5 Reasons Not to Be Afraid

“Guard your heart above all else, for it determines
the course of your life.” ~ Proverbs 4:23
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Fear is in the air. But so is peace, if you know where to look for it.

Peace is found in only one place: In Jesus Christ. He is the Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9:6).  Not only does Jesus give peace; Jesus Christ IS Peace.

Maligne Lake in Jasper natioanal park, Alberta, Canada

Jesus gives us many reasons not to be afraid. Here are five of them:

1) “And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age” (Matthew 28:20).  No matter what we face in life, we never face it alone. Jesus is always with us, whether we feel His Presence or not.  We have His Word on this, and His Word is enough.

2) “Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the Lord your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you” (Deuteronomy 31:6).  No matter what enemy we may face, God faces the enemy with us. No matter what the outcome may look like, the truth is that we will win in the end. 

3) “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind” (2 Timothy 1:7). The spirit of fear comes from Satan. God has given us the spirit of power, the spirit of love, and the spirit of a sound mind. This is the truth about who we are in Christ.

4) “There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love”
(1 John 4:18).  The more we love, the less we fear.  The antidote to fear is love.  Love drives out fear.  Those who do not love live in great fear.

5) “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me” (Psalm 23:4). When things look the bleakest and the most fear-inducing, God is still there with us. This is His promise to us, and He will keep His Word.

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Stress-Busters for the Stressed-Out

Tips for Staying Calm in the Midst of the Storm

“Guard your heart above all else, for it determines
the course of your life.” ~ Proverbs 4:23
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You just got home from a rough day at work. Just as you walk in the door, your spouse screams at you for being late, your youngest child is crying because her cat ran away, and your cell phone starts ringing. The only one who seems happy to see you is your dog.

lightstock_99422_medium_maryann_Photo by Shaun Menary. Lightstock.com Photo ID: 99422

By this time, you want to turn around and leave for some remote, uninhabited island in the middle of the Pacific, taking only your dog with you. Only there, you conclude, can you be free from the stress that has you on the brink of a nervous breakdown.

Perhaps at no other time in history have human beings been so bombarded with such potentially stress-producing situations. Stress causes our brains to go on overload, our bodies to suffer, and our hearts to wither. But is there any way out of what seems like an endless treadmill of turmoil?

Yes, there is! As always, the way out is found in the Bible, God’s manual for man. God never intended for us to live in stress. In fact, God’s will is that we live in continual peace. But how, you ask, can I live in peace when, whichever way I turn, I’m bombarded with problems, conflicts, and tension?

Good question! You see, peace has nothing to do with our external circumstances. Peace, on the other hand, has everything to do with our internal circumstances. What do I mean by that? I mean the state or condition of the inner core of our being, also called our heart.

“Peace has nothing to do with our external circumstances. Peace has everything to do with our internal circumstances.”

Just think of the eye of a hurricane. While horrendous winds are raging all around it, the eye of a hurricane is quiet and peaceful. The same can be true of our hearts. In the midst of the worst kinds of crises, our hearts can be at perfect peace.

So how do we achieve this perfect peace on the inside? The Bible gives us the answer in Isaiah 26:3: “You (God) will keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on You.” Perfect peace comes from keeping our minds focused on God. When we do, we draw wisdom and strength from Him to deal with whatever problem we are facing.

Using the word “stress” as an acronym, let’s take a look at some practical steps we can take to develop inner peace:

1. Stay (fix) your mind on God. Keep Him continually in the center of your thoughts. You do this by talking with Him frequently during the day, by reading the Bible, and by praying.

2. Trust God. He is absolutely trustworthy and will never let you down.

3. Refuse to worry. Worry will always rob you of your peace. Jesus said, “Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid” (John 14:27).

4. Establish your heart on God. This means build your life on God. Go to Him at the first sign of stress. Vent your frustrations on Him. He can handle it.

5. Sort out your priorities. We often get stressed out because we’re doing too much. Once when I was feeling particularly frazzled, I cried out to God in frustration. “Lord,” I said, “I just don’t have enough time to do everything I have to do!” Lovingly He replied, “You always have enough time to do what I have called you to do.” I realized then that I was doing some things that He had not called me to do, even though they were good things.

6. See life from God’s perspective. God’s perspective is eternal. He sees the big picture. We should do the same. When we do, those little irritations of daily life fade into insignificance.

So no matter what you’re facing today, remember that it’s temporary. As you focus on God, He’ll get you through every situation, no matter how serious. And as you focus on Him, you’ll have peace in the midst of every storm.

Guaranteed! 🙂

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In my newest work of fiction, SURRENDER TO LOVE, young widow and life coach, Dr. Teresa LopezPicMonkeyFINAL061815416pm Gonzalez, has no peace until she learns to keep her eyes focused on Jesus.

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 You Allowing Yourself to Get Upset?

Setting Boundaries for What You Will Allow in Your Life

“Guard your heart above all else, for it determines
the course of your life.” ~ Proverbs 4:23
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No one can upset you without your permission!

