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Winning with the Word

Author: MaryAnn Diorio

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Manuals. We have them for our cars, our washing machines, and our fitness equipment. But did you know there is a manual for living a successful life? It's called the Bible, and it holds the answers to every problem you will ever face in life. Check it out! You will be amazed!
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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! ______________________________________           Do you prefer listening instead of reading? Then click below to listen to today’s blog post:   https://media.blubrry.com/winning_with_the_word/content.blubrry.com/winning_with_the_word/WWW_Podcast_09142020_Are_You_Walking_the_Narrow_Road_.mp3 _______________________ 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, September 14, 2020. Today’s Podcast is Episode #36 in Series 2020 and is titled "Are You Walking the Narrow Road?" _______________________________________________ In the seventh chapter of the Gospel of Matthew, verse 13, the Word of God gives a sobering command and warning: "Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and many enter through it." What is the narrow gate? One Biblical commentator calls the narrow gate "the gate of true conversion" (Benson).  Many pray the sinner's prayer and believe that is all they need to do to be saved. But to pray the sinner's prayer without turning away from sin, without crucifying the flesh, without obey the Lord's commands is pointless--and even dangerous. True conversion means turning away from sin and living a life of holiness. This takes great effort, and few people are willing to put in the effort. It is not easy to say no to the flesh--to greed, to lust, to selfish ambition. Yet, that is precisely what we must do if we want to follow Jesus Christ. There is a huge difference between accepting Christ as our Savior and accepting Him as our Lord. He Himself said that if we love Him, we will keep His commandments. Accepting Christ as Savior alone has a selfish aspect to it because it is an act of concern only for one's personal salvation. While this is certainly a good thing, the act cannot stop there. It must go beyond the concern for deliverance from Hell to the love that inspires perfect obedience to the Lord Who saved us. When Jesus called His twelve apostles, He commanded them to FOLLOW Him.  One definition of the word follow means to take orders from. When we choose to follow Jesus, we choose to take our orders from Him and to put aside our own will and desires in order to accomplish His. Christians are often accused of being narrow-minded. Well, we are narrow-minded because our minds are continually focused on staying on the narrow road. It is far too easy to fall off the edge of the narrow road into the ditch of sin precisely because the road is narrow.  So our minds must continually focus on this truth---that the road is narrow and we must walk it carefully and not move off of it. Jesus said, "If any man will come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me" (Luke 19: 23). The sign of true conversion is self-denial. The cross we are to carry daily is precisely this self-denial. It is saying no daily to all those desires that are contrary to God's Word and choosing, instead, to obey the Lord's commands as found in His Word. If you have made Jesus your Savior but not your Lord, I urge you to repent and to complete a full conversion. Turn from your sins and begin to obey the Lord's commands. If you have not yet made Jesus your Savior and Lord, please do so now by praying this prayer with me: Lord Jesus, I want to make you both Savior and Lord of my life. I accept You now as my Savior and as my Lord. Forgive me of my sin. Cleanse me from all unrighteousness. Give me Your grace to follow you, to deny myself,
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! ______________________________________           Do you prefer listening instead of reading? Then click below to listen to today’s blog post:   https://media.blubrry.com/winning_with_the_word/content.blubrry.com/winning_with_the_word/WWW_Podcast_08312020_Taking_the_End_Times_Seriously.mp3 ______________________________________________ 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, August 31, 2020. Today’s Podcast is Episode #34 in Series 2020 and is titled "Taking the End Times Seriously". _______________________________________________ For the past several years, my husband and I have been what the Bible calls "watchmen on the wall." For those of you who do not know, according to the Scriptures, a watchman is a person who studies current events in relation to Biblical prophecy. To read the morning headlines today is to read Bible prophecy being fulfilled.  So much that was predicted by the ancient Hebrew prophets thousands of years ago is now coming to pass before our very eyes. What are some of these prophecies? Here are a few highlights: There will be an increase in natural disasters, pestilence, and famine throughout the world. We are already seeing this prophecy being fulfilled in the Covid-19 pandemic, the increase in earthquakes, vicious storms, and the devastating loss of crops, resulting in food shortages. Matthew 24: 7 talks of these things: " . . .  and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places.” There will be a coalition of nations in Africa and the Middle East that will align themselves against Israel (Psalm 83:2-8; Ezekiel 38:2-16).  