What Is Your Idol?

by Dr. MaryAnn Diorio

WINNING WITH THE WORD

“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.

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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, February 21, 2022, and this is Episode #8 of Series 2022. This episode is titled “What Is Your Idol?”

In the Book of Acts, chapter 22, we learn that the Apostle Paul was im Jerusalem and about to be arrested when he asked the commander of the guard to allow him to defend himself before the people. 

The crowd grew very quiet and listened as Paul began to give his testimony about how Jesus had saved him on the road to Damascus. All was going well, and the crowd was listening attentively until Paul told the people that, because the Jews had refused and rejected the Messiah, the Messiah was now sending Paul to preach to the Gentiles. 

At the mention of the word “Gentiles,” the crowd flew into a rage. 

Why?

Because Paul had struck a nerve. The nerve of their idol. What was their idol? Self-righteousness.

You see, the Jews believed that they were saved simply by the fact that they were Jews. Moreover, they believed that salvation was only for the Jews and for no one else.

When Paul challenged this belief–this idol of theirs–the Jews could not handle it. This is what idols do. They make us angry when they are detected and exposed.

Idols in our hearts will stand in the way of our seeing the truth. Idols in our hearts will blind us to what God has for us. idols in our hearts will keeping us from fulfilling God’s plan for our lives.

Today, here in the West, we tend to think of idols as statues that only people in third-world countries worship. Yet, there are idols of the heart that are just as destructive.

What is the idol in your heart? Is it money? Your career? Sex? Pornography? Drugs? Smoking? Food? Your car? Your spouse? Your children? Your health? 

While some of these things are good–like loving your spouse and your children and taking care of your health–they can be carried to the extreme of putting them above God. When this happens, the idol becomes sinful.

Each of us must continually guard against idols in our hearts. Satan builds them secretly, subtly, surreptitiously. But once built, they strangle us in their tenacious grip and become what the Bible calls a stronghold. 

If you have an idol in your heart–or more than one–repent now and renounce it in the name of Jesus. If you don’t know whether or not you have idols in your heart, ask the Holy Spirit to show you. He will.

Most of all, read the Bible. The Bible is like a mirror. When we look into it, we see ourselves reflected in its light. In other words, reading the Bible shows us those areas of our lives where we don’t measure up to God’s standard. It shows us those things in our lives that are idols.

The Bible sets the standard of conduct for our life. It is our responsibility to adhere to that standard. 

But we cannot adhere to God’s standard of conduct in our own strength. No, we need a Savior to adhere to it for us. The good news is that we already have such a Savior. His Name is Jesus Christ. He paid the price for our sins against God the Father because we could not pay it. And He, Jesus, gives us grace to live by God’s standards because we in ourselves cannot.

Do you know this wonderful Messiah of ours? If you have not yet met Him, let me introduce you to Him now. 

He is the most perfect Person you will ever know. He is God and man. He is the One Who died for you so that you could live with Him forever. Won’t you receive Him now as your Savior and Lord? Pray this simple prayer with me:

Lord Jesus, I want to know You. I want to experience Your goodness and mercy and grace. So I choose now to repent of my sin, to turn away from it. I choose to repent of all the idols in my life. I invite You now into my life, and I receive You as my Savior and my Lord. Thank You for saving me, healing me, and restoring me. In Your Name I pray. Amen.

If you sincerely prayed this prayer, please write down today’s date. It is your spiritual birthday. And please write to me at drmaryann@maryanndiorio.com or at drmaryann@celebrationlifecoaching.com. I would like to send you a free PDF booklet, titled After You’re Born Again. This booklet will help you get started in your walk with Jesus.

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 teaches 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. It is critically important in these last days to fellowship with other believers who are mature in Christ and who can guide you as you grow in Him.

If you need help to move forward in your relationship with Jesus, consider hiring me as your personal life coach. Contact me at drmaryann@celebrationlifecoaching.com to set up an appointment. Also, visit my website at CelebrationLifeCoaching.com for answers to many of your questions about coaching and for testimonials from some of the clients I have already helped.

For example, Tracy said this; “Personal coaching was like having a personal trainer for the mind.”
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If this podcast has helped you in any way, please consider supporting it by becoming one of my valued patrons. Just go to patreon.com/winningwiththeword to join my wonderful Team. Patrons receive numerous benefits in appreciation for their support. 

Until next time, remember 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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Copyright 2000-2022 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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How to Get Rid of Emotional Pain?

by Dr. MaryAnn Diorio

WINNING WITH THE WORD

“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 subscribe to this blog, click here. 
To subscribe to this podcast, click here.

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

Be sure to check out our Featured Book of the Week at the end of this post.

