The Bean of Life

No Substitute for the Water of Life

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

My husband calls the coffee bean “the bean of life.” Every morning, he sees to it that I have a cup of that bean in liquid form. As I take the first sip, I have to agree with my husband’s assessment. 

That first sip of morning coffee rings, sings, and zings. 🙂  As it rushes through my veins, the residue of sleep fog in my brain suddenly vanishes, and I am imbued with physical and mental energy. I am ready to face the day.


Photo Source: Photo ID: 226690

While the coffee bean may ignite “life” in the physical body, there is another beverage that will ignite life in the spirit. This spiritual beverage is called “Living Water.” It comes from the Well of the Holy Spirit that is found only in a relationship with Jesus Christ. 

One day, Jesus stopped at a well in Samaria. Jews were forbidden to interact with Samaritans, but, as usual, Jesus superseded man-made laws with a higher law, the Law of Love. 

A woman came to the well, and Jesus engaged her.  Here is their conversation found in John 4: 4-15:

“Now he [Jesus] had to go through Samaria. So he came to a town in Samaria called Sychar, near the plot of ground Jacob had given to his son Joseph. Jacob’s well was there, and Jesus, tired as he was from the journey, sat down by the well. It was about noon.

When a Samaritan woman came to draw water, Jesus said to her, “Will you give me a drink?” (His disciples had gone into the town to buy food.)

The Samaritan woman said to him, “You are a Jew and I am a Samaritan woman. How can you ask me for a drink?” (For Jews do not associate with Samaritans.)

Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked him and he would have given you living water.”

“Sir,” the woman said, “you have nothing to draw with and the well is deep. Where can you get this living water? Are you greater than our father Jacob, who gave us the well and drank from it himself, as did also his sons and his livestock?”

Jesus answered, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”

A spring of water welling up to eternal life! What wonderful news!  Jesus wants to give you living water that will awaken your spirit!

The Living Water of Christ is available to all who are thirsty for it. And, once they drink of it, they will never thirst again!

Are you thirsty today? Do you need a drink of the Living Water of Christ? If so, it is yours for the asking. Just go to Jesus and tell Him you are thirsty for His Living Water. Then drink deeply, until you are satisfied. And go back for more when you are thirsty again. The Living Well will never run dry.

And now, in honor of my husband, I will close with a humorous poem he wrote about my morning cup of the liquid “Bean of Life”:

The Bean of Life
by Dominic Diorio

I’ve been beckoned by the Bean of Life.
I feel compelled to go.
For I must fetch for my Beloved,
Her morning Cup of Joe! 

Who knows? My knight in shining armor of 45 years may be the next poet laureate! 🙂


In my newest work of fiction, SURRENDER TO LOVE, young widow and life coach, Dr. Teresa Lopez Gonzalez  regrets that she did not have more time with her dead husband. Join her as she struggles to overcome regret and move into the future God has ordained for her. PicMonkeyFINAL061815416pm

Available in Kindle and print versions.

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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 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 or via one of her social media venues below:

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Guard Your Heart!

Shield and SwordsThe heart is the seat of everything that transpires in your life.  By heart, I do not mean your physical heart but, rather, your spiritual heart–that part of you that is the core of your being.

In Proverbs 4:23, Scripture says this about the heart: “Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.” Did you notice the words “Above all else”?  This means that nothing is more important in life than guarding your heart.

Okay, so what does it mean to guard your heart?

1) To guard your heart means to protect it from all harm.  What is harmful to the heart? Anything that could cause your heart to become polluted. What causes the heart to become polluted?  Anything that is the opposite of truth and love. What is the opposite of truth and love? The lie and fear.

The lie is the opposite of the truth. The lie destroys our hearts and, by extension, our lives and our relationships. Every problem we are facing has, at its root, a lie. Usually, we are not aware of the lie, but, nonetheless, it is wreaking havoc in our lives. The lie is often hidden in a belief that is contrary to truth. The lie reveals itself in the form of  negative thoughts, negative emotions, and negative actions. 