We see this happening now with the big three--Iran, Turkey, and Russia--joining together with the smaller nations of Libya, Ethiopia, and Sudan to align themselves against Israel. There will be a global economic collapse followed by revolution, war, and, possibly, martial law. Several passages in the Book of Revelation prophesy of this economic collapse (for example, Revelation 6:2-6; Revelation 13:16-17). We are seeing the beginnings of economic distress in the closing of businesses due to the pandemic, the drop in the value of the dollar, and the growing shortage of coins. There will be a great falling away from the faith. Hardly a day goes by that we do not hear of a Christian leader turning away from God and denouncing faith in Christianity. Thousands--if not millions--are turning away from righteousness and embracing wickedness. People are calling wrong right, and right, wrong, as 2 Thessalonians 2: 3 prophesies. These are only a few of the indications that we are in the end of the last days. All believers have been given the assignment to be a watchman in these last days, but, sadly, very few are fulfilling it. What about you?  Perhaps you don't know how to be a watchman. Here are some suggestions: 1. Pray. This is the first order of business. Watchmen get their orders from our Commander-in-Chief, the Lord Jesus Christ Himself. These orders come as the result of prayer. 2. Witness. Proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ at every opportunity. Souls hang in the balance. 3. Act. Fulfill the Great Commission by healing the sick, casting out demons, and raising the dead. God has given us the power and authority of His Name to fulfill His Great Commission. If we fail to do so, the blood of the lost in our circle of influence will be on our heads. Only those born again in Jesus Christ can fulfill the Great Commission a...
Who Are You Really?

Who Are You Really?

2020-08-2407:08

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! ______________________________________           Do you prefer listening instead of reading? Then click below to listen to today’s blog post:   https://media.blubrry.com/winning_with_the_word/content.blubrry.com/winning_with_the_word/WWW_Podcast_08242020_Who_Am_I_Really_.mp3 ______________________________________________ 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, August 24, 2020. Today’s Podcast is Episode #33 in Series 2020 and is titled "Who Are You Really?"   _______________________________________________   We hear a lot of talk these days about self-image, self-esteem, and self-fulfillment.  All of this discussion has as its goal discovering who we really are. While discovering our true identity is crucial, most of us are going about it the wrong way. We are looking in the wrong place to discover who we really are. We are looking to ourselves. Let's take a deeper look. Have you noticed that all of these phrases--self-image, self-esteem, self-fulfillment--include the word "self"? It seems as though the entire goal of life is to find ourselves. We think that in finding ourselves, we will ultimately find the meaning of life and our purpose in life.  But is this really true? Is it really true that when we find ourselves, we will discover who we really are? That we will discover the meaning of life and our life purpose? The answer to this question lies in God's Holy Word. What does God say about finding ourselves? In Matthew 10: 39, God says this about our search for ourselves:  "Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it." Hmm. Now that's the exact opposite of what the world has taught us, isn't it? The world has taught us that we need to find ourselves in order to discover the meaning of life. God says that if we focus on finding ourselves to discover the meaning of life, we will eventually not only lose ourselves, but we will also miss the meaning of life. On the other hand, if we focus on finding God, we will find ourselves and the true meaning of our lives. Why does finding ourselves depend on finding God? Because God is our Maker. To expect the self to know the purpose for which it was made is like asking a car to know the purpose for which it was made. The car is incapable of knowing its own purpose. Only the maker of the car can tell us the purpose for which the car exists. Likewise, the self is incapable of knowing its own purpose. Only the Maker of the self can tell the self the purpose for which the self exists. While this may be a weak analogy, I think you get my point.  You see, my friend, we were made in God's image. Precisely for that reason, our true identity lies only in Him.  if we ignore or deny that truth, we will miss the very meaning of our lives. The world's emphasis on the self takes our eyes off the true source of our identity, and that source is God Himself. When we look to ourselves to define ourselves, we will be deceived and go astray. We will lose our bearings. But when we look to God to define us, we will discover who we really are. To seek our identity outside of this truth is to end up with a false image of who we truly are. Yet, this is exactly what Satan tempts us to do. Liar that he is, Satan tempts us to believe that we can know ourselves by ourselves. He tempts us to isolate ourselves from our Maker.  But isolation leads to desolation. And that is precisely the goal of the enemy. The Bible says he comes only "to steal,
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! ______________________________________           Do you prefer listening instead of reading? Then click below to listen to today’s blog post:   https://media.blubrry.com/winning_with_the_word/content.blubrry.com/winning_with_the_word/WWW_080320The_Dangers_of_Passivity.mp3 ______________________________________________ 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, August 3, 2020. Today’s Podcast is Episode #31 in Series 2020 and is titled "The Dangers of Passivity." _______________________________________________ God hates passivity.  But the devil loves it. What is passivity? Passivity is the trait of holding back and letting someone else act in a given circumstance. Passive people avoid resistance and confrontation and give in to external influences.  Noted Bible teacher Francis Frangipane calls passivity "Satan's secret weapon," a tool to render Christ-Followers ineffective. As Frangipane further notes, "There is no room for a passive spirit in God's army."  