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It is January!!!

January is here. That

means the beginning of a new year. We are in 2014!

Have you made your new year resolutions yet? Have you made yourself a promise? I tell people this: Do not make a promise you can’t keep! Don’t promise to lose 30 pounds in a month, or promise to read a book a week, most especially when you might loathe reading. What about a promise to jog 5 miles a day, when you have not even done half a mile now! I am making no promises I can’t keep! I want to make resolutions I can attain. And yet I do not want to limit God. Since what He can achieve is outside my scope in the natural.

Remember that what God can do in 2014 is outside your scope; so don’t try to go it alone! If you go it alone, you would short change yourself, and get the less of what God has for you. Now is the time to go it with God.

And so I welcome all of the next 365 days! I welcome all the 12 months. God is in charge of them. And as I stay obedient to Him, I am promised success in each of those days. I encourage you to hand those days over and stay obedient to God. He is certain to give you a great and successful year also!

So how do I go it with God? He has given me 365 brand new days. I must give Him those days back. I must give Happy new Year! Him those days so He is in Linda Faith control of each and everyone of them. Some might be Editor tempted to give Him only a month or two. Please don’t do that. Give Him all 365 days. Let Him be in charge of your wealth creation; let Him be in charge of your health; let Him be in charge of your relationships; let Him be in charge of your time.

What do you have starting 2014?

What do you have starting

do. My aim is this, when she went to prophet Elijah, askthe New Year? I remember ing for help, he said somethe woman who needed to thing profound to her, ‘What pay her husband’s credido you have?’ She had to tors off or else they would think. She did not know what take her two sons away. Her she had. The prophet knew husband had just died. She she had something. Each of found herself with the entire us has something. God has burden of family responsibili- given us something. At times ty. I pray we don’t know what we do not pay attention to she felt, and yet some in fact what we have because we

see it as insignificant and too little. Yet God does not see it as that. Little it might be, but it can be used to great reward.

ing out to young teenage mothers. Whatever your oil is, it is good. It is not insignificant. As you start this new year, look at what you have. Do a reflection, I am sure you will be surprised at how valuable your ‘little’ really is!

I want to encourage you today to use that very insignificant thing you have. The woman was not aware how much God could breathe on Linda Faith an insignificant thing. She later found out that her oil was valuable. Your oil might be writing; it might be encouraging others; it might be praying for the children Linda Faith in your neighborhood. Your is the founder of oil might be baking a cake; She co pastors Revival Worship Church it might be creating a cream with her husband. She is a fluid writer from some homemade ingre- and speaker. She was a Mathematician and software Analyst before she was dients; it might be creating a called into ministry in 1998. She and library for some poor kids in her husband have four wonderful children. She has a heart for women your city; it might be reach and to see children educated.


My husband thoughtfully

said to me a few days ago: ‘I think we should eat more lean meat, and more salad. We should also exercise more to keep our health in check.’ He was saying we should make a concerted effort to stay healthy. He was asking us to make a promise to each other. Promises are great, in as long as they are not made on a wimp! I want to make another promise. A wonderful promise to pray more and reflect on the Word more. I want more quiet times. I want to soak more – which is listening to soft worship music and basking in God’s presence. I want to have more of a ‘me and

God’ time. I also want to have more family time with God. This should be all of us sitting together talking about scriptures, worshipping and praying. The New Year offers us such a wonderful rosy set of spectacles; when you decide to take new steps with a fresh perspective. You are looking at 365 days ahead, with each day presenting new opportunities. Each day is an opportunity to take care of your body; make a financial decision that would better your life; or in a case where you are single, these days present an opportunity for you to meet that dear friend. There is so much that can be done in 365 days; and so much can happen in 365 days.

It is better to have a guide as we look ahead into this sea of opportunities. What is your guide, dear Jewels’ reader? I am reminded of the guide that God has put in place for us. One is the written Word of God. It guides every part of life; every situation; every pathway; every eventuality. The Bible says the Word is a lamp on our feet. The other guide is the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit has been sent to lead us. He has been sent to us to comfort us and show us what the heart of God is. We must tune in more and more to Him. We must cherish His lead; and trust His lead. With many opportunities come more decisions to be made. With 365 days comes the challenge of making the right

