“Are You on the Level?”

by Dr. MaryAnn Diorio

WINNING WITH THE WORD

“Winning with the Word” is a weekly blog that will help you to be a winner in life by applying God’s principles for living the abundant life as found in the Bible, God’s manual for life.

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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, July 20, 2020. Today’s Podcast is Episode #29 in Series 2020 and is titled “Are You Living on the Level?”.

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During the 50 blessed years my husband and I have been married, he has become an expert at hanging pictures. But sometimes when he hangs a picture, I think it’s leaning to the right, and he thinks it’s leaning to the left. So, in order to avoid an argument, we get out our trusty level. My husband places the level under the picture, and the level tells both of us when the picture is straight.

The cool thing about the level is that it ALWAYS tells the truth.

So, when my husband and I trust the level, it settles the issue, because both of us believe and trust the level and set ourselves in agreement with it. As a result, we remain unified in our picture-hanging situations.

God has given us a level for life that always tells us the truth as well. That level is called the Bible, and it is Absolute Truth. If we use the Bible every day and in every situation we will ever face, the Bible will keep our lives straight—and on the level. If we use the Bible when facing conflicts in our relationships, believing, trusting, and acting on what the Bible commands will keep us unified and reconciled in our relationships.

But the sad thing is that most people use themselves as a level instead of the Bible. They measure the straightness or the crookedness of their lives by their own opinions and their own perceptions of what is true. This is called relativism. And relativism NEVER tells the truth. In fact, relativism ALWAYS leads to a messed-up life, broken relationships, and, eventually to destruction and death.

We live in a world that has become relativistic. It is a world in which each person has chosen to be his own level. Our world today is not only ignorant of the Bible, but it also despises and denigrates the Bible. All we have to do is look around us to see the results of not using the Bible as a level. Confusion. Hatred. Division. Lawlessness. Violence. Death. These are the tragic results of using the Satanic level of relativism instead of the God-ordained level of absolute truth.

Why? Because the level of relativism cannot be counted on since it changes from day to day and from person to person. We’ve all heard comments like, “Abortion may be right for you, but it’s not right for me.” This is relativism. This is each person formulating his own morality. Writing his own bible. When this happens, we have no level by which to measure whether something is straight or not. Whether it is true or not.

Imagine if I had one level for measuring whether or not a picture hung straight and my husband had another level—and each level said something different. How would we ever know if the picture hung straight? We wouldn’t know, because we were using different standards of straightness and crookedness.

The level my husband uses to hang pictures always tells the truth. We can count on it every single time. In all of our 50 years of marriage, that level has never been wrong.

The Bible also tells us the truth. It is the only standard that tells us the truth every single time.

And it will always tell us the truth because it is the Word of God, and God cannot lie and God never changes.

So, as we go about our daily lives, let us always bear witness to the Level of God, the Holy Bible. Let us always bear witness to the Truth, no matter what the cost.

And there will be a cost. Often a huge cost.

Bearing witness to the truth may one day cost you your job, your career, your reputation, your relationships, and, yes, perhaps even your very life. Will you be prepared to stay true to God’s Level? Only if you make a quality decision now to love and trust the Level—the Holy Bible—with every fiber of your being. For the Bible—the Word of God—is Jesus Christ Himself.

And Jesus Christ alone is Truth. He Himself said in John 14: 6, “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.”

Truth is a Person, and Jesus Christ is that Person!

Jesus is TRUTH!

 Let me tell you four things about Truth:

1) TRUTH NEVER CHANGES. (Malachi 3: 6 – “For I, the LORD, do not change.”)

 2) TRUTH APPLIES TO ALL PEOPLE IN ALL PLACES AND IN ALL GENERATIONS. (Acts 10: 34 – “God shows no  favoritism.”)

3) TRUTH OFFENDS. (1 Corinthians 1: 23 – “So when we preach that Christ was crucified, the Jews are offended and the Gentiles say it’s all nonsense.”)

4) TRUTH WILL SET YOU FREE. (John 8: 32 – “And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”)

So Truth never changes; Truth applies to all people in all places and in all generations; Truth offends, and Truth will set you free.

