The Dangers of Generation Separation

by Dr. MaryAnn Diorio

WINNING WITH THE WORD

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Hello and Happy Day! This is Dr. MaryAnn Diorio, Novelist and Life Coach, welcoming you to another episode of Winning with the Word. Today is Monday, June 15, 2020. Today’s Podcast is Episode #24 in Series 2020 and is titled “The Dangers of Generation Separation.”

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When I was growing up in the fifties, the elderly sat on front porches surrounded by toddlers and teens.  It was a common practice for groups of children to visit middle-aged and elderly neighbors to listen to tales of earlier days.

Back then, there were no such things as “senior citizens” or “adult communities.” Nursing homes were virtually non-existent, and grandparents often lived with their children and grandchildren. The grandparents gave the children time and wisdom, and the children gave the grandparents a sense of joy and lasting youth.

During the past half century, we’ve seen a dangerous phenomenon occur. I call it the “generation separation”–the deliberate attempt by our culture, and even our churches, to separate the elderly from the young and the young from the elderly. The result has been a tragic loss of wisdom for the young and respect for the elderly.

In the Biblical model, there is no separation of generations. All ages lived together, worked together, and played together.  The generations were interdependent. This is God’s way, and it is His way for a reason.

Throughout the Scriptures, the older generation is commanded to instruct the younger generation in the ways of God, and the younger generation is commanded to learn from the older generation. This is not to say that the young cannot teach the old.  I’ve learned more from children, especially my own, than from any other age group. It is to say, however, that the older generation has a mandate from God to teach the younger generation to know Him. How can this happen unless the generations interact?

Today, as people are living longer, it is not unusual to meet great-grandparents as well as grandparents.  I personally know of some families that are blessed with five living generations.  To separate the great-grandchildren from the great-grandparents would be to rob both of great blessings.

I propose, therefore, a return to the mingling of generations, for these reasons:

  1. It is God’s way of blessing all generations.
  2. It fosters respect for the elderly and wisdom for the young.
  3. It serves as a valuable link of understanding between the past and the future.
  4. It provides roots that, in turn, provide stability to families.
  5. It nurtures a sense of belonging and unity so essential for emotional and spiritual well-being.

If you are in a situation where you are separated from other generations, I encourage you to find a way to bridge that gap.  If you have small children, bring them around the elderly.  If you are among the elderly, spend time with children.  Not only will you be greatly blessed, but you will be a venue of blessing to generations other than your own.

The most important thing you can do for your grandchildren is to teach them the truth about Jesus. But how can you teach them if you do not know Him yourself? 

If you do not know Jesus Christ as your personal Savior and Lord, pray this simple prayer with me now:

Lord Jesus, I come to You, just as I am. I want to be a good grandparent to my grandchildren. I want to leave them the most important legacy I can leave them: a legacy of faith in You. So I ask You now to come into my life. I receive You as my Savior and my Lord. In Your Name I pray. Amen.

If you prayed this simple prayer, please write to me at drmaryann@maryanndiorio.com. I would like to send you a little booklet that will help you get started in your walk with Christ. I also encourage you to get yourself a Bible and read it every single day. The Bible is God’s love letter to you, His manual for your life. In the Bible, God reveals Who He is, and He instructs you how to live.

Finally, ask the Lord to lead you to the church of His choice for you where you can learn about Him and have fellowship and encouragement with other Christ-Followers.

For those of you who may not know, I write fiction about many of the issues I deal with in this blog and podcast. My latest novel, In Black and White, recently won First Place in Historical Fiction in the 2020 Christian Indie Book Awards Contest. It is the page-turning, compelling love story between a white woman and a black man as they face the wrath of family and society in order to preserve their love. This book was written for such a time as this, in which we are facing very serious issues of racism and hatred in our society. To discover the only real answer to racism, get your copy of IN BLACK AND WHITE now at Apple Books, Barnes & Noble, Amazon, Kobo, or other vendors of your choice.  If you are reading this blog post, you can also purchase IN BLACK AND WHITE at the link below or on my website at maryanndiorio.com. Just click the bookstore tab at the top of the page.

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You will also find additional resources on living the abundant life in Jesus Christ on my website at maryanndiorio.com.

If you have been blessed by these messages, I encourage you to share them with others. I also invite you to become a Winning with the Word patron on Patreon. As a patron you will enjoy special benefits only for my patrons. Just go to Patreon.com and search for Winning with the Word to join. I would like to thank all of my patrons who are making this podcast possible. It is now reaching 23 countries throughout the world with the message of the Gospel. I could not do this without you.

