Are You a Consumer Christian?

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, March 7, 2022, and this is Episode #10 of Series 2022. This episode is titled “Are You a Consumer Christian?”

So, what is a consumer Christian? In short, it is a person who looks to God as a vending machine.

Wow! That’s a pretty disrespectful way of looking at God, isn’t it?

Yes. It most certainly is!

Yet, all of us have been guilty of consumer Christianity at one point or another.

You may be asking, “How so?”

Well, let me give you some examples:

1. Do you go to God only when you’re in trouble?
2. Do you spend more time asking God for what you need than you do in worshipping Him? 
3. Does your life revolve around you and the things you’re interested in rather than revolving around God and the things that matter to Him?

These are only a few of the ways we have bought into Consumer Christianity.

And, I can assure you that our Lord is not pleased!

In an insightful article by Matt Reynolds, titled “The Death Rattle of Consumer Christianity,” and published on July 20, 2020, the author writes this:

“The consumeristic approach we’ve taken to church life in the United States is collapsing because it lacks a foundation. We have favored pragmatism over theology, crowds over disciples, marketing over evangelism, coffee bars over catechism. We have shown greater commitment to manufacturing celebrity pastors than lifting up unseen, humble, and sacrificial shepherds.”

How true and how sad!

But we have only ourselves to blame. Yes, there are pastors who have not been what they should have been to the flock of Christ. Pastors who have twisted and perverted the Gospel for their own gain and their own fame. But we are individually responsible for our own lives. Scripture warns us in Philippians 2: 13 to “work out our own salvation with fear and trembling.” In other words, we cannot pass the buck to poor pastors when it comes to the kind of Christian life we are leading.

So, let me ask you again: “Are you a Consumer Christian?” If so, do an about-face. Repent and get serious about your relationship with Jesus Christ. Worship Him because He is God and for no other reason. He alone deserves our worship, adoration, and praise. No matter what!

If you do not yet know this awesome Jesus Who died and rose from the dead for you, welcome Him into your life now. He is the only way you can be saved. He is your only ticket to Heaven. There is no other way, no matter what anyone tells you.

In Acts 1: 11, the Bible says this: “This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen Him go into heaven.” Hallelujah!  Yes, this same Jesus will one day very soon return in the same way He left to remove His Bride from the earth and to take her to be with Him forever in Heaven. Those of us who are born again are that Bride. You can be, too!

How? By accepting Jesus Christ now. Pray this simple prayer with me:

Lord Jesus, I want to go with You when You remove Your Bride from the earth. So I now repent of my sin, and I ask You to forgive me. I receive You as my Savior and my Lord. Thank You for saving me. In Your Name I pray. Amen.

If you sincerely prayed this prayer, welcome to God’s family! 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. This booklet will help you to 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.”
Just click here: CelebrationLifeCoaching.com/testimonials.

Also, visit my bookstore at maryanndiorio.com/book-table for outstanding books that I have written that will bless you.

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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Source cited: “The Death Rattle of Consumer Christianity” by Matt Reynold
https://firebrandmag.com/articles/the-death-rattle-of-consumer-christianity

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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 Hungry Are You?

by Dr. MaryAnn Diorio


WINNING WITH THE WORD
November 2, 2020

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What we hunger after reveals the god or gods of our lives. In common parlance, these gods are called “idols”. Today we don’t usually worship golden calves as idols (although some do). Instead, we worship habits and hobbies, people and places, money and ministries.

But there is only one God Who can satisfy our hunger, and that God is the Lord.

How hungry are you for Him?

Are you hungry enough to seek Him above all else? To put Him first in your daily life? To desire a deep relationship with Him above all else?

Too often, we allow the distractions of the world to draw us away from building a relationship with God. This is one of Satan’s most subtle tactics, and one of his most dangerous ones. Yet, there is nothing more important to our well-being than a personal relationship with God the Father through Jesus Christ. 

Why?

Because we were made for Him, and, as Augustine said, we will find no rest until we rest in Him. 

So, how do we seek God above all else? Here are some ways:

1. PURPOSE in your heart to seek God above all else.  Anything worth doing begins with a resolve to do it. The same is true of seeking God. We must decide to seek God and then commit to our decision.

2. PRACTICE the disciplines that go along with seeking God. Those disciplines are prayer, Bible study, and worship. Prayer is a two-way conversation with God in which He does most of the talking. The Bible is God’s manual for living. We need to study it diligently in order to learn how to deal with the challenges of life. Worship is laying our hearts at the feet of God, recognizing His Lordship in our lives.

3. PROCLAIM His goodness wherever you go. We are called to preach the Gospel in all of its power. This is the Great Commission. As we tell others about Jesus, we are hungering after God.

When we hunger after God, our hunger will be satisfied. And when our hunger is satisfied, we will know joy and peace.

What about you? Are you hungering after God? Perhaps you do not even know God. If this describes you, pray this simple prayer with me now:

Lord Jesus, I want to know You. I receive You now as my Savior and Lord. Forgive me of my sin. Cleanse me of all unrighteousness. Give me Your grace to follow you all the days of my life. Thank You for satisfying my hunger for You. I ask and receive in Your precious Name. Amen.

If you prayed this 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. I encourage you to visit my website bookstore at maryanndiorio.com/book-table

If you have been blessed by this blog and podcast, 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. We now reach 26 countries all over the world. I could not do this without your help.

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.

PLEASE TWEET: “How Hungry Are You?” by Dr. MaryAnn Diorio (CLICK TO TWEET)

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Now it’s your turn: Why should we hunger for God? Please leave your comment in the Comment Box below. Thank you.

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Check out these three popular Winning with the Word podcasts below. You may also search for a particular topic in the search box at the top of the sidebar on this page. 

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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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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.

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How to Turn Your Test into Your Testimony

Pursuing Your Victory

“Guard your heart above all else, for it determines
the course of your life.” ~ Proverbs 4:23
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Like any good parent, our loving Heavenly Father wants His children to mature.  The process of maturity requires testing.

test icon

A test is a measurement of your spiritual growth.  A test is not a punishment.  It is an opportunity to fulfill our call as followers of Yeshua to enforce God’s Kingdom on the earth.

When a test comes–as it surely will–our response to the test will determine whether or not we pass the test. If we respond in the Spirit, we will pass the test. If we respond in the flesh, we will fail the test.

In every test lies the seed of victory and the seed of failure.  What seed sprouts depends on how we respond to the test.  

Respond in such a way that your test will become your testimony of God’s power manifested in your life.

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How to Set Healthful Boundaries

“Guard your heart above all else, for it determines
the course of your life.” ~ Proverbs 4:23
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What is a boundary? A boundary is a line that defines where one thing ends and another begins. When it comes to the human heart, a boundary is anything that helps you to differentiate you from someone else.

Scenic view of a white fencing heading down a hill during autumn season.

A boundary tells what something is and what something is not.

God defines Himself by boundaries. He tells us that He is love (I John 4:16) and that He is not darkness (I John 1:5). God also tells us what He will allow (righteousness) and what He will not allow (sin).  

Boundaries are essential to emotional well-being. Many problems are related to the failure to establish boundaries. 

If you have not established your boundaries, take time to do so today.

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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 drmaryann@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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