But unless you make the quality decision once and for all to accept the Truth and always to bear witness to the Truth—unless you draw the red line in the sand to make the Truth your level for living—you will falter and compromise the Truth. You will bend it to fit your own agenda. And if you bend the truth, you will be deceived and destroyed.

So I urge you to accept truth today. Accept Jesus Christ Who is Truth. If you do, you will live a life that is always on the level, keeping you from destruction. Pray this simple prayer with me now:

Lord Jesus, my life has been crooked. I want it to be straight. I want to live on the level of Your Word. So I receive You now as my Savior and Lord. Straighten out my life and put me on the level. In Your Name I pray. Amen.

If you prayed this simple prayer, please write to me at drmaryann@maryanndiorio.com. I would like to send you a little booklet that will help you get started in your walk with Christ. 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 instructs 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.

For those of you who may not know, I write fiction about many of the issues I deal with in this blog and podcast. My latest novel, In Black and White, recently won First Place in Historical Fiction in the 2020 Christian Indie Book Awards Contest. It is the page-turning, compelling love story between a white woman and a black man as they face the wrath of family and society in order to preserve their love. This book was written for such a time as this, in which we are facing very serious issues of racism and hatred in our society. To discover the only real answer to racism, get your copy of IN BLACK AND WHITE now at Apple Books, Barnes & Noble, Amazon, Kobo, or other vendors of your choice.  If you are reading this blog post, you can also purchase IN BLACK AND WHITE at the link below or on my website at maryanndiorio.com. Just click the bookstore tab at the top of the page.

  BUY NOW!

 

You will also find additional resources on living the abundant life in Jesus Christ on my website at maryanndiorio.com.

If you have been blessed by these messages, I encourage you to share them with others. I also invite you to become a Winning with the Word patron on Patreon. As a patron you will enjoy special benefits only for my patrons. Just go to Patreon.com and search for Winning with the Word to join. I would like to thank all of my patrons who are making this podcast possible. It is now reaching numerous countries throughout the world with the message of the Gospel. I could not do this without your help.

Thank you so much for listening. This is Dr. MaryAnn Diorio, novelist and life coach, reminding you 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.

To subscribe to “Winning with the Word”, click here.

To receive my monthly newsletter, click here.

Now it’s your turn: Are you prepared for the return of Christ? If no, are you willing to get prepared? Please leave your comment in the Comment Box below. Thank you!

PLEASE TWEET: “Are You Living on the Level?” by Dr. MaryAnn Diorio (CLICK TO TWEET)

Please tell your family and friends about “Winning with the Word,” and please pass this post on to them. Thank you!

Listen to this week’s podcast here:

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Check out these three popular Winning with the Word podcasts below. You may also search for a particular topic in the search box at the top of the sidebar on this page. 

__7 Signs That the Tribulation Is at Hand

__The Dangers of Generation Separation

__Are You Thinking Straight?

__How to Deal with the “New Normal”

__What to Do When Your Child Goes Astray

___Are You a Perfectionist?

__Is the World Coming to an End?

__The Coming Global Cataclysm

 Are you new to this blog? If so, what is the “Winning with the Word” blog and why will it bless you to read it?

“Winning with the Word” is a weekly blog that helps you to deal with the daily problems of life by using the Bible as your guide to solving them. The Word of God will make you a success in life!

AN INVITATION TO YOU: To subscribe to Winning with the Word, click here.

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Copyright 2000-2020 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 Thinking Straight?

by Dr. MaryAnn Diorio

WINNING WITH THE WORD

“Winning with the Word” is a weekly blog that will help you to be a winner in life by applying God’s principles for living the abundant life as found in the Bible, God’s manual for life.

AN INVITATION TO YOU: To follow this blog, click here. 

If this blog has blessed you, please encourage your family and friends to subscribe as well. Thank you!

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Do you prefer listening instead of reading? Then click below to listen to today’s blog post:

 

 

 

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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 1, 2020. Today’s Podcast is Episode #22 in Series 2020 and is titled “Are You Thinking Straight?”

You might be wondering, What a strange question to ask? Am I thinking straight? Yet the truth is that my question is one of the most important questions you may ever be asked in your life. Your answer to that question will determine whether your life turns out well or turns out badly.