Also, you are guaranteed a success all because it is God’s choice. I encourage you to know His heart and make God’s choices this year 014. Make more God choices, than ‘me choices’. It is in these instances that we come to know how victorious God really is. His choices are always victorious. His choices are always right. His choices Why God’s choice? When we are always lasting. His choicmoved to America from Eng- es are not often the easiest; but they are the truest to our land, it was God’s choice. It was God’s choice, and some- faith. times we have wondered Linda Faith about this move. It has not been as plain sailing. It has been grueling at times. It has been a faith walk. Yet when it is God’s choice, the choice remains. You are not looking to chop and change all because of your circumstance. choice. The ‘right choice’ must be God’s choice. I want to quickly add that the Word and the Holy Spirit do not have independent pathways. They have the will of God at heart, and are intricately lined in the trinity - Father, Son and Spirit. You will find that both the Word and Holy Spirit pursue God’s choice!

A word fitly spoken

It’s hard to believe

accelerated. However, I truly believe that this New Year will offer us great potential and great responsibility as children of God.

that 2014 is here. I always thought when my children got married and moved on that life would slow down a bit. Quite the contrary; it As time moves forward and I seems that the pace has only grow older, I have acquired a

end. Through it all, we continued to pray that God would give her wisdom to know how to deal with everything. Over time she began to fix her thoughts on the fact that God would answer her prayer through a medical settlement. I shared with her that God may choose to answer this prayer in a totally different way than she expected and that is what happened. As a result, she withdrew from me. At As they say, people come first I gave her some space into your life for a reason, and figured she would come a season or a lifetime and around. That did not hapI believe that God gives us pen, so I knew I had to follow friends for assistance and Matthew 18:15 and go to her support as we go through to resolve the matter. One life. One close friend of twenty years had been going Saturday morning I felt led of the Holy Spirit to call her. through some financial and The conversation was tense physical battles for several years that just didn’t seem to at first, but after a few minnew and deeper appreciation for my family and friends. I value each of them and never want to take them for granted. From the Word of God we can see that Jesus had friends and enjoyed their fellowship, setting a pattern for us to follow. Yes, relationships take time and effort for them to develop and grow, but the benefits far outweigh the investment.

for months that God would open the door for her to visit her son, but didn’t have the money to make the trip. God answered her prayer and we laughed and enjoyed each There’s actually much more other’s company. I truly beto this story but time and confidentiality will not allow lieve that none of this would have happened had I allowed me to give you the details. friction to keep us apart. The Due to obeying the Holy Word of God has many versSpirit the friendship was rees that speak to the imporstored to where it needed tance of friendship and how to be and in a manner that to choose them wisely. Dr. glorified God. A week later Irene S. Levine says, “FriendI had to make an emerships enhance our health gency trip to care for my in-laws as they were in a bad and well-being because they allow us to feel supported car accident. Who do you and understood - they’re think God prompted me to well worth the investment call at the last minute so I of time” (Psychology Today, wouldn’t have to travel 800 miles alone? You got it….my January 1, 2012). It always friend rode up with me and I amazes me when man finally dropped her off at her son’s acknowledges what God alhouse. She had been praying ready knows. Solomon stated utes the Holy Spirit faithfully began to work on both ends and we talked, like old times, for two hours.

it well in Ecclesiastes 4:9-10, “Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work: If one falls down, his friend can help him up. But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up!” I am so thankful for the wonderful, godly women that God has placed in my life and I continually seek their counsel in all areas of my life. They are my accountability partners. Proverbs 27:9 says, “Oil and perfume make the heart glad, and the sweetness of a friend comes from his earnest counsel.” When our friends seek counsel from us we must season our words with grace, yet gently rebuke them if we feel they are headed down the

wrong path. Proverbs 16:24 You can purchase Donna’s says, “Pleasant words are new book as an honeycomb, sweet to the soul, and health to the Overcoming bones” and “A word fitly the Obstacles spoken is like apples of gold Through in pictures of silver” (Proverbs 25:11). Life’s UnforeDonna Davis Donna Davis serves as the Coordinator of Teacher Certification and Accreditation in the School of Education at Florida Southern College. Prior to earning her Master’s degree in Educational Leadership she taught in Christian schools for twenty-one years. Presently she is a member of the Board of Directors for a local private school and has served in ministry alongside her husband for the past thirty years. Donna has two married children and one grandson. She enjoys exercising, being outdoors, reading and spending quality time with family and friends.

seen Challenges at

http://www. ISBN=9781625097750

I want it all!


