Wrong Thinking Leads to Wrong Results

by Dr. MaryAnn Diorio

WINNING WITH THE WORD

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Hello and Happy Day! This is Dr. MaryAnn Diorio, novelist and life coach, welcoming you to another episode of Winning with the Word. Today is Monday, June 7, 2022, and this is Episode #23 of Series 2022. This episode is titled “Wrong Thinking Leads to Wrong Results”.
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Any logical person today can see that the world has gone mad and that we are rapidly spiraling toward self-destruction. I say “logical” because many people today are no longer logical. I say “self-destruction” because we have brought this dangerous situation on ourselves.

You may be asking, “How, Dr. MaryAnn?”

Let me give you a step-by-step explanation:

Today’s problems began way back in the Garden of Eden. The Bible teaches that God created Adam and Eve and gave them dominion over the earth. There were two trees planted in the Garden. One was the Tree of Life and the other was the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil.

God had commanded Adam and Eve not to eat the fruit of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. But, Satan tempted them by telling them that the reason God did not want them to eat the fruit of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil was that God was holding out on them. 

Sadly, Adam and Eve chose to believe Satan over believing God. As a result, they ate the fruit of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, and the whole human race fell as a result.

You see, God never intended for us to know evil, only good. But He also gave us a free will because He wants us to love Him out of our own free will, not because we are coerced to love Him. For coercion is not love.

Had Adam and Even chosen to obey God, they would have eaten only the fruit of the Tree of Life and would have experienced life forever. This was God’s original intent for them and for the entire human race. No sickness. No death. Only good. Only life. Adam and Eve would have lived on this earth forever, as would have the entire human race. But, because they disobeyed God, they received the consequences of their wrong thinking. Of their sin.

While the story of Adam and Eve may seem basic knowledge to most of you, many people don’t know the story or don’t believe it. They think the whole Bible is a myth. Because they don’t believe the Bible, they had to create another theory to explain how the world came into being. This theory is called evolution, and it has dominated our educational system for the last sixty-plus years and had influenced our culture for even longer than that.

Evolution, also called Darwinism, teaches that the universe was created from a big bang that happened all by itself. Nothing caused it. It just happened. This is tantamount to saying that if I were to put all the parts of a 747 Jumbo Jet in a huge field, the parts would put themselves together on their own. This is absolutely absurd thinking.

Evolution also teaches that you and I are here by chance, that we are simply accidents, that we happened at random. Well, with that perspective, our lives lose their meaning and purpose. Yet, the Bible teaches that each of us is uniquely created by God on purpose and for a purpose.

The sad thing is that most people have fallen for evolution’s absurd explanation of the universe and the creation of man.  As a result, we are witnessing aimlessness, depression, and increasing suicide. Why? Because a person without a purpose will die on the inside. The Bible says so in Proverbs 29: 18.

Moreover, if humans are here only by random chance, then they have no value. If humans have no value, then what does it matter that we kill babies both in the womb, through abortion and out of the womb, through infanticide? What does it matter that we kill the elderly through euthanasia?

So, the next question to ask is why have people fallen for this absurd thinking? 

There is one answer and one answer alone. Most people do not know God. Nor do they want to know Him.

You see, evil has its own sinister logic. If we deny God, then we have to replace Him with something because man was created to worship. If man does not worship the one, true and living God, he will by default worship a false god.

So, because our culture has denied the one, true and living God, we have defaulted to worshipping man himself and made him into our god. This is called Relativisim. One day in the near future, this worship of man will lead to the worship of a single man called the AntiChrist.

All this because of wrong thinking that started way back in the Garden of Eden. 

God has created us in such a way that what we think sets the course of our entire lives. The Bible reveals this truth in Proverbs 23: 7: “As a man thinks in his heart, so is he.” This means that the way you think is the way you will be.