Thank you so much for listening. This is Dr. MaryAnn Diorio, novelist and life coach, reminding you that God loves you just as you are and just where you are, and that He will help you to keep on Winning with the Word.

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Now it’s your turn:  “What are you doing to leave a legacy to your grandchildren?”  Please leave your comment in the Comment Box below. Thank you!

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Copyright 2000-2020 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 info@maryanndiorio.com to request permission.

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LIVING IN A VIOLENT WORLD

by Dr. MaryAnn Diorio

Check out my 2019 Book Catalogue

WINNING WITH THE WORD
by Dr. MaryAnn Diorio

“Winning with the Word” is a weekly blog that will help you to be a winner in life by applying God’s principles
for living the abundant life as found in the Bible, God’s manual for life.

AN INVITATION TO YOU: To follow this blog, click here.  

If this blog has blessed you, please encourage your family and friends to subscribe as well. Thank you!

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Do you prefer listening instead of reading? Then click below on the PODCAST LINK to today’s blog post:

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by Dr. MaryAnn Diorio

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School has already been in session for over a month now, but perhaps some of you parents and grandparents have been sending your children and grandchildren off to school this year with more than the usual amount of anxiety. With all the violence in our world today, particularly as it relates to children, a new phobia has developed in our culture–a phobia that the young loved ones we send off to school in the morning may not come home in the afternoon.

Are you a victim of this phobia? Do you spend the entire day worried about the safety of your children? Perhaps some of you who are reading this post or listening to the podcast are, yourselves, students who arrive at school every morning wondering if you’ll leave there alive that afternoon. Certainly, this is no way to live, and, certainly, God does not want you to live this way.

But what can be done? Do we need tougher laws? Do we need more security in our schools? Do we need to screen students more carefully? While all of these measures may provide a small amount of improvement, they do not get to the root cause of the problem.

You see, no amount of external changes in policy will effect a lasting safety for our children, nor for ourselves. The reason is that the problem lies not in the external circumstances, but in the internal arena of the human heart. It is in the human heart that the battle against violence is waged.

In Proverbs chapter 23, verse 7, the Bible says that “as a man thinks in his heart, so is he.” This means that a person will respond to life based on what is in his heart.

Well, if we continually fill our hearts with evil, such as images of violence, hatred, and lust, then we will respond to life with violence, hatred, and lust. If, on the other hand, we fill our hearts with good images–such as kindness, peace, and love–then we will respond to life with kindness, peace, and love. To expect to change society without first changing the heart is futile, because in order to change the fruit, we first have to change the root. The root of a person is his heart.

So, how does all of this relate to the safety of our children in our schools? It relates very significantly because we now know that our major efforts in protecting our children must be directed not toward more social programs, but toward changing the human heart. 

Well, you may be thinking, that’s all well and good, but how can we change the human heart? The answer to that excellent question is, “We can’t! Only God can.” But there are some very important things we can do to get God to change the human heart. Let me share some of these things with you. They are found in 2 Chronicles chapter 7, verse 14. There God says, “If My people, who are called by My Name, will humble themselves and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and heal their land.”

This Scripture passage gives us a formula for addressing the problems we face as a society and, more specifically, for ensuring our safety, both in our schools and in our country. Let’s look at this passage closely:

  1. “If My people who are called by My Name ….” God is speaking to those of us who belong to Him, those of us who have been born again and are part of the Kingdom of God. He is saying that we are the ones who are responsible for getting our country back on track, for we alone are the ones who know how to do so. We alone have the power and the authority through Jesus Christ to do so. And how do we do so? The rest of the passage tells us.
  2. “If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves ….” (Italics mine). We are to humble ourselves before the Lord. What does this mean? It means that we are to acknowledge our helplessness without God. We are to admit our need for Him, our total dependence on Him. We are to give up all pride and self-sufficiency and realize that without God, we are nothing and we can do nothing. We are to confess our sins and the sins of our nation and repent of them.
  3. And seek My face  ….” We are to seek God’s face. This means that we are to look for Him first of all in His Word, in our time spent alone with Him in prayer, in our fellow believers throughout the world, and in creation. We are to make God number one in our lives. We are to desire Him above all else, to crave Him as a vital necessity.
  4. “And turn from their wicked ways ….” We are to turn from our wicked ways. It’s very interesting to do a study of the word “wicked.” Most of us know what wicker furniture is. It is furniture in which the wood is twisted to form interesting shapes in the finished product. Well, the word “wicked” means “twisted.” A person is wicked when he twists the truth to suit his own circumstances.

