Linda and her husband, Bruce Newton, pastor Sierra Pines Church in Oakhurst, CA, where Linda has served as a counselor for the past 20 years. As a speaker, author, and counselor, she has a passion to lead ladies to a greater understanding of the abundant life available to them in Christ (John 10:10). You will laugh, learn, and leave feeling closer to the Lord!
Linda, your devotional is full of inspiring stories–one for every day of the month. What made you write a devotional book using stories?
I’ve always thought that stories were powerful. They can illustrate a point and offer an example many times better than just logical explanation alone. I wrote a few that were published in different Chicken Soup for the Soul books.
That’s when I got the idea to write stories like those chosen for Chicken Soup, colorful narratives to make the reader laugh and cry that would help to illustrate biblical concepts. I love how Jesus used stories to illuminate the ideas he was teaching, so I decided to follow the example of the best!
Your stories are authentic and you’re not afraid to laugh at yourself. Is it hard to be that vulnerable?
I try to stay transparent in my writing because I think readers need to see real people searching for solutions to real struggles, not people pretending to be perfect. If we can’t laugh at ourselves then who can we laugh at? I’ve got plenty of material!
Better Than Jewels has a story about how I accidentally brought bright purple shoes to a speaking engagement to wear with my pale pink and white outfit. I didn’t know the area well enough to find a store, so I slapped on the bright purple shoes and tried to make the best of it. I wrote that story to illustrate Proverbs 31. That’s my best attempt at being this wise and capable woman. The Lord keeps me on my knees, and usually I fall there!
Better Than Jewels contains everyday challenges of being a busy woman in today’s culture. It has insights in surviving the hair-flipping, door-slamming teen years. What mom doesn’t need a sense of humor when it comes to her parenting? If I can bring a smile to someone’s face as she starts her day, that will certainly bring a smile to mine.
What is one of your favorite stories from your book?
Practically every story I share with my readers is a favorite. There are so many about how God came through! One of my favorites, Dare to Dream, is how the Lord intervened to get me from the Deep South to college in California. After accepting Christ while I was in junior high, I started receiving info in the mail from Azusa Pacific College (now University). Right away, I knew that is where I wanted to be. Since my mom was a pretty hostile nonbeliever, I knew she would never go for it. So I prayed.
Two months before the end of my junior year, that little country church I attended in Tennessee hired a new pastor, a graduate from Azusa! Even though my mom had a major mother melt down and I had to go live with my dad in North Carolina, losing contact with my church in Tennessee, my old pastor still made it happen for me to fulfill my dream of attending Christian college in California.
It’s not just a book of stories. Can you tell us how each daily reading flows?
Each day starts with a verse from Proverbs and a brief scriptural insight into that verse, then a story to illustrate the concept presented in that scripture. My goal is for busy women to have a bite-size bit of instruction and inspiration to start each day.
I have talked to ladies who have known the Lord for decades and baby believers who have expressed appreciation for the insight they received into God’s Word from Better Than Jewels. They relate to the situations I present in my stories about “the Lord in the everyday.”
Remind us again about how to use of the Polish Your Jewels section at the end of each chapter?
As a Christian counselor, I want to offer up ways to give the reader something to work on each day. Polish Your Jewels offers questions and suggestions to help you apply the principles presented in the scripture verse and illustrated by the story.
How can folks get Better Than Jewels: 31 Days of Insight for a Woman Seeking God?
Amazon has it and I offer a discount on my website when you purchase more than one book. Better Than Jewels is packaged in such a way as to make a thoughtful gift. I also know ladies who have used is as a small group study, discussing their take away from each story and working through the Polish Your Jewels section together.
I hope you’ve enjoyed reading about Linda’s book I Want Something Better Than Jewels: 31 Days of Biblical Insight for a Woman Seeking God. You can find Linda and her book on her site www.LindaNewtonSpeaks.com.