“ ommy!” the wideeyed little girl exclaimed as she excitedly reached out her hands. “Look, there was a gift left that didn’t get opened, it was tucked in the branches where it laid hidden and the tag says it’s from daddy!” The little girl’s mother gently took the package from her sweet child

and said, “Honey that wasn’t intended to be opened; perhaps it was just a decoration to enhance the beauty of the tree.” “I’ll place it in the box with the other decorations that we’re putting away”. What would you do? Would you quickly reach for the gift and open it with excitement

After that, we simply surrender to Him and receive His free gift of salvation. Once we surrender to His gift, the Holy Spirit has even more gifts for us to receive! I don’t know about you, but that excites me! I want any and every gift that the Lord sees With a new year upon us, fit to offer to me; I want it all! bringing with it the opporHis gifts are good, and to be tunity for new beginnings, renewed hope and of course used for the good of others. 1 Corinthians 12:4 (AMP) tells making use of the wonderus “Now there are distinctive ful gifts that we’ve recently received, I wonder how many varieties and distributions of endowments (gifts, extraorof us left something unwrapped; or worse, just sim- dinary powers distinguishing certain Christians, due to the ply not received. Our daddy power of divine grace opGod, Abba Father, has gifts for each of us that He wants erating in their souls by the us to receive as His children. Holy Spirit) and they vary, but the (Holy) Spirit remains When we receive His gift of the same.” Vs. 7: But to each salvation we first acknowlone is given the manifestaedge that we need Him but then also that we want Him! tion of the (Holy) Spirit and a willingness to receive whatever was inside? Or would you place the package in the box of stored goods and keep it as a perpetual decoration each year like this mother did?

(the evidence, the spiritual illumination of the Spirit) for good and profit. The Bible goes on to mention the different gifts such as (the power to speak) a message of wisdom, and to another a word of knowledge and understanding according to the same (Holy) Spirit; to another (wonder working) faith, to another extraordinary powers of healing by the one Spirit; to another the working of miracles, to another prophetic insight; to another the ability to discern and distinguish between (the utterances of true) spirits (and false ones), to another various kinds of (unknowntongues), to another the ability to interpret such tongues. The Bible says, and I para-

phrase, that all these gifts are brought to pass by the same (Holy) Spirit, Who apportions to each person exactly as He chooses. Oh, how I want to receive the gifts the Holy Spirit has chosen to give to me. I want to prepare my heart to be able to receive them. Of course, some gifts come with great responsibility. If I was to give the gift of a new car to my fifteen year old child, it would require a certain amount of responsibility for her. She would need to be sure she had the driver training to operate the vehicle and knowledge of the power that the engine is capable of when, say approaching a pedestrian. Responsibility requires her to know if

her action is lining up with the driver handbook in order to prevent injury or detrimental consequences to other people or even herself. The amount of power that the vehicle possesses should ignite a responsibility in her of how to handle that power for good things. As the word of God says that spiritual gifts are for good and for profit, those with the gift of words of knowledge for example should ensure its use is for the purpose of building up of another, and to profit that person. It mustn’t be used for a self-serving or manipulating purpose. It comes with the responsibility to align with Biblical principles. The gifts are filled with power. The power of the Holy

Spirit flows through us to shine the light of God to others and empower those in our sphere to walk in a closer relationship with Abba Father. It saddens me when I hear people shy away from or appear to be embarrassed by certain spiritual gifts being demonstrated in church. It may seem different or even a bit odd for someone experiencing such demonstrations for the first time. These gifts are not man made or invented; they are Holy Spirit breathed. His gifts bring us to a closer relationship with Him and these same gifts are a sweet aroma to those who are seeking God.

When I have an opportunity to attend church where the gifts of the Holy Spirit are freely flowing, I’m empowered to go out and spread the power of the love of God to others and ultimately, my faith is strengthened in the knowledge of His love for me. If we’re unable to tap into the gifts of the Spirit of God because He is kept wrapped tightly in a box we miss out on tapping into His power that is ours to receive as His children.

