J. Reese Bradley

Good morning!

I don’t think I will ever learn to spell pseudonym. Thank God for spell check and Grammarly.

I went back and forth on whether or not to write my novels under a pseudonym, and finally decided that I would. The reason is that when I read a novel and know the personality of the author, they become the narrator in my mind. I don’t want the reader to see or hear me in Brumbletide and the Daughter of Eve. I am lucky to have only a tiny audience (whom I love dearly) here on The Keen Peach so that, if I have the pleasure of your readership, you all will be the only ones imagining me as the narrator. Another reason that I thought it best to go with a pseudonym is that as much as I want to morph this blog into an author website, novels are a different world than blogs and need their own platform.

This is all strange to navigate but fun nonetheless!

Have you ever used a pseudonym?

Let’s fantasize. If you were an author, what would your pseudonym be?

Blessings to you,
Angela (J. Reese Bradley)

Crash. Impact. Body Count

In the pages that follow, I share what happened in my private world through what Christians politely call conversion. This word— conversion— is simply too tame and too refined to capture the train wreck that I experienced in coming face-to-face with the Living God. I know of only one word to describe this time-released encounter: impact. Impact is, I believe, the space between the multiple car crash and the body count. I try, in the pages that follow, to relive the impact of God on my life. -Rosaria Butterfield, The Secret Thoughts of An Unlikely Convert

Who has experienced this?

I am in awe of Rosaria Butterfield’s testimony. If you’ve never heard of her, she was a professor at Syracuse University who was converted to Christianity out of homosexuality. The latter is not what I am most interested in, but in how she describes her conversion in her book, The Secret Thoughts of an Unlikely Covert. Impact. The space between the crash and body count. This is what happened in my conversion and I have longed ever since to hear of it happening this way for someone else.

I read every word of her conversion story in a dream-like state with chills because, though I am not homosexual, I know exactly what she was feeling when she said to the friend who shared the gospel with her, “Ken, my whole world is turning upside down. What should I do?”

The gospel of Christ had hit, made it’s devastating impact on her sin, and she was dead. What was she supposed to do?

But then, out of the ashes, came gospel-driven life.

It’s the same that happened to Paul in Acts 9. Struck. Dead. Changed. Life finally began.

Who has experienced this?

Who has God stopped in their tracks, ransacked your life, and gave a brand new one?

I want to hear your story. Please share.

Hospitality and the Introvert

Hi Everyone!

It’s been a little while since I’ve written a blog post at length, so grab a cup of tea and settle in.

I am an introvert.

Most people laugh when they hear this because I am the most outgoing of all introverts. I serve on the hospitality team at my church and love every single moment of greeting and getting to know everyone who walks through the door. It honestly brings me the greatest joy to find others who want to discuss the Bible in depth, and I will discuss for hours, as my Life Group knows, if allowed. I am not afraid to introduce myself or go places alone. I have no problem cozying right up to a group of people I’ve never met before and talk about deep and awkward things (whether they want to or not). But this doesn’t make me an extrovert. An extrovert is energized by being in a group of people while an introvert recharges alone. While I love every minute of my time with people, I must have a substantial amount of downtime in between events in order to be my best at the next. I do this at home. I stay at home, snuggle with my family, and hermit my way back to a clear mind.

As Christians, we are to love others. I watched an interview between Russell Moore and the amazing Rosaria Butterfield last night. Gosh, she is wonderful, isn’t she? If you haven’t heard of her, she is a former professor who was converted to Christianity out of homosexuality.

A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. John 13:34

Russel Moore asked her if there was anything the church needed to know about the LBGTQ community. She said that when she was in it, there was always and open house with a meal available. The people were so loving. She said that the church is starving when it comes to this kind of love.

Ugh. So true! Not everyone, of course. I know Christians who would welcome anyone in need into their home at any time. But I know I don’t! I have my scheduled “loving” times, and then I resort to hermit mode where I do not answer the phone or door. Not even texts!