When we look around us and see what people have become, we get a clue as to what they are thinking. And many are certainly not thinking thoughts that are true. Scripture describes these types of people in 2 Timothy 3: 2-5:

“For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, without love of good, traitorous, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having a form of godliness but denying its power.”

You see, another thing that happened when Adam and Eve disobeyed God is that they exchanged the Truth for the Lie. They believed Satan, whom the Bible calls the father of lies (John 8: 44), over God, Whom the Bible calls Truth Itself (John 14: 6).  As a result of believing a lie, their whole lives were ruined.

And so were the lives of the entire human race.

Why? I had the same question once. I used to wonder why I had to suffer because Adam and Eve sinned. And then I read the Bible and learned why. 

You see, the entire human race was in Adam and Eve in seed form. In other words, Adam and Eve would have children who would then have children who would then have children, all the way down to you and me.  In a very real sense, you and I were in Adam and Eve when they were here on earth.

To give you another example, a husband and wife carry within their reproductive systems both sperm and egg which, when united, have the potential to create a child. Their child also has either a sperm on an egg which, later in life, when united with a spouse of the opposite gender, has the potential to create another human being–another generation. All the way down the line to you and me.

When Adam and Eve sinned, their human nature became corrupted. Since they could only pass on to the next generation what they were and what they had, they passed on a corrupt nature. This corrupt nature passed down from generation to generation and eventually reached us.

Adam and Eve’s wrong thinking–that they could disobey God and not suffer the consequences–had disastrous results. The entire human race became corrupt and could not save itself.

But the great news is that God loved us so much and had so much compassion on us that He sent Jesus, His only Son, to save us. When we accept Jesus, we choose right thinking over wrong thinking. We choose to believe the Truth rather than the Lie. We choose Life over Death.

What is your thinking these days? Are you thinking the Truth or are you thinking the Lie? You may be asking, “How can I know the difference?” The answer is simple, my friend. The Truth is found in the Bible. When you read the Bible, you discover Truth. When you discover Truth, you can change your thinking to align with Truth. When your thinking aligns with Truth, you will experience Life.

Truth is Jesus Christ. He Himself said, “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life.” When you align yourself with Jesus Christ, you will know Truth, and knowing the Truth will set you free from every bondage in your life, no matter how severe. It will set you free from addiction, from pornography, from fear and anxiety, from poverty. You name the negative issue, Jesus will set you free from it.

But, you need to invite Him to do so. You need to receive Him into your life as your Savior–the only One Who can truly set you free. Why not do that now?

Please pray this simple prayer after me:

Lord Jesus, I admit that I am a sinner. I admit that I have been going the wrong way, my way and not your way. I admit that I have been thinking the wrong way . I have been putting my focus on earthly things rather than heavenly things. I repent of my sin, I turn away from it, and I ask You to forgive me. I invite You into my life. Be my Savior and my Lord. In Your Name I pray. Amen.

If you sincerely prayed this prayer, welcome to God’s family! Please write down today’s date. It is your spiritual birthday. And please write to me at drmaryann@maryanndiorio.com. I would like to send you a free PDF booklet titled After You’re Born Again. This booklet will help you to get started in your walk with Jesus.

I also encourage you to get yourself a Bible and read it every single day. The Bible is God’s love letter to you, His manual for your life. In the Bible, God reveals Who He is, and He teaches you how to live.

Finally, ask the Lord to lead you to the church of His choice for you where you can learn about Him and have fellowship and encouragement with other Christ-Followers. It is critically important in these last days to fellowship with other believers who are mature in Christ and who can guide you as you grow in Him.

If you did not pray this prayer with me, please reconsider. Jesus Christ is coming back soon to remove from the earth all those who follow Him. The rest of the world’s population will be left behind and will face the most horrific time in human history under the dictatorship of the AntiChrist. If you do not believe me, do your own research. 

Thousands of years ago, the Bible predicted exactly what is happening in our world today. Everything is coming to pass exactly as the Bible prophesied. The Bible has never been wrong. I have been following Jesus for 52 amazing years, and He has never failed me. Nor will he ever fail you if you choose to follow Him. 