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Do you prefer listening instead of reading? Then click below to listen to today’s blog post on podcast.

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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, January 10, 2022, and this is Episode #2 of Series 2022. This episode is titled “How to Get Rid of Emotional Pain.”

Are you hurting on the inside? Are you struggling with negative emotions that you don’t know how to get rid of? Do you sometimes feel as though you simply can’t go on?

If so, I empathize with you. For many years, I carried emotional pain around like a noose around my neck or a ball and chain around my ankle. No matter what I did to get rid of it, it just hung around, crippling my life and keeping me from the freedom I so longed to experience.

But then one day, I learned the secret of getting rid of emotional pain.

But, before I reveal the secret, let’s talk a little about the nature of emotional pain. Emotional pain has its roots in our thinking. Yes, you heard me right. In our thinking. You see, it’s not what happens to us that matters; it’s how we think about what happens to us that matters. I’m going to repeat that statement: It’s not what happens to us that matters; it’ show we think about what happens to us that matters.

In other words, our perspective on our traumatic experience is what gives that experience control over our lives or gives us control over the experience.

For example, two children can both experience the pain of a parent’s alcoholism, but one child learns from the pain of that experience and creates a successful life for herself, while the other child gets angry with God and ends up an alcoholic like his parent.

Perhaps you are the child of an alcoholic or a drug addict. Perhaps you are the product of childhood abuse or trauma. Perhaps you experienced a tragic divorce or lost a child. Perhaps you went bankrupt and lost everything you owned. Whatever your traumatic experience, it left you with a lot of emotional baggage that you now have to deal with.

You’re carrying that emotional baggage around with you, and, whether you realize it or not, it is affecting your relationships. It is causing you continual pain. Isn’t it about time to get rid of it?

 

It is not what happens to you that matters. It is how you perceive what happens to you that matters.

 

When I was five years old, I was struck by a car. My parents took me for dead, but, thankfully, I was merely unconscious. During that horrible incident, I sustained a fracture of my left clavicle. I remember awakening to consciousness in the hospital, being held down flat on a stretcher, with a group of white-coated medical personnel pushing down on my shoulder to put it back in place. I screamed in agony at the excruciating pain. In my little five-year-old mind, I did not realize that the doctors and nurses hovering over me were only trying to help me. I perceived them as trying to hurt me even more. In short, I was traumatized by my wrong perception.

Several years later, my parents went through a bankruptcy. We lost our home and had only 30 days to find a house to rent. But no one would rent to a family of seven children. I remember driving around with my pregnant mother, looking for a house. Person after person slammed the door in our faces, saying to my mother, “We refuse to rent to you. Your children will destroy our home.” Little did they know that we were well-behaved children whose parents had trained us to respect the property of others. 

I remember a very cold winter when we ran out of food to eat and oil to heat our home. A very hungry bunch of little children gathered around our old fireplace, stomachs growling as we huddled together around the fire in our winter coats. It was then I learned that, just as the Bible says, poverty is a curse.

I could go on and on with other negative experiences that brought great pain to my life. I’m sure you have your own set of experiences, many of them far worse than mine.

So, why is it that today I am free of the emotional pain of the past? There is only one reason: Jesus Christ set me free!

When I had had enough of emotional pain, I got smart and turned to Jesus. I invited him into my life and received Him as my Savior and Lord. It was then that He began the process of restoring my soul, a promise that He makes in Psalm 23: 3 to all who need freedom from emotional pain.

You might be thinking, “But, Dr. MaryAnn, you don’t understand. My emotional pain is too great.” 

I would say to you, “God is bigger than your pain.” No matter what you’ve been through or what you are going through now, Jesus is bigger than your pain. In fact, He took your pain to the Cross with Him. He doesn’t want you to have to carry it any longer.

So, where do you begin?  

You begin by admitting that you’ve been carrying around a lot of emotional baggage that you want to get rid of. Then you ask Jesus to come into your life to remove the baggage. He will. One layer at a time. Like an onion. He peels away a little. You cry a little. Then He peels away a little more, and you cry a little more. Until one day, you discover that the entire onion has been peeled.  All the pain has been removed. You are finally free!

God did not create us to carry emotional pain. He created us to live joy-filled lives of love and peace. This is what He wants for you.

But do you want it for yourself? Do you want it enough to lay down your own way of getting rid of pain and choosing God’s way? Do you want freedom from pain enough to turn your back on those drugs, those cigarettes, that alcohol, that illicit sex, that pornography, that food addiction?  If so, you are ready to be free of your emotional pain.

