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

Are you in bondage to your baggage? Are you carrying around the excess emotional weight of past hurts, trauma, or abuse? If so, listen up. You can check your baggage at the freedom counter and unload it once and for all!

All of us carry emotional baggage from our past. Whether that baggage resulted from trauma, abuse, or some other family dysfunction, we have to deal with the baggage if we want to live the abundant life Christ died to give us.

A common misconception about baggage is that born-again Christ-Followers do not have baggage. The truth, however, is that all of us have baggage. And that baggage hangs around in the soul.

The first thing to understand is that you are made up of three parts: spirit, soul, and body. Your spirit is your core—who you truly are. Your soul comprises your mind, your will, and your emotions. Your body is what I like to call your “earth suit”.

Emotional baggage is stored in the soul compartment. In other words, it is housed in your feelings, your thinking, and your decision-maker. If not dealt with, emotional baggage has a way of invading your physical body and causing ill health.

So, how can you get rid of emotional baggage? Here are three ways that have worked for me:

1-Do not bury your feelings. Admit them. Being honest with yourself about your negative feelings is the starting point for getting rid of them.

2-Examine your attitudes. Are you guilty of “stinking thinking”? Do you complain and criticize? Do you focus on the negative instead of the positive? Christian motivational speaker Zig Ziglar once said, “Your attitude, not your aptitude, will determine your altitude” in life. So, start thinking the way God thinks. Read Philippians 4: 8.

3-Give your baggage to God. He Himself said “Cast your cares on Me because I care for you.” Moreover, it is Jesus Himself who promises to restore your broken soul from the damage done to it (Psal 23: 3). As you give your baggage to Him, He will clean up and make your soul like new!

So, what are you waiting for? Are you ready to unload your baggage? Are you ready to move forward with your life? With God’s help, you ca let go of your emotional baggage once and for all and begin living the abundant life Jesus died to give you.

The choice is entirely up to you!

 “Your attitude, not your aptitude, will determine your altitude.” ~ Zig Ziglar

Now, it’s YOUR turn:  Are you in bondage to your baggage? If so, what do you plan to do about it? Please leave your response in the Comment Box below. Thank you!

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Matters of the Heart is a weekly blog that deals with the deepest issues of the human heart, the issues we all face but sometimes don’t want to talk about. The heart is the programming center of our lives. What is programmed into our heart will affect every area of our lives. Learn how to discover what is in your heart and how to program your heart for success.

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How to Defeat the Giants in Your Life

What giants are you facing in your life? Health issues? Money issues? Relationship issues? Whatever the case, you can not only face those giants, but you can overcome them.  How? By using these three weapons:

Attitude. The perspective you take regarding the giants in your life is critical to your success in defeating those giants. Consider the Psalmist David. When he visited the Israeli camp as a teenage boy to bring food to his soldier brothers, he found the Israelites cowering in the face of Goliath. Now the Israelites were grown men and expertly trained soldiers. David was a shepherd boy who had had no formal military training.

Guillaime_Courtois_-_David_and_Goliath_-_Google_Art_ProjectFile:Guillaime Courtois – David and Goliath – Google Art Project.jpg

But what did David do? He rebuked the Israelites for their faithless, cowardly attitude. He reminded them that they had God on their side, and he dared Goliath to defy the living God. Listen to David’s words to Goliath, words that reveal David’s attitude: “David said to the Philistine, ‘You come against me with sword and spear and javelin, but I come against you in the name of the LORD Almighty, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied.‘”

David knew who he was in God. He knew that his power came from God. He knew that God was mightier than any enemy. And he knew that he could defeat any enemy with the power of God on his side.

So can you!

Methodology. Saul offered David his armor and sword. David refused them because they didn’t fit right. In overcoming the giants in our lives, we must know who we are and act based on that knowledge. We must listen to God’s directions for overcoming each giant in our life.  He may give us one strategy for one giant, and another strategy for another giant. The key is to hear the voice of God and to obey it. David heard God’s voice and obeyed it.

So can you!

Faith. David confronted Goliath head-on, and David did so in God’s strength, not his own. Having developed an intimate relationship with God, David knew Him well and trusted His character. He knew God would never fail him. Simply put, David believed God!

So can you!

Attitude. Methodology. Faith. Three tools that will help you overcome the giants in your life, every single time.

