THE TWO ESSENTIAL KEYS TO A BLESSED LIFE

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 discover what is in your heart and how to program your heart for success.

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This year, Lord willing, I will celebrate my 73rd birthday. For nearly 48 of those years, I have been a follower of Jesus Christ. During this time, I have learned many things, but if I were to summarize the ingredients necessary for living a blessed life, I would boil down those ingredients to only two: 1) Hear God’s voice and 2) Obey God’s voice. 

HEARING God’s Voice

Scripture tells us that Jesus did only what He saw the Father doing (John 5: 19). In other words, Jesus took His instructions for everything He did from His Father. If we want to be like Jesus, we must do the same.

But you may be asking how? How can I “see” what the Father is doing so that I can do it, too?

The answer lies in hearing God’s voice. Learning to hear God’s voice is foundational in our Christian walk. It is the most important activity we need to cultivate in order that we can obey God.

So, how do we hear God’s voice? 

1. We hear God’s voice by reading His Word. This is the starting point for hearing God’s voice. God speaks to us primarily through His Word. The Bible is God’s love letter to us, written for our instruction. It teaches us how to live for God and for His purposes. It is our manual for life.

2. We hear God’s voice by spending time with Him in prayer. Prayer is a two-way conversation with God. When we pray, God speaks to us and we respond. 

For many years, I have kept a journal of my conversations with God. Often, I will ask Him a question and then write down the thoughts He brings to my mind in response to my question.

3. We hear God’s voice in our dreams. God speaks to us through our dreams. Pay attention to your dreams. Record them, and then ask Holy Spirit what they mean.

Remember this: God wants to communicate with you. He wants to speak to you. He wants you to hear His voice daily. So expect God to speak to you.


OBEYING God’s Voice

Once we hear God’s voice, we are responsible to obey it. It is our obedience that brings God’s blessings into our lives. Scripture says this in James 1: 22: “But don’t just listen to God’s word. You must do what it says. Otherwise, you are only fooling yourselves.”  

If we hear God’s Word but do not obey it, we are deceiving ourselves. But when we hear God’s Word and obey it, we will experience the abundant life of blessings that Jesus died to give us.

Now, it’s YOUR turn:  How do you hear God’s voice?  Please leave a comment in the box below.

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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:

Horoscopes? Ouija Boards? Séances? Are They Really Harmless?

Sex and Soul Ties

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. 

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.

AN INVITATION TO YOU: To follow this blog via Facebook, click here. If you are not on Facebook or if you prefer to subscribe via another venue, you may do so by using any one of the other subscription options listed under the Networked Blog section in the sidebar on my website: www.maryanndiorio.com/blog. Thank you!

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

Please tell your family and friends about this blog and my other resources, and please pass this post on to them. Thank you! 

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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 drmaryann@maryanndiorio.com to request permission.

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.

Disclaimer: This site uses cookies. Your continued use of this site constitutes your consent to our use of cookies. 

WHAT DOES MEMORY HAVE TO DO WITH SUCCESS?

by Dr. MaryAnn Diorio, Your Virtual Life Coach

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

Memory. We study it. Measure it. Test it. Sharpen it. But do we truly understand the important role memory plays in creating a successful life?

In his two letters to the churches in Asia Minor, the Apostle Peter speaks often about memory. Hear his words from his second letter:

2 Peter 3: 1-2 – “Dear friends, this is now my second letter to you. I have written both of them as reminders to stimulate you to wholesome thinking. I want you to recall the words spoken in the past by the holy prophets and the command given by our Lord and Savior through your apostles.”

2 Peter 1: 12-15 – “So I will always remind you of these things, even though you know them and are firmly established in the truth you now have. I think it is right to refresh your memory as long as I live in the tent of this body, because I know that I will soon put it aside, as our Lord Jesus Christ has made clear to me. And I will make every effort to see that after my departure you will always be able to remember these things.”

Notice Peter’s frequent reference to memory in his use of the words reminders, recall, remind, refresh your memory, remember.  Throughout both of his letters, Peter emphasizes the importance of the memory in leading a successful life. 

So, why is memory so important to success?  Because memory affects the way we think, and the way we think determines our level of success in life. What we remember and keep in mind will be what affects our decisions on a daily basis.