And he said to all, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. Luke 9:23

The bottom line here is that it doesn’t matter if I am an introvert or not. If I am going after Christ, I must deny myself, take up my cross and follow Him. But doesn’t that void loving someone? If you don’t want to open your home or longsuffer with someone, it means nothing right? Of course not. Look at John 3:16.

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.

For God so LOVED the world, that He GAVE.

It doesn’t say that God had a warm and fuzzy feeling toward the world, it says God gave. Gave is an action, therefore, love is an action.

We must love as Christ loved. We must love even when it isn’t comfortable.

But what do we do if our spouse isn’t on board? What if there are things holding us back from being as generous as we can? First, ask God. When He wants something done, it gets done. Second, Theodore Roosevelt says it best, do what you can, with what you have, where you are.

 As Jesus looked up, he saw the rich putting their gifts into the temple treasury.  He also saw a poor widow put in two very small copper coins.  “Truly I tell you,” he said, “this poor widow has put in more than all the others.  All these people gave their gifts out of their wealth; but she out of her poverty put in all she had to live on.” Luke 21:1-4

We just have to do our best.

Questions:

Are you an introvert or an extravert?

What is a time that someone showed you love? What made it so special?

National Eating Disorder Awareness Week

Ack! I took a social media break and missed posting for National Eating Disorder Awareness Week!

Better late than never.

Here are blog posts from April 2017 explaining my rocky road riddled with anxiety, depression, and disordered eating. The writing is horrendous, God has grown me leaps and bounds spiritually since 2017, but I still feel this part of my life will help someone else know that they are not alone and there is help and hope.

https://thekeenpeach.com/2017/04/23/discipline-training-part-1/

https://thekeenpeach.com/2017/04/24/discipline-training-part-2-part-1-waffle-house/

https://thekeenpeach.com/2017/04/25/discipline-training-part-2-part-2/

Blessings,
Angela

The Novel

Good afternoon.

A sharp turn from my past few posts, here is an update on my book!

As you may or may not know, I wrote a novel for middle-grade readers last year. I can’t wait to share the name and everything about it with you but now is just not that time. Soon!

Writing the book was pretty humbling. In a year, I wrote the book twice. I thought the first version was brilliant, took the summer off of writing, then revisited the manuscript again to see that is was an absolute atrocity. Haha! This is how I learned that the best thing to do when finishing a novel is to leave it alone. Leave it alone for weeks or months so that you can come back to it with fresh eyes.

So while the story was terrible on paper at the time, in my head it was still just as lovely as when it fell into my mind. Even more lovely! So I decided to rewrite it completely. The first version was in third-person (Alice went to Wonderland.) The rewrite is in first (I went to Wonderland.) I’ve blogged here for five years now in first-person. It comes much more naturally to me. I ended up changing the title and the names of many characters. I have to tell you, writing this fantasy was a fantasy. Both times I wrote the book was such a mental vacation; a place I went hours a day to escape the real world and hide in an imaginary and magical one.

I follow many fiction writers that I have great respect for. I’ve heard almost all of them say that once you finish your first novel, not to start working on the sequel. You don’t know what will happen with the first so it is best to begin working on a different project completely. I can’t do it. I have this series planned; it’s in my head. Who in world can write another story when there is a story in their heart screaming to be written?

Whoever they are they have much more talent than me.

The Prettiest Thorn

Isn’t pride the prettiest little thorn in the side?

We know it’s destruction.

When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom. Proverbs 11:12

Where there is strife, there is pride, but wisdom is found in those who take advice. Proverbs 13:10

Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall. Proverbs 16:18

Yet, our society has come to indulge and revel in it. We work and spend and show and tell all to stroke our pretty thorn.

But at the end of the day, at the end of our life, what will have mattered? When we are face to face with a God who knows our true hearts, our true character, the true motivations of our works. What will He know of us?

He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.  Micah 6:8

If we were wise we would consider this. Likely, if we seek a God who knows our true heart, He will likely take pleasure in giving us a new one. A good one.

And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. Ezekiel 36:26

And I bet if we sought a God who gave us a new heart, we would notice the thorn as much.