I urge you: Accept Jesus Christ now! He is the only way to be saved.

If this podcast has helped you in any way, please consider supporting it by becoming one of my valued patrons. Just go to patreon.com/winningwiththeword to join my wonderful Team. Winning with the Word now reaches 71 countries throughout the world because of the help of patrons like you. Patrons receive numerous benefits in appreciation for their support. 

Also, if you are interested in reading any of my novels, please go to my website bookstore at maryanndiorio.com/book-table. My books are also available on Amazon.

Until next time, remember that God loves you just as you are and just where you are, and that He will help you to keep on Winning with the Word!
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Copyright 2000-2022 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 info@maryanndiorio.com to request permission.

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Are You the Parent of a Teen in Crisis?

Interview with Author and Parent Stacy Lee Flury

Today I have a special treat for my blog subscribers. It is my interview with author Stacy Lee Flury, author of the life-changing devotional titled Turning the Tide of Emotional Turbulence. If you are the parent of a teen in crisis or know a teen in crisis, you will especially benefit from Stacy’s insights during this interview.  

NOTE: There is no podcast to accompany this week’s post.  

MARYANN:
Stacy, welcome to my blog! I am so honored to have you here today. Please tell us a little about yourself and how you came to write the exceptional and much-needed devotional titled Turning the Tide of Emotional Turbulence.

STACY:
Thank you for your invitation. To share a little about myself, I have been married for 37 years, have two daughters, two grandchildren, and one dog and three cats. I have been involved in children and youth ministries for over 15 years and now sing on the worship team at my local church and blog to parents who are hurting.

Ten years ago, my youngest daughter started to exhibit some troubling and concerning issues.  As she aged, they became worse, and we did not understand the root of where they were coming from.  Some of these problems were self-injury, sub-culture identities, gender issues, porn, risk-taking and destructive behaviors, such as depression and suicidal ideology, to name a few. 

It wasn’t until much later that she was diagnosed with PTSD, anxiety, and borderline personality disorder. Eventually, the problems escalated so much, we went into counseling.  That was the best step for me personally. 

Through an assignment given to me from my counselor, I was asked to write about my own depression that was brought on by parenting a child in constant crisis.  Those moments of journaling turned into a blog.  From there, God laid upon my heart that there were thousands of parents who were struggling and broken like I was in trying to help their child in crisis.  He encouraged me through confirmations to write a book.  A devotional book for parents just like me. That book is Turning the Tide of Emotional Turbulence.

MARYANN:
Parents of teens in crisis face struggles that most parents might consider foreign to their own parenting experience.  These are not the struggles involving ordinary teen challenges. They are far deeper, far more complex, and far more overwhelming. What advice would you give to a parent who has been blindsided by a teen in crisis? Where should that parent turn first?

STACY:
They first need to know that they are NOT alone.  Many parents such as myself, hid behind a facade to hide what was going on in their home and lives.  It felt shameful, embarrassing. We carried a lot of guilt and failure as parents.  It is not always the parent’s fault.  A teen and young adult are old enough to make some of their own choices and decisions.  Mind you, there are also some children who have severe illnesses and disorders.  Again, this is NOT the fault of the parent.  So release the guilt and blame on yourself. 

Secondly, you will go through various stages of emotions when your child’s issues are exposed and truth comes to the surface.  There is Shock, Unbelief, Anger, Sadness, Guilt, and a plethora of other emotions that you might not have dealt with before. These are all normal.  Connecting with a Counselor for yourself and for your child is the first place to start.  You need that support as well as your child in order to understand the condition of your child, what present things you need to address, and how to move forward with hope.  Also, it is imperative that you connect with the pastoral staff of your church.  If you don’t have any, I would advise to seek out one at a church.  Share only to those (with family and close friends) that you trust so that they can come along side of you and pray for you.  Once all of these are in place, you can start to prepare a plan that will guide your family to healing and restoration.  It will not happen overnight.  It takes time.  So bathe yourself in prayer and the Word.  God will help you along the way. 