By the same token, fear is the opposite of love. Fear also destroys our hearts and, by extension, our lives and our relationships. Fear manifests itself in anger, rage, depression, criticism, shame, and guilt.

Bottom-line, anything that does not line up with truth and anything that does not line up with love will pollute your heart. Truth and love: These are the indicators of a healthy heart. The lie and fear: These are the indicators of an unhealthy heart.

2) To guard your heart , then, means knowing what truth and love are. How can you know what truth and love are?  Jesus said, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life’ (John 14:6). To know Jesus is to know Truth. How can you know Jesus? By studying His Word.  Jesus and His Word (the Bible) are one and the same. As you study God’s Word, you will get to know, apprehend, and comprehend Jesus.And as you get to know, apprehend, and comprehend Jesus, you will get to know, apprehend, and comprehend Truth. In like manner, Scripture tells us that “God is love” (I John 4:8).  Jesus is God; therefore, He is Love. As you get to know Jesus, you will get to understand the true meaning of love. By making Jesus the center of our lives we can guard our hearts.

3) To guard your heart means to keep it full of truth and love so that your every thought, word, and deed will be motivated by truth and love.  When your thoughts, words, and deeds are motivated by truth and love, you will experience the good life for which God created you. You will then know what it means to be joyful, content, and fulfilled.

Remember this: The lie is the ultimate enemy of the heart. Fear flows out of the lie. Love flows out of truth. Keep truth and love as the guiding principles of your life, and you will succeed in guarding your heart.

Questions: Have you, like me, struggled with guarding your heart? What practical steps do you take to guard your heart? You may leave a comment by clicking here.

Copyright 2015 by MaryAnn Diorio, PhD. All Rights Reserved.
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Deck the Soul with Boughs of Forgiveness

CHRISTMAS!  The word evokes many feelings, depending on our experiences. For some, Christmas is a happy time, filled with beautiful memories and joyful expectations. For others, Christmas is a bitter, depressing time, a season one wants “to get over with” as quickly as possible because of bad memories associated with this time of year.

Having ministered to people for many years, I have come to the conclusion that, other than the pain of having lost a loved one, depressing memories at Christmas time are sometimes related to problems of unforgiveness. Hurts from the past become more pronounced during the Christmas season, but the reason those hurts still affect us is that we have not let go of the bitterness associated with them. In short, we have not forgiven the people who hurt us.

Why do most people have such a difficult time forgiving? I believe the main reason is that they do not understand what forgiveness really means. If you are one of those people, what follows may help you:


  • Forgiveness is NOT letting someone off the hook.
  • Forgiveness is NOT condoning evil.
  • Forgiven is NOT being a doormat.
  • Forgiveness is NOT having to trust again the person who hurt you.
  • Forgiveness is NOT a feeling.
  • Forgiveness is NOT an option.


  • Forgiveness IS taking the person who hurt you off of your hook and placing him on God’s hook, then praying that God will have mercy on him.
  • Forgiveness IS acknowledging that evil was done but choosing to bear the consequences of that evil without retaliation.
  • Forgiveness IS taking charge of your emotions.
  • Forgiveness IS setting boundaries with the person who hurt you, even refusing temporary or permanent interaction with that person, if necessary. An example would be a wife who is being beaten by her husband.
  • Forgiveness IS a decision.
  • Forgiveness IS obedience to God’s commandment to forgive.

No matter how badly you have been hurt, choose to forgive. It’s the best thing you can do for your own well-being. Unforgiveness chains you emotionally to the person who hurt you. Forgiveness breaks that chain and sets you free.

What better time is there than the Christmas season to forgive those who have hurt us? The very essence of Christmas is the truth that God forgave humanity through the shed blood of Jesus Christ. Who are we not to forgive when God has forgiven us?

So this Christmas, forgive! But don’t just forgive. Ask to be forgiven. As the Word of God tells us, “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). All of us need not only to forgive but also to be forgiven.  And as long as we are on this earth, it is never too late to forgive or to be forgiven.