But a good memory alone is not sufficient to lead a successful life. We must remember the right things. What are these right things? They are the commands of Christ as given in His Word. When we obey Christ’s commands, we are aligning our thinking with His thinking. And when we align our thinking with God’s thinking, we experience true success.

The Apostle Paul wrote this in Romans 12: 2:  Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.

Paul makes clear in this verse that there are two ways of thinking: the world’s way and God’s way. Paul further makes clear that only God’s way of thinking leads to true success.

As you sharpen your memory with the Word of God–memorizing it, meditating on it, applying it–you will increasingly experience the abundant life of success that Jesus died to give you.

Now, it’s YOUR turn:  What are your thoughts about the effect of memory on success? Please leave your response in the Comment Box below. Thank you!

TWEETABLE: “What Does Memory Have to Do with Success?’ by Dr. MaryAnn Diorio (CLICK TO TWEET)

If you found this post helpful, please forward it to a friend. Thank you! 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. Some of our most popular posts are:

The Deadly Trap of Tolerance

Victim or Victor: Which One Are You?

How to Conquer Stinkin’ Thinkin’

How to Make Change Your Ally

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

NOTE: If you are struggling to know your purpose in life, I can help you! As a highly experienced Certified Life Coach, I will help you set priorities in line with your God-given purpose. For more information or to set up a phone appointment, please send me an email at drmaryann@maryanndiorio.com. You will be taking a major step toward fulfilling your destiny!

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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.

AN INVITATION TO YOU: To follow this blog via Facebook, click here. If you are not on Facebook or would prefer to subscribe via a different venue, please check the sidebar to the right for subscription options. Thank you!

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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.

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.

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How to Think like a Winner

by Dr. MaryAnn Diorio

 “Guard your heart above all else, for it determines
the course of your life.” ~ Proverbs 4:23
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A friend of mine walked into her living room and found her then three-year-old son intently staring out the window, deep in thought.

“Matthew,” she asked. “What are you thinking about?”

He turned to his mother, and, with a smile on his face, replied, “I’m thinking about what I’m thinking about.”

What a profound statement, out of the mouth of a babe!  This child had already grasped the first principle of being a winner: thinking about what he was thinking about.

Winners constantly monitor their thinking. Like all people, they are, at times, assailed with negative thoughts of doubt, discouragement, and defeat. But a winner will never allow those thoughts to control him. Instead, he will drive them away and replace them with winning thoughts.

Two Female Runners Finishing Race TogetherOver the years, I have studied winners and the way they think. Here are five observations I have made:

1. Winners control their thinking. They continually monitor their thoughts and immediately cast down any thoughts contrary to their dreams and their goals. They obey Romans 12: 2: “Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect” and Philippians 4: 8: “Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.”

2. Winners EXPECT to win. In Scriptural terms, this is called FAITH. Winners continually think about what is possible, not about what is impossible. They refuse to let circumstances control them. Instead, they rise above the circumstances. They believe God’s promise to them in Philippians 4: 13: “For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength.”

3. Winners harness their language.  Winners understand the power of the words they speak. Scripture says this: “Death and life are in the power of the tongue” (Proverbs 18: 21). Just as God created the entire universe through the words He spoke, so do we, who are in made in the image of God, create our own lives through the words we speak. Winners speak only what they want to see transpire in their lives.

4. Winners focus on the goal, not on the obstacles standing in the way of the goal. This does not mean that winners do not acknowledge the obstacles. They do. But they find ways to overcome the obstacles. They practice Proverbs 4: 25: Let your eyes look straight ahead; fix your gaze directly before you.”

5. Winners put their trust in God first and foremost and think in alignment with His Word. They make God and the things of God their top priority. They obey the Lord’s command found in Matthew 6: 33: “Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.

Now, it’s YOUR turn: What have you discovered about the relationship between how you think and your level of success in life?

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If you found this post helpful, please forward it to a friend. Thank you!

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Daystar Devotional-hardbackcoverstanding_885x1298The 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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How to Win the Race of Life

by MaryAnn Diorio, PhD

“Guard your heart above all else, for it determines
the course of your life.” ~ Proverbs 4:23
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NOTE: My latest book, THE DAYSTAR DEVOTIONAL, has just been released. Please see details at the end of this post. Thanks!