Okay, Dr. MaryAnn. Aren’t you getting a little melodramatic here? After all, how I think is how I think. What difference does it make how I think, if the thoughts are my own?

The fact that you made that statement and asked that question is proof that you are not thinking straight.

So, before we go any farther, let’s define what is meant by “thinking straight.” Thinking straight means thinking in line with Truth. But then we have to ask another question: What is Truth? You may remember that a Roman governor of Judea, named Pontius Pilate, asked that same question of Jesus just before Jesus was crucified (John 18: 38). 

The Bible tells us that Jesus Christ is Truth. He Himself said of Himself in John 14: 6, “I am the Truth.” Jesus is the Word of God, and so is the Bible. This makes Jesus and the Bible one and the same. So, logically speaking then, if Jesus is Truth, and if Jesus and the Bible are one and the same, then the Bible is Truth.

So, if the Bible is Truth, and if thinking straight means thinking in line with Truth, then thinking straight means thinking in line with the Bible.

Let me ask you another question. Are you thinking in line with the Bible? Do you even know what’s in the Bible? If you don’t, then how can you think in line with Truth? 

We must know Truth in order to think in line with Truth.

Truth is a Person. Truth is Jesus Christ. If we don’t know Jesus Christ, Who is Truth, then we cannot live in line with Truth.

So, the first order of business is to get to know Jesus Christ. How? By accepting Him as your Savior and Lord. When you do, you will be born again, and you will begin to comprehend Truth.

We live in a world in which most of the information we receive is controlled by people who do not know Truth. People who do not know the Bible. People who do not know Jesus Christ. Indeed, people who are blatantly opposed to Jesus Christ and, therefore, to Truth.

The information we receive from such people is contrary to Truth, yet most of the public believes their lies. When we believe a lie, we will suffer the consequences of believing a lie.

To believe a lie is to put ourselves in bondage. To believe the Truth is to experience freedom. Jesus Himself said, “You shall know the Truth, and the Truth shall make you free.”

We are fast losing many of our freedoms today. Have you asked yourself why? The reason is that, as a culture, we have chosen to embrace the lie instead of embracing the Truth.

We will be free to the degree that we embrace the Truth.

Do you want to be free? Then embrace the Truth. Embrace Jesus Christ. He is waiting to set you free.

Pray this simple prayer with me:

Lord Jesus, I come to You now, just as I am. I want to know Truth. I want to know You so that I can be free. I receive You now as my Savior and Lord. Make of me what You created me to be. In Your Name I pray. Amen.

If you prayed this simple prayer, please write to me at drmaryann@maryanndiorio.com. I would like to send you a little booklet that will help you get started in your walk with Christ. 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 and for He will help you to come to Him and to grow in Him and to become all that He created you to be. In the Bible, God reveals Who He is, and He instructs 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.

For those of you who may not know, I write fiction about many of the issues I deal with in this blog and podcast. My latest novel, In Black and White, recently won First Place in Historical Fiction in the 2020 Christian Indie Book Awards Contest. It is the page-turning, compelling love story between a white woman and a black man as they face the wrath of family and society in order to preserve their love. Get your copy at Apple Books, Barnes & Noble, Amazon, Kobo, or other vendors of your choice.

  BUY NOW!

 

For additional resources on living the abundant life in Jesus Christ, visit my website at maryanndiorio.com.

If you have been blessed by these messages, I also invite you to become a Winning with the Word patron on Patreon. As a patron you will enjoy special benefits only for my patrons. Just go to Patreon.com and search for Winning with the Word to join. I would like to thank all of my patrons who are making this podcast possible. It is now reaching 19 countries throughout the world with the message of the Gospel. I could not do this without you.

Thank you so much for listening. This is Dr. MaryAnn Diorio, novelist and life coach, reminding you 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.

To subscribe to “Winning with the Word”, click here.

To receive my monthly newsletter, click here.

Listen to the podcast here:

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Now it’s your turn:  “What steps have you taken to overcome perfectionism?”  Please leave your comment in the Comment Box below. Thank you!

PLEASE TWEET: “Are You Thinking Straight?” by Dr. MaryAnn Diorio (CLICK TO TWEET)

Please tell your family and friends about “Winning with the Word,” and please pass this post on to them. Thank you!

