The Brazen Heart

The Brazen Heart

“Guard your heart above all else, for it determines
the course of your life.” ~ Proverbs 4:23
_______________________________________

angryWhen I was growing up back in the late fifties and early sixties, certain actions were considered shameful by the general public. For example, if a girl got pregnant out of wedlock, she had to leave school because she had committed a shameful act. If a man committed adultery, his action was considered shameful.  If a person robbed a bank, shame was attached to his sin.

And, yes! All of the above actions were labeled sin. There was no beating around the bush with semantics. Sin was sin and punishable by God. We didn’t call sin tolerance or diversity or any other fancy name that covered its true nature.

Today, we have abandoned not only the notion of sin but also the notion of shame. As a culture, we have developed brazen hearts–hearts that defiantly shake their fists in God’s face without fear of punishment.  It makes me shudder to think what lies ahead for those brazen hearts that do not repent.

Why is a brazen heart so dangerous? A brazen heart is dangerous because it will lead you to eternal damnation.  A brazen heart has set itself up as the final judge and arbiter of right and wrong.  A brazen heart has, in essence, established itself as its own god.

Is your heart brazen? Examine it closely to find out. Ask the Lord to reveal to you any areas of your heart that are not in total submission to His Holy Word.  Remember: your life issues will always flow out of your heart.  Make sure that the condition of your heart is one that will honor God and bring you blessings in this life and eternal blessings in the life to come.

 

In my newest work of fiction, SURRENDER TO LOVE, young widow and life coach, Dr. Teresa LopezPicMonkeyFINAL061815416pmGonzalez, learns that only a heart submitted totally to God will lead her to life.

Available in Kindle and print versions.

You may leave a comment by clicking here. To receive these blog posts in your emailbox, please click here.

If you found this post helpful, please pass it on to someone who can benefit from reading it. Thank you!

If you have any questions, you may contact me as follows:

Email: drmaryann@maryanndiorio.com
Snail Mail: PO Box 1185, Merchantville, NJ 08109
Tel. 856-488-3580
________________________________
Copyright 2015 by Dr. MaryAnn Diorio. All Rights Reserved. This article may not be published or printed in any form whatsoever without the written permission of Dr. MaryAnn Diorio. You may contact her at maryann@maryanndiorio.com to request permission.

Photo Source: Fotolia.com: File: #1982269 | Author: a4stockphotos

Amazon.com Required Disclosure:  MaryAnn Diorio is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.

Dr. Diorio is a Certified Life Coach, a Certified Biblical Counselor, and a Certified Behavioral Consultant. She is also an award-winning, widely published author of fiction for children and adults. You may reach her at maryann@maryanndiorio.com  or via one of her social media venues below:

 

Why Worry?

 WHY WORRY?

“Guard your heart above all else, for it determines
the course of your life.” ~ Proverbs 4:23
_______________________________________

Are you a worrier? Do you expect the worst to happen? Do you find yourself in constant dread that something will go wrong?

Beautiful worried businesswoman at the desk.I know how you feel. You see, I’ve had a life-long struggle with worry.  But, by the grace of God,  I have also come a long, long way in overcoming it.

When I ask people why they worry, here are some of the answers I get:

  • I worry because it’s the responsible thing to do.  Is it?
  • I worry because it gives me a sense of control over my situation?  Does it?
  • I worry because there is a lot to worry about.  Is there?
  • I worry because I can’t NOT worry?  Really?
  • I worry because that’s just the way I am.  Is it?

Worry is the misuse of the imagination.  If you can worry, you can also NOT worry.  It all depends on how you use that amazing part of you designed by God to create.

Worry is simply negative thinking gone awry.

So, what are we to do when we are tempted to worry? The answer is found in Philippians 4:6-8:  “Don’t fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God’s wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It’s wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life.”

Prayer will knock worry right out of your life.

Corrie Ten Boom was a Christian who hid Jews during World War II.  She was captured and placed in a concentration camp.  Here is what she said about worry: “Worrying does not empty tomorrow of its troubles: it empties today of its strength.”

Are you allowing worry to empty you of your strength for today? If so, stop wasting your energy on worry.  Instead, pray. Then begin using your imagination to think of good things.

The Apostle Paul says it like this in Phlippians 4:8: “Summing it all up, friends, I’d say you’ll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious—the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse.

This is the formula for overcoming worry.  And it works every time!

In my newest work of fiction, SURRENDER TO LOVE, young widow and life coach, Dr. Teresa LopezPicMonkeyFINAL061815416pmGonzalez, learns that worry and fear have no place in God’s plan for her life. 

Available in Kindle and print versions.

