How to Meditate the Right Way

“Guard your heart above all else, for it determines
the course of your life.” ~ Proverbs 4:23
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There is a type of meditation that exalts the self, and there is a type of meditation that exalts God.

The New Ager engages in the former.  The follower of Jesus Christ engages in the latter.

Close-up of woman's hands while reading the Bible outside.

Self-centered meditation leads to deception and death.  God-centered meditation leads to truth and life.

To meditate means to “chew upon.”  What you chew upon, you digest.  What you digest, you become.

The New Ager chews upon doctrines of demons. The follower of jesus Christ chews upon the Word of God. 

Choose your spiritual food wisely.  Your entire well-being and eternal destiny depend upon it.

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The Compromising Heart

Why Compromise Will Hurt Your Heart

“Guard your heart above all else, for it determines
the course of your life.” ~ Proverbs 4:23
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Compromise. We normally think of it as a good thing. For example, when facing a decision that involves both spouses in a marriage, we consider how that decision will affect each person in the relationship. We work toward a “win-win” situation. We compromise.

 Casual man looking at doodle drawing of angel and devil fighting. Concept of conscience; decisions, uncertainty, moral dilemma; fight of good and evil.

When struggling to find a solution for a workplace conflict, we strive to find one that benefits all parties involved. We discuss, weigh the pros and cons, and determine what is best for the group as a whole. We compromise.

When our child’s bedtime is 8:00 but he wants to stay up until 9:00, we allow him to stay up until 8:30pm. To show our goodwill as a parent, we compromise.

But compromise can be a liability when it comes to deciding between right and wrong. For instance, you may be tempted to “borrow” a few paper clips from work for your personal use at home.  You do so, compromising your moral integrity while rationalizing that it’s only a few paperclips. Your company won’t cave financially if you take them.

But you will cave spiritually.

Why? Because you compromised. And your heart knows it!

You see, God made us with an inner knowing regarding what is right and what is wrong.  This knowing is sometimes called natural law.

Several years ago, I heard a missionary give a talk about the remote tribe to which God sent her to preach the Gospel. The tribe had never heard of Jesus Christ. They had never heard of the Bible. They had never heard of the Ten Commandments. Yet, when the missionary asked them to tell her about their culture, they said things like the following:  We do not steal from one another. We do not lie to one another. We do not kill one another.

How did this remote tribe of people know that such actions were wrong? Simple. The law of God was written on their hearts.

As much as we may try to deny it, in the depths of our hearts we know what is right and what is wrong. We know it is wrong to steal. We know it is wrong to lie. We know it is wrong to murder.

You may say, “I don’t steal; I don’t lie; I don’t murder.”  But do you tell “a little white lie”?  Do you take a few paper clips from work because, after all, it won’t make a difference?  Do you gossip about your neighbor? Gossip is a form of murder, you know.

So, why do we compromise? I think there is one main reason: the fear of man. We are afraid to stand up for what is right because we are afraid of what others may think.  We are more afraid of what man thinks than of what God thinks.

Brothers and sisters, this should not be!

I issue you a loving challenge today:  Be courageous in the face of evil.  Do not give in to the temptation to save your own skin.  Remember that you are a follower of Christ.  And a follower of Christ, if need be, will follow Him into suffering and persecution in order to remain faithful to Him.

If you have been compromising, repent.  Then determine in your heart that you will never compromise again. 

Making this decision will be very good for your heart!

 

In my newest work of fiction, SURRENDER TO LOVE, young widow and life coach, Dr. Teresa LopezPicMonkeyFINAL061815416pmGonzalez, learns that only a heart submitted totally to God will lead her to life.

Available in Kindle and print versions.

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!

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:

Are Lies Hurting Your Heart?

ARE LIES HURTING YOUR HEART?

“Guard your heart above all else, for it determines
the course of your life.” ~ Proverbs 4:23
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Scales, advantage truthDo you know that the health of your heart depends on your believing the truth? The more truth you believe, the healthier your heart (soul) will be.

Not only does the health of your heart depend on your believing the truth, but the degree of freedom you experience in life depends on your believing the truth. 

Truth and freedom are intimately and inseparably intertwined. Jesus said, “You shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free” (John 8:32).  Have you ever wondered why we in America have experienced so much freedom? It is due to the fact that our Founding Fathers believed the truth and built our country on it.

Have you also wondered why we in America are now losing many of our freedoms? The reason is that over the last sixty years or so, we have gradually been moving away from the truth.