YOUR TURN: What other tools have you used to overcome the giants in your life? Please share by posting a comment in the box below. Thank you!

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Are You Your Own Worst Enemy?

Attitudes That Keep You from Success

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

Are you your own worst enemy?  Are your thinking patterns such that they lead you to discouragement and despair?

I understand. Been there. Done that.

Handwriting of Change word on chalkboard with glowing light bulb

For far too many years, I was my own worst enemy. I didn’t realize it at the time, but as Holy Spirit began to clean me up after I was born again, I realized that many of my problems in life resulted from my wrong thinking patterns.

As I began to align my thinking with God’s thinking as found in the Bible, my life began to change dramatically for the better.

If you are your own worst enemy, let me share with you three Scriptural principles I discovered in Romans 12: 2 that literally changed my life. Let’s take a look at the verse:

Do not conform yourselves to the standards of this world, but let God transform you inwardly by a complete change of your mind. Then you will be able to know the will of God—what is good and is pleasing to him and is perfect.

There are three important principles in this verse that, if you apply them, will change your life for the better, as they did mine. Here are the three principles:

  1. Do not follow the world’s way of thinking.  The world’s way of thinking leads to death and destruction. What is the world’s way of thinking? It is any way of thinking that opposes God’s Word. God’s way of thinking is directly opposite the world’s way of thinking. So if we see the world going one way–e.g., transgenderism, homosexuality, greed for money, then we must go the opposite way.
  2. Let God change you. God alone can change us, but we must cooperate with Him to effect that change.
  3. Experiencing God’s will for you follows a change in your thinking. When you change your way of thinking to agree with God’s way of thinking (as found in the Bible), you will begin to know and experience God’s perfect will for you.  What is God’s will for you? Blessings and more blessings!

All change in life comes from a change in our thinking. Start thinking God’s way and you will no longer be your own worst enemy. Instead, you will be your own best friend.

“All change in life comes from a change in our thinking.” ~ Dr. MaryAnn Diorio (CLICK TO TWEET)


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Faith Is the Victory

One of the hymns I most remember from my early days as a Christian says that “faith is the victory that overcomes the world.” As writers, we know what it is like to have the world constantly pressing in on us. Health issues, relationship issues, family issues, financial issues try to stop us at every turn from fulfilling God’s call on us to write. So how do we handle these issues?  The answer is “By faith”.

Just as it takes faith to obey Christ’s call to write for Him, It also takes faith to persevere in Christ’s call to write for Him.  Our enemy Satan and his demons are continually seeking to get us off course from the purpose God intended for our writing.  A case in point:  my husband recently had to undergo emergency bypass surgery, a situation that cut deeply into my writing time.  By faith, I placed the situation in our Lord’s hands, trusting that He would provide me with the time I needed to fulfill His call.  As always, He has been faithful in helping me to meet deadlines.

What are you facing today that may be hindering your writing?  Place it in God’s hands and keep pressing onward. Our Lord knows your difficult situation, and He will bring you through it.  You will emerge a stronger person and, because of what you learn through your experience, a better writer.


Copyright 2014 by Dr. MaryAnn Diorio, All Rights Reserved.

(Attitude) Regrouping

Sometimes in our writing career, we get blindsided by an unexpected event that temporarily throws us off course. It could be a family situation, a medical diagnosis, or a job loss.  Whatever the situation, we suddenly find ourselves facing a circumstance that diverts our full attention from our writing.  What can we do?

1) Stop and stay calm.  Panic gets us nowhere and stifles sound thinking.  The best way to stop and stay calm is to stay focused on Jesus. Isaiah 26:3 states: “You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you.”  Focusing on Jesus arouses our trust in Him. When we are at peace, we can think straight.

2) Remember that God is ordering your steps.  Our Lord knows exactly what is happening in your life. It is of no surprise to Him.  He also knows that He will see you through as you trust in Him.  No matter what happens to us, we can know that all things work together for our good because we love God (Romans 8:38).  As you look back in the future, you will see that God has brought good out of a bad situation.

3) Be gentle with yourself. Allow yourself time to grieve. If God remembers that you are flesh (Psalm 78:39), so should you.

Are you going through a difficult time right now? Do you need help regrouping? If so, please share so that we may pray for you.

Copyright 2013 by Dr. MaryAnn Diorio. All Rights Reserved.