MARYANN:
In your book, Stacy, you talk about the “punch of powerlessness”.  You brilliantly describe it as a “swarm of dizzy perpetrated by an unsettling dilemma.”  While we all have faced situations that sent us reeling, in what unique way does the “punch of powerlessness” affect the parent of a teen in crisis?

STACY:
If you have ever seen the Superman hero being hit hard with Cryptonite (the very thing that takes all of his power away), and he drops to the ground powerless, unable to move, holding his head in utter loss, that was me. Anytime something shocking happens, leaving you breathless, and dumbfounded by what you have heard or seen, that in itself is the definition of being punched with powerlessness.

For example, the moment I was just told that my daughter was facing twenty years in prison at the age of 17. You have no control, you are numb, you can’t think straight to what you just heard, and you wonder what you did to fail them.  It doesn’t have to be a situation like this.  A parent could be confronted with the realization that their teen/young adult has a serious addiction problem. Maybe the parent just found out that their son wants to change their gender and be a girl.  Or maybe, their child informed the parents that they are bi-sexual.  

MARYANN:
As an author, what I love most about your book is your willingness to be vulnerable and transparent.  We all struggle with different things in life, and when an author gives us truth rather than platitudes, we connect with that author and her message.  Many parents of teens in crisis are afraid to be open about their struggles. Have you always had this transparency regarding the crises you faced with your teen, or did you have to grow into becoming transparent? If the latter, how did you develop transparency? 

STACY:
In the beginning stages of my daughter’s issues, I kept everything a secret.  I had already felt judged through the actions my daughter was outlandishly doing (like being Goth and writing dark words and images all over her body), so sharing about what was really going on in my home was taboo. This became more personal to me as if I was the one with the problem and I wasn’t helping my daughter the way a parent should. 

With that in mind, I distanced myself from family, friends, and the Church. There came a time, however, that I could no longer do this as my daughter’s problems became so out of control. I put my pride aside and put my daughter first.  That was the beginning of my life being humbled to how God wanted to use my brokenness as well as my daughter to help others.  When I became stronger in my faith through my daughter’s crises, the veil of hiding lowered and my vulnerability was secured in Christ.  There was a freedom I had in my vulnerability that I had not experienced before.  

MARYANN:
Praise the Lord! Stacy, I have known you both as a friend, a fellow writer, and a fellow congregant for a few years now, and I have been greatly inspired by your faith, your endurance, and your adherence to God’s Word. You are a shining example of a Christ-Follower who runs your race with great courage and determination. Please share with our readers a few things you have learned about God’s grace during your journey.

STACY:
I learned that when I was at my lowest and weakest, I also had the most intimate relationship with God. I cried, screamed, threw fits of anger, pleaded, begged, and worshipped like I had never done in the past.  The best part, He bent His ear to hear me. He extended grace and mercy to my family when He didn’t have to. He never gave up on our family.  

MARYANN:
What advice would you give to parents whose marriage is being adversely affected by their teen in crisis?

STACY:
You MUST pray together. It is imperative that you do so.  Otherwise, satan will bring division into the marriage to distract parents from working as a team to help their child.  Another point to know is that each parent has a different way of coping in a crisis with their child. Maybe the husband is quiet and not vocal about the situation over the child. This does not mean he doesn’t care.  He may need time to think and evaluate himself as a parent, his relationship with his child, and future decisions for the healing of their teen/young adult.  The wife may do things very differently as her way of coping.  Neither is wrong.  But spouses need to allow the other to heal and comprehend and move forward in each situation so when that time comes in which they meet to discuss or work on a plan for their child in crisis, they will be totally focused on the child and not themselves.   

MARYANN:
How should parents of a teen in crisis handle the needs of other children in the family who are not in crisis?