What is truth? Prominent theologian RC Sproul says this: “Truth is defined as that which corresponds to reality as perceived by God.”  Apologist Ravi Zacharias adds that “The single most important question any human being can ask is the question, ‘What is truth’?”

So, again I ask you, “What is truth?” Do you know the answer to that question? Have you ever asked yourself that question? The answer you give has serious implications for your heart.

Pontius Pilate asked Jesus the same question just before our Lord’s crucifixion. But Pilate asked mockingly, not with a sincere desire to know the truth.

Do you have a sincere desire to know the truth? This question was posed to me 45 years ago.  At the time, I had a burning desire to be free of the bondage in my life. When I discovered that knowing the truth would make me free, I began a life-long journey to know truth. What I discovered is that Truth is not a thing. Truth is a Person, and that Person is Jesus Christ.

Jesus is Truth Personified. To know Him is to know Truth. To know Jesus is to know Freedom.

If there is any bondage in your life, you can be absolutely sure that there is a lie behind it. Knowing Jesus will set you free from the lie. 

So, our primary task in life is to pursue Jesus. As we discover Him, He will shatter the lies that have us bound. As those lies crumble, our freedom will grow, as will our love for Him Who set us free.

Do you want to know the truth about who you are in Christ? If so, read YOU WERE MADE FOR GREATNESS! and discover how to recognize and destroy the lies in your life.  You Were made for Greatness

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!

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

____________________________________________________________________

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.

Photo Source: Fotolia.com

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.

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:

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.

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Copyright 2015 by MaryAnn Diorio, PhD. All Rights Reserved.
Photo: Courtesy of Stockphoto.com

Dream or Dungeon?

06-30-09 107Are you a dreamer? If not, why not? 

Perhaps you don’t understand the meaning of the word. Perhaps you think it means one who wastes time in wishful thinking rather than facing reality and getting the job done. Perhaps you believe that facing reality is the only way to live because you believe that reality is truth.

But what if reality is not truth?

Cervantes, author of the classic novel Don Quijote de la Mancha, wrote these thought-provoking words: “Reality is the enemy of Truth.”  What did Cervantes mean? Was he as crazy as his famous character Don Quijote was considered by some to be?  Did Cervantes (and Don Quijote) see something we need to see about life?

I think so.

Cervantes said basically what the Word of God proclaimed thousands of years before: ” . . . what we now see did not come from anything that can be seen” (Hebrews 11:13).  The universe we see around us (“what we now see”) came from the words (that cannot be seen) spoken by God at creation.  God spoke the universe into existence.  His words (that we cannot see) created the universe (that we can see).

The same is true of the items in your home. That table where you eat dinner was an idea (that you cannot see) in someone’s mind before it became a table (that you can see). The car you drive was an idea in someone’s mind before it became a car. If you yourself have ever created anything–be it a drawing, a story, a song, a building, a scarf, a meal–it was an idea in your mind before it became a reality. The idea in your mind is called a dream.

Joseph was a master dreamer.  His story is found in Genesis 37:18.  At his father’s command, Joseph had gone out to the fields to check on his brothers. When they saw him approaching, they said mockingly, “Here comes the dreamer!” Joseph had shared with them earlier the dreams God had given him that his brothers would one day bow down to him. Just as God revealed, his brothers did bow down to him in thanksgiving many years later when Joseph, then Pharaoh’s right-hand man, would provide them with food during a great famine.

What if dreaming is actually the precursor to truth? What if a dreamer is one who sees truth in advance? What if, as Jesus taught, believing the truth comes before seeing the truth manifested in your life?

What is truth anyway?

Truth is whatever God’s Word says about who we are, what we can do, and what we can have. Anything contrary to what God says is not truth. It is a lie.

Joseph chose to believe what God had revealed to him in a dream rather than the dire circumstances of the pit in which he found himself imprisoned.  He chose to focus on the dream, not on the dungeon.

What about you? Are you focusing on the dream or the dungeon? Are you focusing on your sickness or on the truth that you were healed by the stripes of Jesus (I Peter 2:24)? Are you focusing on the negative balance in your checkbook or on the truth that our God supplies all your need (Philippians 4:19)?

Dream or dungeon? What will you focus on and believe?

The choice is yours.

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Copyright 2015 by Dr. MaryAnn Diorio. All Rights Reserved.

Photo Source: Copyright by MaryAnn Diorio Photography