Don’t shy away from the gifts of the Spirit that you know in your heart God has for you. God doesn’t waste words in the Bible, so why would God place an entire section within it regarding the gifts of the Spirit if they weren’t for us to partake in? Don’t allow the gift that God has birthed in you to be packed away into a safe little box never to be opened or used for His Glory. 1 Corinthians also tells us to earnestly to desire and cultivate the spiritual gifts especially that you may prophesy. Words from God flowing through His servant have been some of the most empowering, faith building words spoken over me. It makes me feel so loved that the God of the universe would take the time to speak

through His faithful servant to touch me here on earth. I cherish those promises He gave to me. Some of them have come to fruition and some are promises I’m holding onto and believing are coming to me. As we enter into this New Year 2014, I pray you will receive all that God has for you, for I believe that God will pour out His Spirit to a dry and thirsty land if we will receive and surrender to all that He has for us. Don’t let the fear of man keep you from the love of God. May the Lord bless you and keep you! Annette Ford

Annette Ford’s hunger

is intoxicating; as she shares her love for God amongst women from coast to coast! She has a beautiful daughter who is also very hungry for the Lord.

Don’t look back Why do people

look back? People look back because they want to know what is behind them. Some people look back because they feel insecure, and want to know that they are safe. Most look back to what was, which seems better than what they have at present. Such people look back longingly, wishing they had the past again. Do you feel the past is better for you?

That is not the will of God. The latter rain is better that the former. We have lived 2013! Now we are in 2014. Praise God forever! Now is the time to live the latter rain. I truly mean rain. I am not looking back at my mistakes. Yes I believe in learning from events. I want to change attitudes and behaviors that have not worked. I want to have more patience, be more proactive. I want to take more opportunities. I want to yet I do not want to be stuck in events. I believe God. Remember Lot and his wife leaving Sodom and Gomorrah in Genesis 19. Lot had made his share of mistakes. He had chosen to find home among the sinful people of

Sodom. He had chosen their land because it looked luscious and green. He built a home, had a family; and his wife raised her children all in this place of sin. However the Lord was set to destroy Sodom for its sinful ways. And in His mercy, He sent his angels to get Lot and his family out before the destruction started.

When God is taking you to a new place, you must not look back either. Scripture tells us that Lot looked forward. His wife looked back. It was when she did that, she turned into a pile of salt. She turned into a pile of regret.

I encourage you today, yes think and reflect, and move on. But do not keep looking back at those things that have not worked out as you The Lord was taking Lot, his had wished and hoped in wife and two children out 2013. We are on the cusp on of the past; out of Sodom something new in God. God and Gomorrah. He was savis on our side; He will not ing them from the sin and waywardness. He was saving disappoint us. His Word will prevail. He Word will push us them from disappointment. through. His Word will break He was taking them to a forth. His Word will bring fresh place in Him. The angels said to them, ‘Don’t look victory our way. 2014 is our year for new things; new back’.

blessings; new favor; new riches. Look forward, without doubting, and without fear. God is with us. Happy New Year! Linda Faith

Linda Faith is the founder of Jewelsmagazine. org. She co pastors Revival Worship Church with her husband. She is a fluid writer and speaker. She was a Mathematician and software Analyst before she was called into ministry in 1998. She and her husband have four wonderful children. She has a heart for women and to see children educated.

What will God ask me when He sees me?

Have you ever wondered

what God would ask you when He does see you? People often ask me about certain matters, but it is often on the surface. In a case where some are more familiar, they might ask about your job; or ask about your

your family. And yet I feel that God will ask about even more delicate things. I feel He will ask about how I live my life. He won’t ask me about the car I drive; or the size of the house I live in. He won’t ask

me about the amount of money I earn or the amount of jewelry I possess. He will ask me about how I live. How are you living my friend? Your lifestyle is on His heart. Your life choices are on His heart. He desires your choices to be after His heart; because He knows a day will come when He will ask you about those very choices you make today, tomorrow etc. We will give an account of these choices, because they are not frivolous moves to God. Your TV shows, and your earthly conversations, and your internet website visits – all these are timelines in your life. Even my conversations and mutterings are of interest to God. They rep-

resent your life. They are not jerky moves to God; they are timelines of our lives. And so I must pay attention to my ways.

This prayer is for me; I hope you say it also: Lord, help me to live a life that will make good conversation with You. Help me to make choices that would make You laugh, bringing a smile to Your face. Lord, let my days be filled with such a timeline that glorifies You and shows You off to others. Lord, let my life not be about what will grief You. Lord, let my life be one that brings joy to Your heart always. God bless you as you make your timelines in 2014. Linda Faith

Linda Faith is the founder of Jewelsmagazine. org. She co pastors Revival Worship Church with her husband. She is a fluid writer and speaker. She was a Mathematician and software Analyst before she was called into ministry in 1998. She and her husband have four wonderful children. She has a heart for women and to see children educated.

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