Check out these three popular Winning with the Word podcasts below. You may also search for a particular topic in the search box at the top of the sidebar on this page. 

__What to Do When Your Child Goes Astray

__How to Grieve Healthfully

__Are You a Perfectionist?

__Is the World Coming to an End?

__The Coming Global Cataclysm

 Are you new to this blog? If so, what is the “Winning with the Word” blog and why will it bless you to read it?

“Winning with the Word” is a weekly blog that helps you to deal with the daily problems of life by using the Bible as your guide to solving them. The Word of God will make you a success in life!

AN INVITATION TO YOU: To subscribe to Winning with the Word, click here.

_____________________________________________________________

Copyright 2000-2020 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.

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

ARE YOU AFRAID OF CONFRONTATION?

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
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Do you hate confrontation? Are you one of those people who gets uptight when there is the slightest indication of anger, upset, or instability in the status quo?

If so, you are not alone!

But while you may not be alone, you may be in trouble!

Why? Because confrontation is essential to growth. Without it, we will remain imprisoned in unhealthful relationship patterns. We will not experience the abundant life Jesus died to give us. In fact, we will not fulfill our God-given destiny.

Consider the caterpillar. Without confrontation–i.e., confronting the cocoon–the caterpillar would never turn into a butterfly.

Consider also the chick in the egg. Without confrontation–i.e., pushing against the eggshell to escape its confines–the chick would never emerge to live out its destiny as a chicken.

And consider the human being. Without confrontation–i.e., pushing through the obstacles that hinder healthful relationships and God’s plan for our lives–we would never grow into the truthful and loving people God created us to be.

No, it’s not confrontation that is the problem. It is the manner in which we handle confrontation.

“It’s not confrontation that is the problem. It’s the manner 
in which we handle confrontation.” ~ Dr. MaryAnn Diorio

Most people are afraid of confrontation because they have seen it mishandled. Many have been deeply hurt by confrontation, whether emotionally, physically, or both. Perhaps, like me, you are one of them.

For example, shouting, throwing things, or inflicting physical or emotional pain is not the proper way to handle confrontation. This kind of behavior is what has given confrontation its bad name.

But, on the other side of the coin, the failure to confront–especially on the part of a leader–has resulted in the destruction of families, organizations, and churches. When a leader fails to confront sin, he is tacitly allowing it to continue. There is no middle ground. 

Also, when a leader fails to confront sin, he is giving in to the fear of man. Whenever we fear man more than we fear God, we are in big trouble!

So, what is the proper way to handle confrontation?

First, let’s consider what confrontation really is. Confrontation is “speaking the truth in love.” This concept comes directly from the Bible. Let’s take a look at Ephesians 4: 15: “Instead, we will speak the truth in love, growing in every way more and more like Christ . . . .”

What do you notice about this verse? Let’s dissect it together:

1–We are instructed to speak the truth.

2–We are instructed to speak the truth in love; i.e., with a desire to help the person we are confronting.

3–When we speak the truth in love, we will grow more and more like Christ.

Speaking the truth in love–aka “confrontation”– causes growth, both in the speaker and in the listener.

When David sinned with Bathsheba, he brought much suffering and harm to his family. God commissioned the prophet Nathan to confront David about his sin. Nathan obeyed the Lord, resulting in David’s repentance.

Do you think Nathan felt like confronting King David? I doubt it. Nor do we always feel like confronting sin in the lives of those we love or those whom God has placed under our authority. But confront we must if we truly love them.

Truth without love will result in alienation. Love without truth will result in damnation. This is what is happening in many of our churches today. Pastors are preaching a love message without combining it with a truth message. When only one half of the equation is applied, the math won’t work. We will get a wrong answer every time.

And so it is with confrontation. We must confront, but we must always confront in both love and truth.

By the same token, the person who is being confronted must receive the message with a teachable spirit, which is a spirit imbued with humility. As king, David could have angrily dismissed Nathan and his message. Instead, David humbled himself before God and before Nathan and received Nathan’s correction from the Lord. As a result, David repented and, in so doing, did not forfeit his salvation.

