that he fulfilled God’s will for his life.
He lived up to the challenge inscribed on a brass plaque he kept on his desk: “Never let them steal your joy.” He lived to glorify the awesome God who gave him that joy in the first place. Jim learned to “Consider it pure joy…whenever you face trials of many kinds.” (James 1:2). He experienced firsthand “the fellowship of His [Christ’s] suffering” and the blessing promised to “the man who perseveres under trial.” On September 30, when his body finally succumbed after an intense, two-year battle with leukemia, it was that same joy that leapt from his soul to defy the enemy and boldly proclaim victory for Jesus!
Victory in defeat. Life from death. Joy in sorrow. These are some of the paradoxes we see in the biblical account of Jesus’ earthly life. They are also the hallmarks of hope personified in the life of Jim Bradley.
He shared the secret of his eternal hope in an article he wrote for New Frontier last July: “I have decided to claim God’s sovereignty, power, compassion and joy in these trials.” For him, hope was a choice. It was the only choice. And it was a living legacy to his family and the many young people for whom he modeled an inspiring life of faith and courage.
In the promotion to Glory notice, Major Sharon Robertson observed of Jim, Charleen and their two sons Eric and Ethan:
Circumstances which would have caused many to give up caused this remarkable couple to simply…give. They gave of themselves, their hopes, their pain, their challenges, their faith. They shared tears and laughter, and a quiet, stubborn trust that refused to give up on God. They reminded us all of the strength to be found in being a Companion of Christ. “When you pass through the waters,” Jim would say, quoting one of his favorite passages, “I will be with you.” (Isaiah 43:2)
It was a companionship he modeled for many throughout his life.
A few days following Jim’s promotion to Glory, my 11-year-old son, Jonathan, came to say goodbye to his favorite uncle. I’d like to think it was his Uncle Jim’s Christlike example that moved Jonathan to offer his mourning cousins a gentle pat on the back and a sincere word of assurance; “Hey, I’m here for you, man.”
(Ed note: Major Jim Bradley was recently promoted to Glory from the UCLA Medical Center in Los Angeles.
A third generation Salvationist, Bradley was born in 1942, and his schooling included a Master’s degree in criminal justice administration. With his wife, Charleen (Lansing), and two small boys, Eric and Ethan, he entered the School for Officers’ Training as a member of the Companions of Christ Session in 1975.
As cadet lieutenants, Jim and Charleen were appointed in charge of the Modesto, Calif., corps where, following commissioning, they remained for a total of four years. Following two more corps appointments, they served on the staff of the School for Officers’ Training for eight years. Many young officers have given grateful testimony of the influence Major Jim Bradley has had upon their lives. As divisional secretary and later as territorial youth and candidates’ secretary, he continued to be an admired and respected leader.
Since early 1995, when he was diagnosed with acute leukemia, the Bradleys have reminded us all of the strength to be found in being a “Companion of Christ.” He is survived by his wife and two sons, his mother, Faith Bradley; brother Captain Steven Bradley, two sisters, Susan Johnson and Janine Bradley, and Sherry Skobis, who was like a daughter.
Messages of comfort may be sent to the family at: 1909 Redondela Drive, Rancho Palos Verdes CA 90275.