Let’s pray together now:

Lord Jesus, I’m tired of carrying around emotional pain. I’m tired of hurting on the inside. Tired of sleepless mights. Tired of fear and worry. Tired of regret and remorse. Tired of hangovers and false highs. Tired of the torment of the past. I’m deciding now to give you my pain because I can’t carry it any longer. And I know that when I give you my pain, You will begin to clean me up. And I’m asking for You to restore my soul as You promise me in Psalm 23: 3.  I invite You now into my life to be my Savior and Lord. Thank You for giving me new life. Thank You for restoring my soul. Thank You for removing the emotional pain of the past. In Your Name I pray. Amen.

If you sincerely prayed this prayer, please write down today’s date. It is your spiritual birthday. And please write to me at drmaryann@maryanndiorio.com. I would like to send you a free PDF booklet, titled After You’re Born Again, 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 teaches 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. It is critically important in these last days to fellowship with other believers who are mature in Christ and who can guide you as you grow in Him.

For those of you who may not know, I write fiction that deals with the deepest issues of the human heart. My stories are about ordinary people like you and me who struggle with the same kinds of problems we struggle with. So, check out my fiction at maryanndiorio.com/book-table.

Also, if this podcast has helped you in any way, please consider supporting it by becoming one of my valued patrons. Just go to patreon.com/winningwiththeword to join my wonderful Team. Patrons receive numerous benefits in appreciation for their support. 

Until next time, remember 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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Copyright 2000-2022 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.

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.Disclaimer: This site uses cookies. Your continued use of this site constitutes your consent to our use of cookies. 

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How to Conquer Anxiety Once and for All

by Dr. MaryAnn Diorio

WINNING WITH THE WORD

“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 to listen to today’s blog post:

 

 

 

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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 8, 2020. Today’s Podcast is Episode #23 in Series 2020 and is titled “How to Conquer Anxiety Once and for All.”

I recently heard on the news that the use of anti-anxiety and anti-depression drugs has skyrocketed. This news saddened me because we don’t have to depend on drugs to handle anxiety. There is a better way, and I want to share that better way with you today. It is found in the Holy Bible.

The Bible was given to us by God as a manual for life. Sadly, however, most people haven’t read their manual. Then they wonder why their lives are not working right.

You see, we all need instructions for navigating our time here on earth. Sure, we can do things our way, but in the end, our way will fail. Why? 

Because, truth be told, we are not that smart! 🙂

When we think we are smarter than our Maker, we get into all kinds of trouble. And one of them is anxiety.

You see anxiety comes from our failure to trust God and to live according to His commands. Why don’t we trust God? Because we have not taken the time to get to know Him. When we get to know God, we will discover that no one is more trustworthy than He is. In fact, He is perfectly trustworthy, precisely because He is God and, as God, He is perfect.

Sadly, most people today want to be their own god. They don’t want God telling them what to do. As the old Frank Sinatra song goes, they want to do it “their way.”

Are you one of those people? Are you someone who wants to do it your way instead of God’s way? If so, what has that gotten you so far? Has your way given you peace? Freedom from anxiety and fear? Joy and blessings? Or has doing things your way made you anxious, worried, and fearful?

Chances are doing things your way hasn’t gotten you very far, especially during these challenging times when the world seems to be crumbling around us; when you don’t know if you will have enough money to feed your family or to pay your bills; when your heart is filled with anxiety.

So, let me ask you a question. Are you ready to start doing things God’s way? Are you ready to start putting your trust in Him by giving Him your burdens, as He commands us to do in the Bible? Are you willing to surrender your life to Him because He cares for you?

If so, pray this simple prayer with me now:

Lord Jesus, I come to You, just as I am. I’m ready to conquer anxiety once and for all, but I know that I cannot do so without You. So I ask You to come into my life. I receive You as my Savior and my Lord. Thank You for Your peace that passes all understanding. 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.  You can Alsop urchase this book at the link below if you are reading this as a blog post. 

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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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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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The Only Surefire Way to Break the Chain of Addiction

 

“Guard your heart above all else, for it determines
the course of your life.” ~ Proverbs 4:23
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Addiction is slavery to an idol in one’s life.

Addiction occurs when one looks to a false god instead of the one true God to supply one’s need. Addiction surrenders to false pleasure despite adverse consequences.

Chain breaking

There are many types of addiction: alcohol, drugs, sex, food, computer, sports, money.  Any idol in one’s life is an addiction. 

Certain programs can help one manage addiction.  But ultimately, only Jesus Christ can set one completely free.  Why? Because getting free from addiction requires supernatural power.

Scripture says this in John 8:36: “So if the Son sets you free, you are truly free.”  Let the supernatural power of the Son of God set you free.  Only then will you be truly free.

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