Confrontation has eternal consequences. If we allow sin to continue, it will grow. When we confront, we are showing that person great love and concern for his eternal destiny. If we truly love someone, how, then, can we not confront him?

Now, it’s YOUR turn: Do you have trouble confronting sin in the lives of those in your circle of influence? After reading this blog post, do you now see confrontation in a different light? Please leave your valuable comments in the fields below. Thanks! 

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Copyright 2017 by MaryAnn Diorio, PhD, MFA.  All Rights Reserved.

Sources cited:

“The Danger of Compromise” by Greg Laurie

Please check out three books I’ve written that will help you to stay close to Jesus: 


The Daystar Devotional by MaryAnn Diorio, PhD, MFA

Are you looking for daily encouragement in your walk with Christ? The Daystar Devotional will provide just what you’re looking for. Daily readings will give you fresh insight into Scripture verses that will inspire you, encourage you, and strengthen you as you face the challenges of life. A powerful tool for growing in your relationship with Christ.

Available in both print and e-book formats.

CLICK HERE to purchase your copy now.


God Speaks to Me by MaryAnn Diorio, PhD, MFA
Do you ever wonder if God speaks to you? Well, He does. In this inspiring
book, Dr. MaryAnn Diorio records her two-way conversations with God. You will be blessed as you hear God’s voice speaking directly to you as well.
Available in both print and e-book formats.

CLICK HERE to purchase your copy now.

You Were Made for Greatness! by MaryAnn Diorio, PhD

A dynamic book that will help you overcome negative feelings about yourself and put you on the road to success in every area of your life. Using sound Biblical principles, nationally known author, life coach, and businesswoman, Dr. MaryAnn Diorio, deals with such life-changing topics as overcoming worry and fear, taking charge of your life, learning to accept yourself, and finding your purpose in life. YOU WERE MADE FOR GREATNESS! Offers practical advice which, if applied, guarantees success and will help you become all that God created you to be.

Available in e-book format.

CLICK HERE to purchase your copy now.

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

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.

Some of our most popular posts:

Sex and Soul Ties

How to Recognize a Controlling Spirit

–Why Rage Is Raging in Our Land

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’ll be taking a major step toward fulfilling your destiny!

Please tell your family and friends about this blog and please pass this post on to them. Thank you!
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Copyright 2001-2017 by Dr. Mary Ann Diorio. All Rights Reserved. 

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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The Great Deception

Are You Being Deceived?

Guard your heart above all else, for it determines
the course of your life.” ~ Proverbs 4:23
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If you are sensitive to the Holy Spirit, you will know that a great pall of deception has covered the earth.  Indeed, I believe that Satan has unleashed a multitude of spirits of deception in a last-ditch attempt to capture souls for his dark kingdom.

A bold, bright gold "TRUTH" arises from a gray background consisting of the word "LIES" repeated many times a different depths.

Signs of this deception abound for all who have eyes to see and ears to hear:

1) Insanity has infiltrated the thinking of our culture. What is right is now considered wrong; what is wrong is now considered right.

2) Lawlessness abounds and few are doing anything to prevent it. Consider the New Year’s Eve assault on women in Germany.

3) Poltical correctness has generated cowardice because of fear of retribution. Our nation has lost its spine.

What are we to do? We are to advance the Kingdom of God with courage, boldness, and love. We are to take a stand for righteousness at every opportunity. We are to speak the truth in love, fearlessly and with great concern for the salvation of souls.

To do this, ask yourself these questions:

1) Am I being deceived in any way? Ask Holy Spirit to reveal to you any areas of your thinking in which you are being deceived. Then repent of the deception, renounce it, and replace it with the truth found in God’s Word.

2) Am I deepening my relationship with Jesus Christ? Only Jesus–Who is Truth–can keep us from deception. The closer you are to Jesus, the less you will be deceived. 

3) Speak out when you see deception and enforce the truth. Remember the Lord’s words to Jeremiah: “Do not be afraid of anyone, for I will be with you to deliver you” (Jeremiah 1: 8).

Our culture is captive to Satan because it has believed its lies. Only the truth can set our culture free (John 8:32).

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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 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.

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:

Website: www.maryanndiorio.com
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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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