There are times when passivity is warranted among Christ-followers, such as in submitting to God. But there are many more times when passivity is unwarranted and harmful both to the passive Christian and to the Body of Christ.  We are living in times in which passivity on the part of righteous people is causing the destruction of our nation. Demonic forces are taking down our country while far too many Christ-followers are sitting back and just watching.  Jesus warned us of what would happen in the last days. But He also commanded His Church to occupy until He comes. With what are we to occupy ourselves? We are to occupy ourselves with preaching the Gospel. But why is it that so many Christians are failing to preach the Gospel? Why is it that so many Christ-followers are simply allowing the enemy to encroach upon the Church? Why are they being passive? Here are some insights on passivity: 1) Passivity is a learned behavior.  It has psychological roots in rejection, abandonment, and fear.  Passive people are often self-centered rather than other-centered. They are afraid of speaking out because they are afraid of being rejected. Sadly, many Christ-followers fall into this category.  2) Passive people do not see themselves as passive. They will often object to accusations of passivity, replying that they work very hard and make many sacrifices in their families or ministries. While this may be true, it is an out-of-balance perspective.  Provision has many facets to it, and one facet is also bold leadership.  3) Passive people see themselves as victims, not as victors. This is contrary to what God says about us. Scripture tells us that we are more than conquerors through Christ Who loved us. This perspective is not the perspective of a passive person. The opposite of passivity is boldness. While passivity holds back, boldness pushes ahead. While passivity refuses to get involved and take action, boldness jumps at the opportunity to get involved and to take action.  Interestingly, Scripture rarely requires passivity but most often it requires boldness. In order to obey God's commands, we are often required to get out of our comfort zones and to speak out. For example, it is impossible to obey the Great Commission while being passive. In his excellent book, THE SPIRITUAL MAN, Watchman Nee writes this about passivity: "God has not called us to be passive. He has called us to fight. We are engaged in a spiritual battle of intense proportions,
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! ______________________________________           Do you prefer listening instead of reading? Then click below to listen to today’s blog post:   https://media.blubrry.com/winning_with_the_word/content.blubrry.com/winning_with_the_word/WWW_Podcast_07272020_Are_You_Majoring_in_the_Minors_.mp3   ______________________________________________ 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 27, 2020. Today’s Podcast is Episode #30 in Series 2020 and is titled “Are You Majoring in the Minors?". _______________________________________________ In the first of his three letters, the Apostle John wrote: "Do not love this world nor the things it offers you, for when you love the world, you do not have the love of the Father in you. For the world offers only a craving for physical pleasure, a craving for everything we see, and pride in our achievements and possessions. These are not from the Father, but are from this world. And this world is fading away, along with everything that people crave. But anyone who does what pleases God will live forever." The problem today is that most people are not obeying this command not to love the world. They are so attached to this world and to what it can offer them that they are not paying attention to what is really happening in this world and to where they are headed. To love the world is to major in the minors, for this world will soon pass away. And so will you! So, perhaps it's time you shift your perspective and start majoring on the majors. But what are the majors? And how can you know if you are majoring in them? Here are some clues: 1. Is the word "busy" the most often used word in your vocabulary? Are you constantly saying you're busy? Too busy? Are you focusing on your to-do list to the exclusion of your relationships, especially your relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ? Do you even have a relationship with Jesus? One of Satan's chief tactics is to keep us too busy for a relationship with God. Don't fall into that dangerous trap. 2. Has distraction taken over in your life? Have you become too distracted to think about spiritual things, like where you will go after you die? Does that even matter to you? When the thought of death comes, do you brush it off?  3. Are you following the false teaching that your main goal is to create a great life for yourself here on earth? That your best life is now? What about success after you leave this earth? Do you think about that at all? And do you know what success after this life is all about? 4. Do you refuse to listen when Christ-Followers warn you of what's coming ahead? Do you find that kind of discussion too overwhelming, so you tune them out, branding them as crazy alarmists?  Denial of reality is one of the ways human beings cope, but we cannot and must not deny the truth of what Jesus predicted would happen in the last days. We must prepare for it. In fact, we have already begun to live it through the current lockdown and increasing assault on our Constitutional rights and religious freedom.   5. Are you attending a church where the pastor never talks about the end times? Does your pastor avoid the Book of Revelation? Does he avoid preaching on sin? Is his goal only to make you feel good when you leave the service? If so, beware.  6. Are you obsessed with social justice here on this earth? Are you focused on saving the planet? It sounds so good, yet it keeps you focused on this world and not on the next.