Everyone loves a winner. But winning is a choice. The Bible has a lot to say about winning. But the goal of winning as found in the Bible is Christ Himself.

In 2 Timothy 4: 7, we find the Apostle Paul nearing the end of his life. As he looks back, he sums up his life in three activities that made his life a success. Here is what he wrote: “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, and I have remained faithful” (2 Timothy 4: 7). As followers of Christ, we would do well to apply these activities to our own lives. Let’s take a look at each one :

Key to Success isolated on white1–Fight the good fight of faith. Throughout his life, Paul encountered situations that tested his faith. We encounter such situations ourselves on a daily basis. To fight the good fight of faith means to look to God’s Word as the final authority in every circumstance. The fight is called “good” because Jesus has already won it for us. As we trust Him, we cannot be defeated.

2–Determine to finish your race. A runner who does not finish the race has no chance of winning it. Only if he stays in the race does he have a chance to win. Stay in the race to win the prize of your high calling in Christ. Staying in the race is half the battle.

3–Endure to the end by keeping the faith. No matter what obstacles attempt to block us in our race, we must not allow those obstacles to make us quit. We must push through the obstacle, or go around it. We may have to go over it or under it. Whatever we have to do to get past the obstacle, we must do it by God’s grace. And we must always keep strong our hope in the Gospel of Christ.

There you have it. Three keys to a successful life as a Christ-Follower. All that remains is to use our keys and apply them to our lives.

NOW IT’S YOUR TURN: What are your thoughts about Paul’s three keys to success?

TWEETABLE: “How to Win the Race of Life” by Dr. MaryAnn Diorio (CLCK TO TWEET)
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Daystar Devotional-hardbackcoverstanding_885x1298The 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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How to Win at Being Patient

by Dr. MaryAnn Diorio

Guard your heart above all else, for it determines
the course of your life.” ~ Proverbs 4:23
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NOTE: My latest book, THE DAYSTAR DEVOTIONAL, has just been released. Please see details at the end of this post. Thanks!

If you’re like me, you sometimes struggle with impatience. Whether it has to do with twenty minutes of holding on a phone call while being forced to listen to ear-pummeling music or dealing with an unruly child, we run into situations every day that try our patience. As much as we try to be patient, at times we fail–and fail miserably.

Man looking anxiously at watch

Impatience, at its root, is a wrong response to fear. The fear is that we will never reach the goal we want to reach or that we will miss out on something we really want or need. In other words, impatience is fearing that a need we have will not be met or a goal we want to achieve will never happen. This fear makes us want to control not only the meeting of our need or want, but also the method by which we meet that need or want.

For example, let’s say you want your child to do well at school. When he lags behind or doesn’t put forth his best effort, you grow impatient with him.  You pressure and push and pressure and push your child until you break his spirit.  Now, you are frustrated, and he is discouraged.

But what is the real issue here? Is it that you want your child to succeed? That may certainly be part of the issue. But what is the core issue? The core issue may be that you are afraid of looking bad as a parent if your child fails. So, the real issue is your fear of failing as a parent.

Once we discover the core issue or issues of our impatience, we will better be able to win at being patient.

So, how can we win at being patient? And win every time?

Here are two tips:

1–Ask yourself if the issue that is stoking your impatience is really the core issue. Most things that we think are the issue are only the symptoms of the real issue.

2–Ask Holy Spirit to reveal the core issue of your impatience. Once you discover the core issue–or core fear–you can then be set free from impatience.

Scripture says this about patience: “But let patience have her perfect work, that you may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing” (James1: 4). The word perfect as used in this verse means mature. Patience is a sign of maturity in Christ. A patient Christian is a mature Christian. An impatient Christian is not.

Bottom line, winning at being patient is to renounce our core fears and to trust in God’s love to deliver us from them. As we are reminded in 1 John 4: 18: “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.Fear is a sign that we have not yet matured in love. As we mature in love, we will mature in patience.

In his wonderful book, Waiting on God (which I highly recommend if you struggle with impatience), Andrew Murray says this: “True patience is the losing of our self-will in His perfect will.” As we submit our will to God’s will, we will win over impatience.

TWEETABLE: “How to Win at Being Patient” 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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