by Dr. MaryAnn Diorio

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

“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 examine your heart
and how to program your heart for success.

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ROOTS. We need them to grow. Where our roots are planted will determine how well we will grow.

Only roots planted in the love of God will flourish. Paul writes in Ephesians 3: 17, “Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong.”

Are your roots anchored in God’s love? If not, why not? Has shame or sorrow or sin kept you from sinking your roots deep into God’s love? If so, let God help you push through that pain, for there is freedom on the other side. 

Growth begins in the roots. How are your roots? Sink them deep into God’s love, and you will know abundant life! 

I pray in Paul’s words for you today that God “from His glorious, unlimited resources…will empower you with inner strength through His Spirit. Then Christ will make His home in your hearts as you trust in Him. Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong. And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep His love is. May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that come from God” (Ephesians 3: 16-19 NLT).

Now, it’s YOUR turn: How do you sink your roots into God’s love? Please leave your valued comment in the box below.

TWEETABLE:  “How Are Your Roots?” by Dr. MaryAnn Diorio (CLICK TO TWEET).

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 Book 1: The Madonna of Pisano    Book 2: A Sicilian Farewell    Book 3: Return to Bella Terra


If you found this post helpful, please forward it to a friend. Thank you! You may also be interested in reading the following popular posts:

“Sex and Soul Ties”

“Don’t Let Satan Play Your Pipes”

“How to Recognize a Controlling Spirit”

Please check our archives in the right sidebar for older posts on a variety of topics. You may also search for a particular topic in the search box at the top right. 

For additional encouragement, check out my podcasts at the following links:

A Moment with MaryAnn – Podcasts on Living the Good Life

Winning with the Word Podcast Series

Write Your Heart Out! – Podcasts for Writers

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Copyright 2018 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. 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

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How to Deal with Regret

by Dr. MaryAnn Diorio

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

NOTE: My latest book, THE DAYSTAR DEVOTIONAL, has just been released. Please see details at the end of this post. Thanks!

Many, if not all, of us have at one time in our lives made a decision we now regret. For me, it was a job decision. For you, it might have been a marriage decision or a location decision or a decision that led you into sin. For the Apostle Paul, regret was rooted in his persecution and murder of Christians before he himself had an encounter with Christ. But, whatever the situation, God provides a sound way to deal with regret.

beauty girl cry

  1. Make a decision to put the regret behind you. While a decision may not immediately remove the emotion of regret, it will set you on the right path to eliminating your regret. Philippians 3: 13 says this: “Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.”
  2. Recognize that regret is a weapon Satan uses to rob you of hope. If Satan can get you into depression and despair, he has you. Why? Because without hope, you cannot have faith in the future (Hebrews 11: 1). The Word of God says this in 1 Peter 5: 8: “Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.” Don’t let Satan devour you with regret. Stay alert to his devices.
  3. Give your regret to the Lord. If your regret was caused by sin, then simply repent and move on. If your regret was caused by a poor decision, then trust that God will work that poor decision for your good. Romans 8: 28 says this: ” . . . all things work together for good to them that love God . . . .”

The best way to avoid regret is to remain closely connected with Holy Spirit and to seek His counsel and direction for every decision you make. As you follow Holy Spirit’s leading, you will make right decisions that will bring you the peace and joy He wants you to experience for the rest of your life.

TWEETABLE: How to Deal with Regret by Dr. MaryAnn Diorio (CLICK TO TWEET).

Daystar Devotional-hardbackcoverstanding_885x1298


The Daystar Devotional is a compilation of weekly devotionals I wrote for almost six years. At popular reader request, I have compiled these devotionals into a single volume for your convenience. I trust this book will encourage you in your walk with Jesus.

Available on Amazon for only $3.99. To purchase your copy, click here.








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Their Blood Cries Out!