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! ______________________________________           Do you prefer listening instead of reading? Then click below to listen to today’s blog post: https://media.blubrry.com/winning_with_the_word/content.blubrry.com/winning_with_the_word/WWW_Podcast_07202020_Are_You_Living_on_the_Level_.mp3 ______________________________________________ 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?". _______________________________________________ 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.
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! ______________________________________       Do you prefer listening instead of reading? Then click below to listen to today’s blog post:     https://media.blubrry.com/winning_with_the_word/content.blubrry.com/winning_with_the_word/WWW_Podcast_07132020_Preparing_for_the_Lord_s_Return.mp3 ______________________________________________ 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 13, 2020. Today’s Podcast is Episode #28 in Series 2020 and is titled “Preparing for the Lord's Return". ________________________________________________ There's an old saying that goes like this: "Forewarned is forearmed." When it comes to the days in which we are living, this saying bears serious consideration. Why? Because we are living in the days in which Jesus Christ could return at any moment to remove His followers from the earth. So, it behooves us to be ready for His return. Why do we need to be ready? Great question! Here are some answers: 1. The world is fast heading toward the worst time in human history: a seven-year period called the Tribulation. This period of time will witness the rise of the AntiChrist, the most horrific and most tyrannical dictator ever to walk the earth. He will be completely possessed by Satan and operate at his bidding. The AntiChrist will set himself up as God in the Jewish temple and will demand that the whole world bow down in allegiance and worship to him. Those who refuse to do so will be beheaded, most likely by the guillotine.  2. Only those who follow Jesus will be spared this horrific time in human history. The reason is that Jesus will remove His followers from the earth just before the Tribulation in a cataclysmic event called the Rapture. In what the Bible describes as "the twinkling of an eye," all Christ-followers will disappear from the earth, creating utter chaos that will send the world hurtling toward the horrors of the Tribulation. 3. Those of us who follow Christ must repent of our sin and light our lamps, making sure we have ample supply of the oil of the Holy Spirit in our lives. We do not want to be like the five foolish virgins who were not prepared for the Lord's return (Matthew 25: 1-13).  Some of you reading this blog or listening to this podcast may be hearing all of this for the first time. Well, thank God you are hearing it, for it is Truth, and most people are clueless about the Truth. Bottom line, Jesus is coming back soon for all those who follow Him. If you do not follow Jesus, begin now by accepting Him as your Savior and Lord. Pray this simple prayer with me: Lord Jesus, I have been clueless about what's really going on in the world. Thank you for leading me to this message today. I want to go with You when You remove Your followers from the earth. So I accept You now as my Savior and Lord. Make of me what You created me to be. 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 dea...