For instance, God’s Word commands us to tithe, to give the first ten percent of our income to the Lord’s work. But someone may say, “I don’t need to tithe because God understands that I don’t have enough money.” That person is twisting the truth of God’s Word and is, therefore, acting wickedly. He is following a wicked way.

These three steps–humbling ourselves, seeking God’s face, and turning from our wicked ways–are the conditions which, when fulfilled, will cause God to move on our behalf. Let’s see what God will do when we’ve humbled ourselves, sought His face, and turned from our wicked ways.

Verse 14 of the second chapter of Chronicles says that God will do three things:

___He will hear from Heaven. Have you ever prayed to God and felt as though your prayers were falling on deaf ears? Well, maybe they were! If so, ask yourself if you have fulfilled the conditions that gain God’s attention. Have you humbled yourself before him? Have you sought His face? Have you turned from your wicked ways? Now, these conditions apply to those who have already been born again because God makes it clear at the beginning of this verse that He is talking to His people.

A person who is not born again can cry out to God for forgiveness and God will always hear him. But God expects more from His children. He expects us to know better than to be proud, to neglect Him, and to act wickedly. He expects us to obey Him.

___The second thing God will do when we obey Him is He will forgive our sin. God is infinitely merciful, always ready and willing to forgive us. But we have to show Him that we sincerely desire His forgiveness and that we sincerely intend to turn from our sin and follow His way.

___Finally, the third thing God will do when we turn back to Him is He will heal our land. This is critical to the safety of our children, for when our land is healed, violence will give place to peace and danger will give place to safety. 

But how can all of this be accomplished? It will be accomplished through the changing of the human heart, one person at a time. It is up to those of us who are followers of Christ to allow ourselves to be used by God as He does the changing. It is up to us to tell others about the love of Christ and what He has done and desires to do for every human being.

The Word says in Romans 10: 14-15: “How then shall they call on Him in Whom they have not believed, and how shall they believe in Him of Whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher?” How can people know about Christ unless they hear about Him? And how can they hear about Him unless you and I tell them about Him?

I thank God for the young woman named Margo who first told me about Jesus Christ. I shudder to think of what would have happened to me had she not had the courage to tell me of Christ’s love and saving grace. Because of Margo, not only will I spend eternity in heaven with Jesus Christ, but countless other people will as well because I told them about Jesus Christ.

So, if you want your children to be safe in school, pray for their safety. But also, tell others about Jesus Christ. Tell parents and teenagers, grandparents and single moms. Tell the person standing behind you in the checkout line, the person sitting beside you in the waiting room at the dentist’s office, the plumber who comes to repair your leaky faucet. When you do, God will do His part about changing hearts. And when enough hearts are changed, our country will once again become safe for our children and for us.

Perhaps some of you listening have never heard about the power of Jesus Christ to change your life. Perhaps you never heard the term “born again,” but you want to know more. You’re tired of living in fear, defeat, and depression. You’re hungry for change but don’t know where to turn. Well, let me introduce you to the most awesome friend you will ever know: Jesus Christ, the Savior of the World. His title says it all. He came to save everyone. But in order to receive the salvation He earned on the Cross, you have to believe that He died for you personally, and then you have to accept His sacrifice for you.

I know in my spirit that there are many of you listening today who have tried every path to freedom but each one has led you to a dead end. You’ve reached the end of your rope. Some of you are even ready to end it all. But before you do, give yourself one more chance. Invite Jesus into your life today. You’ll discover that He is the One you’ve been looking for all along.

Just pray this simple prayer with me:

Lord Jesus, I come to You just as I am. I admit that I am a sinner in need of Your mercy and grace. I believe that You are the Son of God, that You died for me, and that You rose again on the third day. I invite You now to come into my life. I receive You as my personal Savior and as the Lord of my life. Make of me all that You created me to be. Amen.

If you sincerely prayed this prayer, you are now a born-again Christ-Follower. I invite you to write to me at drmaryann@maryanndiorio.com. I would like to send you a little booklet that will help get you started in your Christian walk.  Also I invite you to visit me at my website at maryanndiorio.com

Now, it’s YOUR turn: What about you? Do you fear for your children’s safety? Please share your comments in the Comments Box below. Thank you!

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“Can endurance and faith sustain the love between a white woman and a black man as they are threatened by rejection, violence, and racial injustice? Can love alone reconcile their starkly different worlds, lighting the way to a bright future together? Find out in MaryAnn Diorio’s forthcoming novel, IN BLACK AND WHITE, soon to be released. Stay tuned!”

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Copyright 20111-2019 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 info@maryanndiorio.com to request permission.

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DANCING WITH THE CHILDREN

by Dr. MaryAnn Diorio

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

MARYANN’S NOTE: At Holy Spirit’s direction, I wil be posting a few personal experience stories over the next few weeks. These experiences happened to me personally and reveal God’s supernatural presence and power in our lives. I trust that these stories will encourage you, inspire you, and reveal to you how much God loves you and is involved with your life as well.
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DANCING WITH THE CHILDREN
by MaryAnn Diorio, PhD

The church sanctuary filled with the sweet fragrance of Holy Spirit’s Presence.

As I raised my hands in worship and sang praises to the Father from the depths of my heart, I suddenly found myself transported in the spirit to another realm. I was standing in the throne room of Heaven, participating in a magnificent worship service. Millions of saints, with uplifted holy hands, sang in joyful praise and worship to the Father.

My eyes scanned their faces, radiant with love and adoration. All eyes faced forward and focused on the front of the room. Following their unified gaze, my eyes beheld a Brilliant Being Who sat on a magnificent throne at the far end of the huge space.

Abba Father.

My heart instantly knew.

And my heart instantly bowed.

His countenance glowed with intense pleasure at watching His children enjoy His presence. His lips held a smile that was beyond description in its beauty and its grace.

His demeanor was at once kingly yet common. Common in the sense of humble and unassuming.

I could not take my eyes off of Him.

Nor did I want to.

Lights of colors the likes of which I had never seen emanated from His Being. Sounds of frequencies the likes of which I had never heard emanated from His voice.

The music was festive. Lively.

And very Jewish.

My feet began to move in rhythm to its joyful sounds. All around me, my brothers and sisters in Christ began to dance before the Father, their faces beaming with the fun of the moment. Tambourines sounded; cymbals crashed; voices rose in glorious timbres and tones to praise the great and wonderful God of the Universe.

The joy in the hearts of the saints was palpable as they filled the atmosphere with their loud shouts of praise.

Suddenly, my eyes noticed movement on the Throne. To my great surprise and even greater delight, Abba Father got up from His throne, descended the long stairway leading up to it, and joined His children in the dance.

Cheers arose from the congregation as they watched Father join them in their dance.

My heart beat wildly. Tears flowed from my eyes. I was taken aback by His utter humility. He had become one of us. Indeed, I could tell that His enormous delight lay in that very act of becoming one of us.

My eyes remained glued to the Father, as did my heart. One at a time, He took the hands of His children and spun them around in circles of joy. Laughing. Singing.

Blessing.

No one was slighted. Everyone was touched by His loving hand.

And His loving heart.

As I watched, mesmerized by His love, He turned toward me.

My heart skipped a beat as He headed toward me.

Straight toward me.

All time stood still as His compassionate eyes penetrated my spirit with their infinite love. Now He stood before me, kind and expectant. Nodding slightly, he took both of my hands in His, and I felt the merging of His heart with mine.

In that instant, I was the only one in the large hall. Everyone else had disappeared into the background.

Abba Father had eyes only for me.

The next thing I knew, He was whirling me around the dance floor, as a Father does with His little girl at a wedding.

And, as a little girl dancing with her Papa at a wedding feels the delight of His acceptance, His approval, and His love, so did I.

Together we whirled around the dance floor, His strength carrying me, His eyes never leaving mine. They twinkled and sparkled and laughed. They danced in merriment and rejoiced in delight.

And, most of all, they loved me.

My heart joined my feet in being lifted off the ground.

I had the distinct impression that as Abba danced only with me, He was also dancing only with each of His children in that great hall. On a level I cannot explain, I knew that, in relating to Abba, everyone felt as though he or she were the only one in the entire sanctuary. That is the way of the Father.

There is something about the Father’s love that makes one feel that she alone is the apple of His eye.

For several beautiful moments, I was caught up in the ecstasy of that other-world experience. Then, slowly, and a bit sadly, I stepped back from the spirit realm and returned to the church sanctuary to rejoin my physical body.

But I returned a different person. I returned as one who had experienced the goodness of God in a profound way.

I returned as one who would henceforth know firsthand that I am deeply loved, totally accepted, and warmly approved by the Father.

Most of all, I returned as one who had caught a glimpse into the Father’s heart and would never again be the same.
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Copyright 2015-2017 by MaryAnn Diorio. All Rights Reserved.

This article first appeared in Book Fun Magazine, October 2015.

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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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Copyright 2000-2017 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 drmaryann@maryanndiorio.com to request permission.

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.

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