Let those words sink in. No one–that means, NO ONE, can upset you unless you allow that person to upset you.

Closeup portrait angry young woman, blowing steam coming out of ears, about to have nervous atomic breakdown, isolated black background. Negative human emotions facial expression feelings attitudePhoto Source: Fotolia.com – File: #69793015 | Author: pathdoc

When you think about it, this is wonderful news. It means that you have the ability and the power of choice to assume responsibility for your emotions. It also means that no matter how others treat you, you can remain calm, secure, and unshaken on the inside.

Whenever you allow someone to upset you, you are giving that person control over you. You are allowing that person to affect not only your emotions but also your entire life.  You are, in essence, allowing another person to rob you of your freedom and your peace.

Think about it.

Let’s say your husband forgets your anniversary. Instead of allowing that fact to upset you, turn the situation around and surprise him by cooking his favorite meal. This will defuse any temptation on your part to be upset, and it will remind you that that wonderful man you married is human, just like you, and sometimes forgets things.

My granddaughter recently got upset when her younger sister took from her a toy she wanted to play with. My older granddaughter came to me complaining.  “Nonna, she makes me so mad!” 

I smiled and replied, “Sweetheart, no one can make you angry without your permission.”

Her brows furrowed as her eyes questioned my sanity. “That’s not true, Nonna! I’m mad!”

“Of course, you’re mad, but you don’t have to be. You are the one allowing yourself to be mad.” 

After a few moments of conversation, she left feeling empowered that she could set boundaries as to what she would allow and not allow in her  life.

You can set the same boundaries. You can determine how you will respond to the actions of others.

You can refuse to allow anyone to upset you.

Now, that is freedom! 🙂 And that is peace!

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In my newest work of fiction, SURRENDER TO LOVE, young widow and life coach, Dr. Teresa LopezPicMonkeyFINAL061815416pmGonzalez, lives in fear until she learns to use her spiritual eyes to discern God’s will for her 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
________________________________
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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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:

Healing Your Hurting Heart

“Guard your heart above all else, for it determines
the course of your life.” ~ Proverbs 4:23
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beauty girl cryDoes your heart hurt? I don’t mean your physical heart. I mean your emotional heart. Does it hurt?  If so, read on.

Every one of us has experienced hurt in our lives. For some, that hurt may have been very deep; for others, not so much. Also, the depth to which we feel a hurt has a lot to do with our personalities, our life circumstances, and our perceptions. But all of us have been hurt.

God never intended for our hearts to be hurt. He intended for them to be whole and at peace. But when we look at our lives, we may be tempted to think that with all the problems we face, with all the stress that assails us, and with all of the horrors in the world, how can anyone ever be at peace?

The truth is that no matter what is going on around us, we can be at peace. Peace is an inside job.

Okay, you may be thinking. That’s easier said than done. You don’t know what my life is like.  You’re right. I don’t. But if it’s anything like mine, it brings new trials every single day, trials that only make the baggage we are already carrying that much heavier.

So what’s a person to do?

Here are some things that have helped me to live in peace on the inside:

1) Make sure you have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, the Prince of Peace. We can never know true peace unless we know Jesus. If you don’t yet have a relationship with him, click here.

2) Take mini-breaks with Jesus throughout the day.  I picture my soul as a refreshing oasis where I go to meet Jesus several times a day. When the pressure is on from the outside, I stop what I’m doing and turn inward. I picture myself sitting next to Jesus by a beautiful stream. I talk with Him and listen to what He wants to say to me at that moment. Spending time with Jesus in this way always relieves the stress and fills me with the joy and strength I need to go back to my work in peace.

Brother Lawrence, a 17th-century lay brother in the Carmelite order, wrote a short book on this practice that has become a Christian classic called The Practice of the Presence of God. I highly recommend you read it.

3) Ask Jesus to restore your soul. That’s one of His jobs, you know.  The Bible says this in Psalm 23: 3: “He restores my soul.”  To restore means to bring back to its original, intended condition. As we said earlier, God’s original intention for your soul was wholeness and peace. When you trust God to restore your soul, He will.

Years ago, I was driving down a country road feeling very happy on my way to visit a friend.  Suddenly, I began to sob uncontrollably, so much so that I had to pull over to the side of the road. The whole situation was really strange, but I knew God was doing something inside of me.  When I asked the Lord what was happening, He spoke these words that I will never forget. He said, “My precious daughter, your life was built on a foundation of lies, but I am tearing down that false foundation of lies and rebuilding your life on the Truth.” 

As I heard the Lord’s words deep within my spirit, I began to rejoice and to worship Him right there in my car. This event happened many years ago, and I can say that God has indeed torn down the false foundation of lies and continues to rebuild my soul on the truth of His Word.

If your heart is hurting, there is hope for you. Turn to Jesus Christ, the only One Who can truly heal your hurting heart. He healed mine, and He will do the same for you.

To help you learn more about who you are in Christ, you may wish to obtain a copy of my ebook, You Were Made for Greatness!  You Were Made for Greatness-def

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. 609-364-6902

_____________________________________
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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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:

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