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! ______________________________________       Do you prefer listening instead of reading? Then click below to listen to today’s blog post:     https://media.blubrry.com/winning_with_the_word/content.blubrry.com/winning_with_the_word/Finding_Joy_in_the_Story_You_re_Living_7_6_20.mp3 ______________________________________________   Four months ago, we were all writing the plots of our lives, oblivious to what lay just around the corner. Then--out of nowhere--the world was hit with a major pandemic that caused our plots to twist--and, in some cases, twist drastically. Now we find ourselves in totally unexpected situations, trying to make sense of it all and--even more challenging--trying to write new plots for our lives. But maybe that's where we've been missing it. In trying to write our own life plots in the first place. For you see, God has a plot for each of our lives, and His plot is usually quite different from ours. The big question is, "Am I willing to let God write the story of my life, or will I insist on writing it myself?" If you're like me, you may have resisted God's plot--or story--for your life. In my case, I didn't even know God had a plot for my life. So, at the age of fifteen, I started writing my own plot. I planned every point along the way, exactly as I wanted it to happen. But midway through my writing of my plot, God intervened. Basically, He told me I was writing the wrong story. It wasn't His story. He had a different story He wanted to write for my life. Would I let Him do so? I would have been a fool to refuse. What about you? Are you refusing to allow God to write the story of your life? If so, consider these advantages of allowing God to plot your life: God always has your best interests at heart. So the story He has planned for your life is the best story possible for your life--the story that will serve to make you the most like Jesus.  God created you. Therefore, He knows in what "genre" to write the story of your life. He knows whether or not you will become more like Jesus through humor or sorrow--or a combination of both. He knows whether or not you need a slow-paced story, with lots of calm moments to sort things out, or a fast-paced one that forces you to confront things you don't want to confront. God loves you.  Ultimately, this is God's reason for wanting to write your story. He knows that if you go it alone, you'll botch up your story. He wants to make sure you don't mess it up.  If there's one thing I've learned about the Lord in my 50 years of walking with Him, it's that the story He writes for our lives is always better than the story we try to write ourselves. Are you willing to let God write the story of your life? In order to do so, you may have to let go of the story you thought your life would be and learn to find joy in the story you're living.  Why not do that now? Give Jesus your pen and then stand back as the Master Storyteller writes the magnificent story He has already plotted for your life. I guarantee it will be a bestseller! If you have not yet accepted Jesus Christ, the Master Storyteller, I urge you to do so now. Please pray this simple prayer with me: Lord Jesus, I've been trying to write the story of my own life, but I've failed miserably. Forgive me! You are the only one who can write my life story. And it's the best story for me. So I hand over my pen to You, and I give You free reign to write the story of my life. In Your Name, I receive You as my Savior and Lord. Amen. If you prayed this simple prayer,
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! ______________________________________       Do you prefer listening instead of reading? Then click below to listen to today’s blog post:     ______________________________________________ https://media.blubrry.com/winning_with_the_word/content.blubrry.com/winning_with_the_word/WWW_Podcast06292020_Why_You_Need_to_Be_Born_Again.mp3 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 29, 2020. Today’s Podcast is Episode #26 in Series 2020 and is titled “Why You Need to Be Born Again". ________________________________________________ Sadly, the term "born again" has fallen into disrepute over recent years, despite the fact that it is the most important term that one must address regarding one's eternal destiny. People who are born again have been ridiculed, criticized, and even ostracized. Have you ever wondered why? Often, when there is great public outrage against something, it is due to the fact that that "something" is true. You see, the truth offends. It has offended from the fall of Adam and Eve. It offended when Jesus walked the earth. And it continues to offend today. Why does the truth offend?  Because it challenges a person's self-will, his desire to be his own god.  Rebellion is at the heart of the human condition. It was rebellion that brought evil into the world, and today, it is still rebellion that perpetuates evil. Because of our first parents, Adam and Eve, each of us is born into this world with a sin nature. This means that we enter this world with spirits disconnected from God. In other words, spirits that are dead, for there is no life unless we are connected to God. When Adam and Eve rebelled against God, they died spiritually and, eventually, physically. God never intended for us to die physically. Sin caused physical death as well as spiritual death.  After they sinned, Adam and Eve were helpless to regain what they had given up by obeying Satan instead of obeying God. There was nothing our first parents could ever do to be restored to their original condition. Consequently, since they had corrupted themselves by their sin, they could pass on to us only corruption--spiritual, mental, and physical. They could only give us what they had.  