My Thoughts on Dr. Nucatola and the Planned Parenthood Clip

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

After watching the horrific video clip with Dr. Nucatola of Planned Parenthood, I could not sleep. I lay in bed, pondering the depths of depravity to which our country has fallen. Over the last sixty-five years that I can remember (and I’m almost seventy years old), our country has been sliding on the slippery slope to utter corruption.

lightstock_62571_medium_maryann_Photo Source: Lightstock Photo ID: 62571

A country that kills its own babies is a sick, sin-ridden country! It doesn’t get any worse than that, folks.

Grief overwhelmed me as our Lord began to show me in my spirit the unspeakably horrific nature of our national sin. What I saw sickened me. I could only imagine how it sickens the heart of the Father. My daughter Lia has rightly said that “We are no different from those who, in ancient times, sacrificed their children on the altar of Moloch.”

“A country that kills its own babies is a sick, sin-ridden country!”

I began to repent for America, the land that was once the land of the brave and the home of the free but now seems to have become the land of the spineless and the home of the licentious.

As I lay in bed thinking about the 55 million babies we have brutally slaughtered, I asked myself several questions. I invite you to ask yourself these same questions and to think about their implications:

How many future babies were in the sperm and eggs of those 55 million babies? And in their future babies? And in their future babies? And on and on? How many billions, if not trillions, of people have we actually lost?

• How many future spouses did those 55 million babies represent? Spouses whom God intended to be lifelong companions to others of their generation who were not subjected to the abortion knife?

• How many of those 55 million aborted babies will never experience the joy of parenting their own children nor the joy of seeing their own grandchildren? For these generations have also been viciously cut off.

• How many parents who aborted their babies will never have the caring help they need in old age, the caring help that children usually provide?

How much outstanding talent did America lose in those 55 million babies? How many leaders, inventors, scientists, teachers, authors, artists, composers, farmers, doctors, engineers, computer experts, carpenters, plumbers, electricians, etc., were in those 55 million murdered babies?

How much economic contribution to our society died with those innocent babies?

When I thought I could not bear it any longer, Holy Spirit spoke this heart-breaking question to me:

Of how many immortal souls has America robbed God the Father? Children meant to be a part of His family? Souls that would have been the offspring of those 55 million murdered babies and of their countless progeny? Souls that would have been a part of God’s eternal family in Heaven?

At Holy Spirit’s words, my heart broke.

Then Holy Spirit spoke to me again. “But just as the depth of your nation’s sin is great, so is My mercy far greater!”

America, it is time to fall on our faces and repent! To throw ourselves on God’s mercy. The blood of these slaughtered children cries out to the Father, and their voices will not be silenced until justice is done in the land.


In my newest work of fiction, SURRENDER TO LOVE, young widow and life coach, Dr. Teresa LopezPicMonkeyFINAL061815416pm Gonzalez, discovers that only by losing her life will she truly find it.

Available in Kindle and print versions.

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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 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:

Your Protagonist’s Inner Journey

It is a fictional truism to say that the best stories are character-driven.  Starting with this premise, let’s look at how we can make our protagonist–whether hero or heroine–one who will stand out forever in the memory of your readers. 

When creating your protagonist, it is essential that you give her an inner conflict. This inner conflict results from an issue the character has, an issue about which she may not even be aware.  But the issue is there, nonetheless, keeping your protagonist from fulfilling her destiny in your story. Unless she faces her issue and deals with it, the issue will eventually “break” her. The story is the protagonist’s process of facing her issue. This process, also known as the character arc, will force her either to deal with her issue or to miss her destiny. 

In his excellent book, The Art & Craft of Writing Christian Fiction, novelist and editor Jeff Gerke states: “If great fiction is about bringing the main character to a breaking point over a particular ‘sin,’ then all the events of the story are about bringing the character to that moment” (p. 76). 

With what “sin” is your protagonist dealing? Bring your character to an emotionally powerful breaking point over that sin, and watch your fiction move up a notch on the scale of excellence.


Source Cited:

Gerke, Jeff. The Art & Craft of Writing Christian FictionColorado Springs, CO: Marcher Lord Press, 2009. Print.