If you would like to learn how to overcome worry, check out my book YOU WERE MADE FOR GREATNESS! You Were made for Greatness

You may leave a comment by clicking here. To receive these blog posts in your emailbox, please click here.

If you found this post helpful, please pass it on to someone who can benefit from reading it. Thank you!

If you have any questions, you may contact me as follows:

Email: drmaryann@maryanndiorio.com
Snail Mail: PO Box 1185, Merchantville, NJ 08109
Tel. 856-488-3580
________________________________

Copyright 2015 by Dr. MaryAnn Diorio. All Rights Reserved. This article may not be published or printed in any form whatsoever without the written permission of Dr. MaryAnn Diorio. You may contact her at maryann@maryanndiorio.com to request permission.

Photo Source: Fotolia.com: File: #84201155 | Author: Piotr Marcinski

Amazon.com Required Disclosure:  MaryAnn Diorio is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.

Dr. Diorio is a Certified Life Coach, a Certified Biblical Counselor, and a Certified Behavioral Consultant. She is also an award-winning, widely published author of fiction for children and adults. You may reach her at maryann@maryanndiorio.com  or via one of her social media venues below:

 

 

God’s Presents or God’s Presence?

GOD’S PRESENTS OR GOD’S PRESENCE?

 “Guard your heart above all else, for it determines
the course of your life.” ~ Proverbs 4:23
________________________________________

Hershey_KissesDo you have a nickname?  Mine is “Nonna Chocolate.” 🙂 You see, whenever I visit my grandchildren, I arrive with ten Hershey chocolate kisses in my pocket, two for each grandchild. 

As soon as I arrive at my daughter’s house, my grandchildren run up to me and eagerly ask, “Nonna, do you have chocolate?” 

My daughter gently corrects them and says, “Say hello to Nonna first and then ask her for the chocolates.”  My daughter is trying to teach her children to honor my presence first and my gifts of chocolate second.

My grandchildren’s reaction to me reminds me of my reaction to the Lord.  How often have I approached Him asking first for His presents while ignoring His Presence?  Too often, I must confess.  And yet, our Lord, like me, would appreciate being acknowledged first by His children for Who is He, not for what He can give us.

I must admit that when my grandchildren are happy to see me because I have chocolates to give them, I wonder if they would be just as happy to see me if I came bearing no chocolate gifts. Our Heavenly Father feels the same way. After all, He is a Person and has feelings just as we do.  Are we not made in His image?

So, the next time you are tempted to run to God only when you want or need something, stop and ask yourself, “What message am I sending to my Father in Heaven?  Am I hurting His feelings by seeking only His hand and not His face?” 

If you really want to make Abba Father happy, spend time with Him just worshiping Him and praising Him, without asking for a single thing in return. I guarantee you that your heart will fill with joy to overflowiing as you witness the joy on His face.

God’s Presence is to be valued far, far more than His presents.  Seek His Presence first and foremost, and you will have everything you could ever want or need.

Even chocolate! 🙂

If you would like to learn how to overcome fear, check out my book YOU WERE MADE FOR GREATNESS! You Were made for Greatness

You may leave a comment by clicking here To receive these blog posts in your emailbox, please click here.

If you found this post helpful, please pass it on to someone who can benefit from reading it. Thank you!

If you have any questions, you may contact me as follows:

Email: drmaryann@maryanndiorio.com
Snail Mail: PO Box 1185, Merchantville, NJ 08109
Tel. 856-488-3580
_______________________________________________________________

Copyright 2015 by Dr. MaryAnn Diorio. All Rights Reserved. This article may not be published or printed in any form whatsoever without the written permission of Dr. MaryAnn Diorio. You may contact her at maryann@maryanndiorio.com to request permission.

Photo Source: http://www.blog.peacemagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/11/Hershey_Kisses.jpg

Amazon.com Required Disclosure:  MaryAnn Diorio is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.

Dr. Diorio is a Certified Life Coach, a Certified Biblical Counselor, and a Certified Behavioral Consultant. She is also an award-winning, widely published author of fiction for children and adults. You may reach her at maryann@maryanndiorio.com  or via one of her social media venues below:

Are You Afraid of the Future?

ARE YOU AFRAID OF THE FUTURE?

 “Guard your heart above all else, for it determines
the course of your life.” ~ Proverbs 4:23
________________________________________

Terrified woman. Terrified young woman in formalwear looking at camera and biting nails while standing isolated on whiteFEAR. It’s all around us. It penetrates and saturates our culture as water does a sponge. We read it in the headlines every morning. We hear it on the news every night.

We feel it in our bones, in our muscles, and in our hearts.

Yes. In our hearts.

But, it doesn’t have to be this way.  Throughout the Scriptures, God continually commands us not to fear.  Interesting, isn’t it, that He gives us a command?  A command from God implies that we are able to obey it.