But God loved Adam and Eve and all of us, their descendants, so very much that He took it upon Himself to rescue us, to reconnect us to Himself. There was only one way He could do so. God needed a scapegoat--someone who was not only God and capable of paying a perfect price to our perfect God, but who also would become a man in order to represent mankind and stand in our place as our substitute. That Someone was Jesus Christ, God's only Son! Ever since that day when Jesus rose from the dead, He has been offering His gift of salvation to all who would take it. Won't you accept His gift of salvation today? Tomorrow may be too late. You see, when a person is born again by accepting Christ's gift of salvation, that person is reconnected to God the Father. This reconnection qualifies the person to spend eternity with his Father in Heaven because he has become a member of God's family. So why should being born again matter to you? It should matter because whether or not you are born again will determine your existence for all eternity after you die. Contrary to popular teachings, you will continue to exist after you die physically and leave this earth. Your spirit and your soul will continue to exist in one of two places: Heaven or Hell. The choice is up to you,
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! ______________________________________       Do you prefer listening instead of reading? Then click below to listen to today’s blog post:       https://media.blubrry.com/winning_with_the_word/content.blubrry.com/winning_with_the_word/WWW_Podcast06152020_The_Dangers_of_Generation_Separation.mp3 ______________________________________________ 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 15, 2020. Today’s Podcast is Episode #24 in Series 2020 and is titled “The Dangers of Generation Separation." ________________________________________________ When I was growing up in the fifties, the elderly sat on front porches surrounded by toddlers and teens.  It was a common practice for groups of children to visit middle-aged and elderly neighbors to listen to tales of earlier days. Back then, there were no such things as “senior citizens” or “adult communities.” Nursing homes were virtually non-existent, and grandparents often lived with their children and grandchildren. The grandparents gave the children time and wisdom, and the children gave the grandparents a sense of joy and lasting youth. During the past half century, we’ve seen a dangerous phenomenon occur. I call it the “generation separation”–the deliberate attempt by our culture, and even our churches, to separate the elderly from the young and the young from the elderly. The result has been a tragic loss of wisdom for the young and respect for the elderly. In the Biblical model, there is no separation of generations. All ages lived together, worked together, and played together.  The generations were interdependent. This is God’s way, and it is His way for a reason. Throughout the Scriptures, the older generation is commanded to instruct the younger generation in the ways of God, and the younger generation is commanded to learn from the older generation. This is not to say that the young cannot teach the old.  I’ve learned more from children, especially my own, than from any other age group. It is to say, however, that the older generation has a mandate from God to teach the younger generation to know Him. How can this happen unless the generations interact? Today, as people are living longer, it is not unusual to meet great-grandparents as well as grandparents.  I personally know of some families that are blessed with five living generations.  To separate the great-grandchildren from the great-grandparents would be to rob both of great blessings. I propose, therefore, a return to the mingling of generations, for these reasons: It is God’s way of blessing all generations. It fosters respect for the elderly and wisdom for the young. It serves as a valuable link of understanding between the past and the future. It provides roots that, in turn, provide stability to families. It nurtures a sense of belonging and unity so essential for emotional and spiritual well-being. If you are in a situation where you are separated from other generations, I encourage you to find a way to bridge that gap.  If you have small children, bring them around the elderly.  If you are among the elderly, spend time with children.  Not only will you be greatly blessed, but you will be a venue of blessing to generations other than your own. The most important thing you can do for your grandchildren is to teach them the truth about Jesus. But how can you teach them if you do not know Him yourself?  If you do not know Jesus Christ as your personal Savior and Lord,
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! ______________________________________       Do you prefer listening instead of reading? Then click below to listen to today’s blog post:       https://media.blubrry.com/winning_with_the_word/content.blubrry.com/winning_with_the_word/WWW_Podcst06082020_How_to_Conquer_Anxiety_Once_and_for_All.mp3 ______________________________________________ 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 8, 2020. Today’s Podcast is Episode #23 in Series 2020 and is titled “How to Conquer Anxiety Once and for All." I recently heard on the news that the use of anti-anxiety and anti-depression drugs has skyrocketed. This news saddened me because we don't have to depend on drugs to handle anxiety. There is a better way, and I want to share that better way with you today. It is found in the Holy Bible. The Bible was given to us by God as a manual for life. Sadly, however, most people haven't read their manual. Then they wonder why their lives are not working right. You see, we all need instructions for navigating our time here on earth. Sure, we can do things our way, but in the end, our way will fail. Why?  