For a heartwarming, compelling story on the power of forgiveness, you may wish to read my moving novella entitled A Christmas Homecoming.  It is available in electronic format for your Kindle, Nook, or iPad.  You may purchase an electronic copy of A Christmas Homecoming HERE,

To view the beautiful book trailer of A Christmas Homecoming, click here.

Last, but not least, may you forge happy memories this Christmas season as the power of forgiveness sets you free!

*Copyright 2012-2021 by MaryAnn Diorio, PhD, MFA.  All Rights Reserved. This article may not be reproduced without the written permission of Dr. MaryAnn Diorio. You may reach her at

The Two Trees

God placed two trees in the Garden of Eden. One was the Tree of Life; the other, the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. God forbade Adam and Eve to eat from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil because eating from that tree would bring death.

We all know the story. Adam and Eve chose not to take God at His Word. So, they ate of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, and the fruit they ate produced after its own kind. From that moment, our first parents experienced evil and learned that knowing both good and evil makes for a very difficult life, if only by virtue of knowing the huge contrast, let alone experiencing it.

Imagine not having the knowledge of evil. What would that be like? Well, just look at a little child. He has no knowledge of evil until he experiences it. He is innocent. This is the reason that Jesus said we must become like little children to  enter the Kingdom of Heaven. We must be innocent of evil.

Being innocent of evil means eating from the Tree of Life. Jesus is the Tree of Life. As we accept Him and abide in Him, we will experience life as God originally intended it to be.  Innocent and pure. Holy and joy-filled.

Copyright 2014 by Dr. MaryAnn Diorio. All rights reserved.

(Business) Indie Publishing: Is It for You?

Who Is Jesus COVER front - RGBI just completed the long process of publishing my first indie project: a children’s picture book entitled WHO IS JESUS?  The book will be released October 1st.

The journey has been adventurous, with lots of twists and turns along the way. But in the process I’ve learned that creating and producing a good book requires courage, commitment, and clarity.  Let’s consider each, one by one.

Courage.  It has been said that courage is not the absence of fear, but the act of moving forward in the face of fear.  The thought of indie-publishing a full-color children’s book seemed daunting.  After all, it required not only the writing of the text, but also the artistic expertise of an illustrator who would share my vision for the book. By the grace of God, I found that illustrator in Kim Sponaugle.  Kim instinctively understood what I was trying to convey with my book.  She ran with the idea and succeeded fantastically, as you will see from some excerpts from the book below.

FA 23Also by the grace of God, I found the perfect publisher for my book in Candy Abbott, owner and CEO of Fruitbearer Publishing, LLC.  Candy is an amazing woman with a wealth of knowledge on book publishing. She guides each book through the publishing process as if it were her own.

Interestingly, I met both Candy and Kim years ago.  I met Candy at the Delaware Christian Writers’ Conference where we struck up a friendship that I knew would one day lead to my using her excellent services.  As for Kim, we met at the annual conference of the New Jersey Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators held at Princeton University.  Having seen the work she did for another author friend of mine, I knew that one day I wanted Kim to illustrate one of my children’s books.FA 15

Commitment. Indie publishing requires a high level of commitment to the task at hand. There will be times when things will go wrong, even seriously wrong.  At one point, a Trojan virus threatened to obliterate all of our book files.  At another time, health issues and a death in the family intervened with getting the job done.  But with God on our side, we forged ahead, confident that we would reach the finish line. And, by His grace, we did! 🙂

Clarity. There is an old saying that if you don’t know where you’re going, you won’t like where you’ll end up. One of the most important things I’ve learned about indie publishing is to be absolutely clear about your goals and about communicating your goals. Clarity pre-empts misunderstandings that can cause glitches in the process.

Having completed one indie project, I am ready for another. I have several children’s books and works of women’s fiction in the works and look forward to the opportunity to co-labor with Christ in these other works of his heart.  There is nothing that rejoices my heart more than to proclaim, “Look what the Lord has done!”

NOTE: To purchase your copy of WHO IS JESUS?, click here.

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