Monday, July 13, 2009

Linda Newton - 12 Ways to Turn Your Pain into Praise

Today, I’m talking with author Linda Newton about her new book 12 Ways to Turn Your Pain Into Praise: Biblical Steps to Wholeness in Christ.

I’m delighted to be here with you sharing about something that puts wind in my sails—helping people heal from emotional pain and lead empowered lives.

What a timely book, 12 Ways to Turn Your Pain Into Praise: Biblical Steps to Wholeness in Christ! With our current economic and political climate we certainly need steps to turn our pain into praise.

I agree. I find that the same tools that help us deal with our damaged past can guide us through an insecure future. I wrote this book to help people who feel “stuck” because of the dysfunction, divorce, depression, abuse, grief and guilt in their lives, but I am walking through these same principals each day in my counseling office with folks who are dealing with the difficulties of job loss, anxiety, and marriage issues in a struggling economy.

What can you tell us about your book?
Since the book’s release last fall I have heard feedback from readers and I can say with confidence that whether you are seeking tools to empower those you are helping or needing the tools to transform yourself, you will walk away from this book spiritually stronger as you learn to:

-- remove your offender’s face from God and stop blaming Him for life’s pain
-- stop renting space in your head to bad memories and offenses
-- relinquish the stinkin’ thinkin’ that causes you to emotionally circle the drain
-- stay constantly connected to Christ with time-tested tools to process your pain
-- realize your full potential as you seek God’s divine purpose for your life.

You’re a counselor and an abuse survivor. Will you tell us a little of your story?
I grew up in the deep South and I wish I could say we spent happy hours saying, “Yes Ma’am” and “No Sir” and “Good Night, John-Boy.” But nothing could be further from the truth. In reality, I was ten years old before I realized that God’s last name wasn’t damn! My Daddy took off when I was five, and raising four kids alone brought out the worst in my mother. She became abusive with a bust-your-lip, black-your-eye kind of punishment--the kind of pain that stings your face for a while but sears your soul for a lifetime.

The neighbor-lady from across the street took me to church, I found Christ and He changed my life. That church helped me get to Christian college. On my quest for my own healing, I became a Christian counselor and have had the privilege of working with God’s precious people for the past seventeen years in my office at a growing church in California.

You started each chapter with a word that starts with the letter “P.”
Each chapter is one of the steps, and I did that to make them easy to remember. I’m at the stage of life when I stop and think and forget to start up again! Alliteration helps things stick in my head.

You mentioned compliments defining us. Can you explain that?
My old pastor used to say that compliments are bouquets thrown from the hand of God. When we don’t take the compliments given to us, it’s as though we are ripping the heads off the flowers God has given us, throwing them to the ground, and stomping them. Compliments are God’s way of telling us who we are. When we receive them it builds our confidence in the qualities and gifts He’s given us. But when we don’t, we remain static and self-critical.

I took those words to heart and stopped dismissing compliments some twenty years ago. In that time God has had the opportunity to remake my self-image. Before that I had to climb a ladder to look an ant in the eye!

The pain in your life hasn’t hindered your sense of humor, has it?
I hope not! My goal for all the books I write is for the reader to laugh, learn, and leave each page feeling closer to the Lord.

Are you working another book?
Yes. My working title is You Can Fix Stupid: Seven Savvy Choices for Mind, Body and Soul. I deal with people everyday who are in terrible situations that were preventable. I want to give folks information to make better choices and avoid being “stupid.” I am working on a blog on my website that addresses these issues.

What else is on your agenda?
I love speaking and since my books have come out, God has opened doors for me to share with groups all over the world. Folks in today’s busy culture like to have teaching material accessible to play in their cars or on their computers. So I am making CD sets available for each of my retreat topics. Each set has 4, forty-minute talks in a handy labeled holder. They are available on my website

Thanks so much for having me on your blog. I hope your readers will visit me online at Please remember that God deeply desires to turn your pain into to praise.