Because, truth be told, we are not that smart! :) When we think we are smarter than our Maker, we get into all kinds of trouble. And one of them is anxiety. You see anxiety comes from our failure to trust God and to live according to His commands. Why don't we trust God? Because we have not taken the time to get to know Him. When we get to know God, we will discover that no one is more trustworthy than He is. In fact, He is perfectly trustworthy, precisely because He is God and, as God, He is perfect. Sadly, most people today want to be their own god. They don't want God telling them what to do. As the old Frank Sinatra song goes, they want to do it "their way." Are you one of those people? Are you someone who wants to do it your way instead of God's way? If so, what has that gotten you so far? Has your way given you peace? Freedom from anxiety and fear? Joy and blessings? Or has doing things your way made you anxious, worried, and fearful? Chances are doing things your way hasn't gotten you very far, especially during these challenging times when the world seems to be crumbling around us; when you don't know if you will have enough money to feed your family or to pay your bills; when your heart is filled with anxiety. So, let me ask you a question. Are you ready to start doing things God's way? Are you ready to start putting your trust in Him by giving Him your burdens, as He commands us to do in the Bible? Are you willing to surrender your life to Him because He cares for you? If so, pray this simple prayer with me now: Lord Jesus, I come to You, just as I am. I'm ready to conquer anxiety once and for all, but I know that I cannot do so without You. So I ask You to come into my life. I receive You as my Savior and my Lord. Thank You for Your peace that passes all understanding. 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 encourageme...
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! ______________________________________       Do you prefer listening instead of reading? Then click below to listen to today’s blog post:       https://media.blubrry.com/winning_with_the_word/content.blubrry.com/winning_with_the_word/WWW_Podcast06012020_Are_You_Thinking_Straight_.mp3 ______________________________________________ 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.
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! ______________________________________       Do you prefer listening instead of reading? Then click below to listen to today’s blog post:       https://media.blubrry.com/winning_with_the_word/content.blubrry.com/winning_with_the_word/WWW_Podcast05252020_How_to_Deal_with_the_New_Normal_.mp3   ______________________________________________ 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, May 25, 2020. Today’s Podcast is Episode #21 in Series 2020 and is titled “How to Deal with the 'New Normal'." The events of the last few months have set the world in a tailspin from which it may never recover. While we all wish things could go back to the way they used to be, chances are good that they will not. Wherever we turn, we hear the words "the new normal."  What is the "new normal" and how can we deal with it? WHY THE NEW NORMAL? First of all, it will help to understand WHY the new normal before we discuss how to deal with it. Unless you are a student of Bible prophecy, you may not be aware that what we are experiencing today with the Corona virus and all the political upheaval attendant to it was foretold in the Bible. Jesus warned us of certain signs that would occur before He returns for His followers. And, yes! Jesus will soon return for His followers! For those of us who have received Him as our Savior and Lord. For those of us who are born again. Jesus described the signs we are witnessing today as the contractions--or birth pains--of a woman in labor. Let's take a look at Matthew 24: 3-8: "As Jesus was sitting on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to him privately. 'Tell us,' they said, 'when will this happen, and what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?' Jesus answered: 'Watch out that no one deceives you. For many will come in my name, claiming, "I am the Messiah," and will deceive many. You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come. Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of birth pains.'" We are personally witnessing these birth pains in our world today. First of all, there is mass deception. People are calling good, evil and evil, good. People are believing the Lie instead of the Truth. The first warning Jesus gave in answer to His disciples' question about the end times was, "Do not be deceived!" All around us, people are being deceived by the media, in many cases by the pulpit, and in also many cases, by our governmental and educational systems.  Throughout the world, there are wars and rumors of wars. Iran is threatening Israel. China is threatening the United States. Nation is rising against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. We are hearing of famines in many places, and earthquakes are increasing in frequency and in intensity, including in areas where earthquakes have heretofore been rare. Jesus called all of these signs "the beginning of birth pains." Well, what happens when birth pains begin for a woman in labor? They get stronger and stronger until the actual birth and delivery of the baby. The earth's birth pains will also get stronger and stronger, until the birth of God's Kingdom when Jesus Christ Himself will return to rule the earth during the thousand-year period called the Millennium. The birth pains will be the strongest during the period of time that will follow the Lor...