STACY:
They need to let the siblings know that although their brother or sister is in crisis, they will still be there for them.  It is important that the child in crisis has a counselor.  This way the issues are being discussed and handled with the counselor, leaving the parents to focus more on the other children.  Other siblings may also need to be in counseling every once in a while so that their voice is heard during this crucial time.  They have many different feelings towards their sibling in crisis.  They could be jealous that their brother or sister is getting more attention.  They could be sad because they feel in some way responsible for their brother or sister in crisis.  They could be angry because their lives have been uprooted and plans changed all because of the issues with the sibling in crisis.  They need to vent too.  They need to feel safe to share what is bothering them too.  

MARYANN:
What kinds of problems did you encounter during the writing of your book? 

STACY:
I can honestly laugh at this.  Let’s see!  I lost my house and my husband lost his business. We went into bankruptcy. I lost many friends who coudln’t understand the challenges of raising a child who was in constant crisis. My relationship with my older daughter fell apart.  We had to leave our church that I was a part of for 40 years in order to find healing for our family at another church.  Crises escalating with our daughter, marriage hurting, and so many attacks on our family in the strangest of ways that would seem like a night flick mystery movie. But GOD IS GOOD!  He replenished, restored, and brought us out of the wilderness.

MARYANN:
Hallelujah!  Our God is always faithful!  Praise His Holy Name! Stacy, shat advice would you give to a writer just starting out? 

STACY:
Don’t give up! Don’t rush. Take your time.  Listen to God’s still small voice. Go to Writer Conferences (many offering virtual) that can give you so many ideas, encouragement, and connections.  

MARYANN:
Do you have any more books in the works? If so, would you give us a glimpse of what lies ahead for readers? 

STACY:
I am waiting to see what the Lord shows me next as to another book. ?

MARYANN:
Well, I know God has great things in store for you, Stacy. Thank you so much for being with us today and for sharing with us from your heart. And blessings on you and your precious family! 

To obtain a copy of Stacy’s book on Amazon, click here.

To obtain a copy of Stacy’s book from her publisher, click on the link below:

https://www.pageantwagonpublishing.com/store/p3/Turning_the_Tide_of_Emotional_Turbulence%3A_Devotions_for_Parents_with_Teens_in_Crisis.html 

To watch a video of an interview with Stacy by Cathy Taylor, founder of Hurting Moms, Mending Hearts, go here:
https://www.facebook.com/watch/live/?v=581113289120153&ref=watch_permalink

Also, I encourage you to connect with Stacy’s ministry via the following venues:

Stacy’s Facebook Page – www.facebook.com/AnchorOfPromise

Stacy’s Blog: www.AnchorOfPromise.com

Is Your Heart Broken?

In my novella, A CHRISTMAS HOMECOMING, there is a character who dies of a broken heart. Doctors have documented evidence that one can die of a broken heart. The condition is called “broken heart syndrome” and can occur from the emotional stress of losing a loved one.

As we begin a new year, many of you who are reading this post have a broken heart. The suicide rate is highest right after Christmas because the sense of hopelessness seems to skyrocket at the beginning of a new year.

If your heart is broken today, there is hope for you. That hope is Jesus Christ.

Jesus said in His Word (the Bible) that “He heals the broken-hearted and bandages their wounds” (Psalm 147:3). Imagine that! The Creator of the Universe–the same One Who created you–wants to put your heart back together again! And Who is better equipped to do so than the One Who made your heart in the first place?  

No matter how your heart was broken, be assured that God did not break it. We have an enemy called Satan who is in the business of breaking hearts. But God is in the business of mending hearts.

Just give him your broken heart and ask Him to mend it. As He promised you in His Word, He will turn your ashes into beauty (Isaiah 61:3) and your mourning into joy (Jeremiah 31:13).

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Copyright 2015 by Dr. MaryAnn Diorio.  All Rights Reserved.
Photo courtesy of Google Images.