So, why are we afraid? I would propose that we are afraid because we do not know God.

You see, God is love, and in Him there is never anything to fear.  Scripture tells us that “perfect love drives out fear” (I John 4:18).  God, Who is Perfect Love, will drive out fear every time.  But here is the clincher:  We must trust Him and believe Him when He says that there is nothing to fear for those of us who know Him.

Bottom line, we get rid of fear by getting to know God intimately.  Here is His promise to us found in Isaiah 26:3: ” You will keep him in perfect peace, Whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You.”  This is the antidote to fear: Keeping our minds fixed on God.  And why do we keep our minds fixed on God? Because we trust in Him. And why do we trust Him? Because He is God and perfectly trustworthy!

Are you struggling with fear today? Then turn your eyes toward Jesus and keep looking into His beautiful face. Keep your thoughts fixed on Him. As you do, His peace will drive out every fear.

If you would like to learn how to overcome fear, check out my book YOU WERE MADE FOR GREATNESS! You Were made for Greatness

You may leave a comment by clicking here To receive these blog posts in your emailbox, please click here.

If you found this post helpful, please pass it on to someone who can benefit from reading it. Thank you!

If you have any questions, you may contact me as follows:

Email: drmaryann@maryanndiorio.com
Snail Mail: PO Box 1185, Merchantville, NJ 08109
Tel. 856-488-3580
_______________________________________________________________

Copyright 2015 by Dr. MaryAnn Diorio. All Rights Reserved. This article may not be published or printed in any form whatsoever without the written permission of Dr. MaryAnn Diorio. You may contact her at maryann@maryanndiorio.com to request permission.

Photo Source: Fotolia.com. File: #66965383 | Author: gstockstudio

Amazon.com Required Disclosure:  MaryAnn Diorio is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.

Dr. Diorio is a Certified Life Coach, a Certified Biblical Counselor, and a Certified Behavioral Consultant. She is also an award-winning, widely published author of fiction for children and adults. You may reach her at maryann@maryanndiorio.com  or via one of her social media venues below:

Is Your Heart Divided?

IS YOUR HEART DIVIDED?

 “Guard your heart above all else, for it determines
the course of your life.” ~ Proverbs 4:23
________________________________________

Should I Stay or Go Two Way Road Signs Make DecisionWould you consider yourself indecisive? If so, read on.  If not, read on anyway because your heart may still be divided.

Another name for a divided heart is double-mindedness. In other words, a person with a divided heart is of two minds and cannot settle on one.

What is a divided heart? A divided heart is a heart that rides the fence between two belief systems, two points of view, or two paths to take. A divided heart is a heart that wavers between right and wrong, between belief and doubt.  A divided heart is a heart that is unfocused, confused, and filled with unbelief.

Unbelief?  Yes, unbelief. 

Scripture tells us that a person with a divided heart should not expect to receive anything from the Lord (James 1:7). Why? Because that person cannot decide whether or not to believe what God says.

Moreover, “a double-minded man is unstable in all his ways” (James 1:8). Not a complimentary thing, is it? To be unstable is to stand on a shaky foundation, one that will eventually crumble.

Because a divided heart is a heart of unbelief, it is also an evil heart.  God says this in Hebrews 3:12: “Take heed, brothers, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God.”  When we have a divided heart, we are living in unbelief, and to live in unbelief is to have an evil heart.

If you heart has been divided, repent and ask Jesus to restore it to wholeness. Spend time in prayer and reading God’s Word. The Word of God will mend your divided heart and make it stable, steady, and strong.

If you would like to know more about becoming like Jesus, check out my book YOU WERE MADE FOR GREATNESS! You Were made for Greatness

You may leave a comment by clicking here. To receive these blog posts in your emailbox, please click here.

If you found this post helpful, please pass it on to someone who can benefit from reading it. Thank you!

If you have any questions, you may contact me as follows:

Email: drmaryann@maryanndiorio.com
Snail Mail: PO Box 1185, Merchantville, NJ 08109
Tel. 856-488-3580
_______________________________________________________________

Copyright 2015 by Dr. MaryAnn Diorio. All Rights Reserved. This article may not be published or printed in any form whatsoever without the written permission of Dr. MaryAnn Diorio. You may contact her at maryann@maryanndiorio.com to request permission.

Photo Source: Fotolia.com. File: #38628027 | Author: iQoncept

Amazon.com Required Disclosure:  MaryAnn Diorio is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.

Dr. Diorio is a Certified Life Coach, a Certified Biblical Counselor, and a Certified Behavioral Consultant. She is also an award-winning, widely published author of fiction for children and adults. You may reach her at maryann@maryanndiorio.com  or via one of her social media venues below: