The Story of the Two Sons

“Guard your heart above all else, for it determines
the course of your life.” ~ Proverbs 4:23
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confusion  , direction , arrowOnce upon a time there was an alcoholic who had two sons. One son looked at his father and thought, When I grow up, I’m going to be just like my father. The other son looked at his father and thought, When I grow up, I will not be at all like my father.  Surely enough, the first son grew up to be an alcoholic just like his father, and surely enough, the second son grew up and never touched an alcoholic drink his entire life.

What was the difference between the two sons? The difference was in what they believed. The son who became an alcoholic believed he had no control over his life.  The son who remained sober believed he did have control over his life.  The alcoholic son believed he was a victim of circumstances. The sober son believed he was a victor over circumstances. The son who became an alcoholic believed he was doomed by his past. The second son who remained sober believed that his past had no power over him unless he gave it power.

In short, the son who became an alcoholic allowed his past to break him. The son who remained sober allowed his past to make him.

What about you? Are you allowing your past to make you or break you?

The choice is entirely up to you.

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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

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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 This article may not be published or printed in any form whatsoever without the written permission of Dr.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.

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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:

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Shaping Your Circumstances

“Guard your heart above all else, for it determines
the course of your life.” ~ Proverbs 4:23
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One of the greatest gifts God gave you is the freedom to choose. How you use this freedom will determine your failure or success in life.

No matter what your past has been—whether you’re from Yale or jail—YOU can choose to make your future. YOU decide whether you will be a grasshopper or a giant in life.

Becoming a giant means being willing to change. It means being willing to give up negative habits and to replace them with positive ones. But the long-term rewards far outweigt the sacrifices. Indeed, as Zig Ziglar, well-known motivational speaker, used to say, “You don’t pay a price for success; you enjoy its benefits.”

Begin today to enjoy the benefits of success by getting rid of negative habits that have caused you to fail. Decide to take charge of your life.

Taking charge of your life begins with accepting full responsibility for your actions. It’s so easy to blame your parents, your environment, or your childhood circumstances for failure in your life. The truth is that YOU ALONE ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR YOUR ACTIONS.

For many people, this is a truth too painful to admit. It’s much easier to find a scapegoat for failure. Acknowledging your total responsibility for your actions, however, frees you and puts you well on the road to success.

Remember: It’s not your past that matters; it’s how you react to your past. Likewise, it’s not your present situation that matters’ it’s how you respond to that situation.

NOTE: This post is excerpted from Dr. MaryAnn’s book, YOU WERE MADE FOR GREATNESS, available in Kindle and Audiobook formats.
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Questions: 1) How are you responding to your current problems? 2) What do you need to change, if anything, about your responses?

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If you found this post helpful, please pass it on to someone who can benefit from reading it. Thank you!
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Copyright 2015 by MaryAnn Diorio, PhD, MFA.  All Rights Reserved.

Making Right Choices

“Guard your heart above all else, for it determines
the course of your life.” ~ Proverbs 4:23
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Life is a journey of choices. Each choice we make affects the next one we make. Choices are the building blocks of life. Successful lives are built on right choices; unsuccessful lives are built on wrong ones.

Since choices are the building blocks of life, the key question then, in my opinion, is How does one make right choices? What guidelines should one use to make those right choices that will ensure a happy, successful, productive life?

Let’s take a simple illustration. When you go on a car trip to a destination you’ve never visited before, you usually plug in your GPS. The GPS shows you the roads that will take you to your destination. If you deliberately refuse to follow the GPS, it may take you longer to get to your destination, if you get there at all.

Life works the same way. God has given us a GPS to follow to get us to success here on earth and to Heaven, our final destination. That GPS is the Bible. Unless we follow the directions in it, we will miss success here and Heaven hereafter.

God’s directions are clearly spelled out in the Bible. The problem is that most people don’t take the time to read them. Or, if they do read them, they don’t always follow them.

Failure to follow God’s directions results in painful detours such as broken relationships, sickness, drug and alcohol addiction, sexual perversion, and financial problems, among other things. Without someone to help us get back on the right road, these detours can sometimes be fatal.

But God, in His great mercy, has provided not only a way to get us back on the right road but also a way for us to avoid painful detours in the first place. Let’s consider what He says: “I have set before you life and death, the blessings and the curses; therefore CHOOSE LIFE, that you and your descendants may live” (Deuteronomy 30:19, emphasis mine).

God created us with a free will whereby we can choose either the path that leads to life or the path that leads to death. He has clearly shown us both paths and the consequences of following each one. Moreover, He has clearly explained what we must do to choose the path of life. If we are wise, we will follow His instructions since He created us and therefore knows what is best for us.

Perhaps your life has been a series of one bad choice after another. Perhaps you feel totally hopeless about ever getting out of the mess you are in. If this describes you, let me encourage you. The best way to stop making bad choices is to start making good ones. It’s that simple.

Here are some steps to take to help you begin making right choices:

1) Make a quality choice that from now on, you will do everything you can to make right choices in your life. A quality choice is a choice from which there is no retreat. In other words, burn all of your bridges behind you. Determine that you will do your best never again to make a wrong choice.

2) Begin studying the Bible, the perfect guidebook to making right choices. It is the only book that offers the road map to success on earth and the road map to Heaven. In its pages, you will find the wisdom to make right choices about every area of your life. As you obey the instructions found in this awesome book, you will find your life changing for the better.

3) Give your life to Jesus Christ. When you do, His Holy Spirit comes to live in your spirit for the purpose of helping you to make right choices.

4) Pray before making choices, especially major ones like whom you should marry, where you should worship, where you should live, what job you should take, etc. Once you have given your life to Christ, you will be able to tell when you’ve made a right choice by the peace that you will experience.

The Book of Proverbs tells us that there is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death (Proverbs 14:12). If your way of doing things has not brought you true joy and success, then try God’s way. I guarantee you’ll like it!

Questions: 1) What choice are you facing now for which you need direction? 2) Are you confident that God will give you wisdom to make the right choice? 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!
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Copyright 2015 by MaryAnn Diorio, PhD, MFA. All Rights Reserved.