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! ______________________________________     Do you prefer listening instead of reading? Then click below to listen to today’s blog post:       https://media.blubrry.com/winning_with_the_word/content.blubrry.com/winning_with_the_word/WWW_Podcast05182020_What_to_Do_When_Your_Child_Goes_Astray.mp3 ______________________________________________ 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, May 18, 2020. Today’s Podcast is Episode #20 in Series 2020 and is titled “What to Do When Your Child Goes Astray." There's an old saying attributed to the 18th-century Scottish poet Robert Burns that goes like this: "The best-laid plans of mice and men oft go astray." If you're like me--and I think you are--you've had plans that have not turned out the way you wanted. This can be very painful, but it is especially painful when those plans included our children. Far too often have parents come to me in anguish over a child who has turned away from all that is good and holy and followed a lifestyle that leads to destruction. As a mother, my heart goes out to such parents. But what can they do? Indeed, is there anything they can do? Yes, there is something they can do. But first let's explore some reasons that our children go astray. 1. FREE WILL (Joshua 24: 15). The number one reason that children go astray is that they have a free will. We can warn, admonish, advise, enforce, and even object, but bottom line, our children will do what they want to do. Not even God--Who gave us free will in the first place--can keep a child from going astray if that child wants to go astray. God respects the free will of His creation, and so should we. 2. BELIEVING THE LIE (Romans 8: 6). Our children go astray because they choose to believe a lie. Every path to destruction is strewn with lies. A key to helping our child is prayerfully to discern what lie or lies he or she is believing and then presenting the Truth as an antidote to the lie. 3. A STRAINED RELATIONSHIP WITH A PARENT (Ephesians 6: 4). We parents can alienate our children by being too harsh with them, by not listening to them, by treating them condescendingly, or simply by not trying to understand their side of the story. When children feel unheard, they go elsewhere. Examine your own heart to determine if you have done anything to contribute to your child's going astray. If you have, repent and ask the Lord to forgive you. Also, ask your child to forgive you. 4. SITTING UNDER THE TEACHING OF A WEAK PASTOR (Jeremiah 50: 6). In this day and age, it is vitally important to sit under the teaching of a pastor who preaches the Word of God without compromise. Many of our children have gone astray because they have listened to the teachings of pastors who want only to tickle their ears. Now, let's look at some things you can do to influence your wayward child to return to the Lord: 1__Declare the Word of God over your child (Mark 11: 23). There is power in the Word of God to tear down the strongholds that are keeping your child bound. While you cannot and must not violate your child's free will, you do have authority in the Name of Jesus to command all lying spirits to desist in their maneuvers against your child. 2__Focus on the character of God as you pray (1 John 4: 8). God is Love and wants your child to return to Him more than you do. He will do everything, short of violating your child's will, to bring your child back to him. 3__Pray that your loved one will hear the voice of God (Isaiah 30: 21).
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! ______________________________________       Do you prefer listening instead of reading? Then click below to listen to today’s blog post:       https://media.blubrry.com/winning_with_the_word/content.blubrry.com/winning_with_the_word/WWW_Podcast_05112020_How_to_Grieve_Healthfully.mp3 ______________________________________________ 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, May 11, 2020. Today’s Podcast is Episode #19 in Series 2020 and is titled “How to Grieve Heathfully." Grief is a part of the human experience. Not a pleasant part, but an inevitable one. Yet, grief brings with it some dangers of which we need to be aware.  There are many types of grief. Probably the worst kind of grief is the loss of a loved one, whether sudden or expected. Either way, we are never prepared for the death of someone close to us. But there is also the grief that comes from the loss of a friendship, the loss of a love relationship, the loss of a job, the loss of a dream, the loss of a bodily function, the loss of finances. I could go on and on and on.  No matter the cause of the grief, the process of grieving is similar. Let's take a look at this process, keeping in mind that there is a right way and a wrong way to grieve. We discover the right way to grieve in God's Holy Word. Here are three important keys to grieving healthfully: 1. Grieve! This may sound obvious, but some people resist grieving in an attempt to be stoic. But the Bible not only permits grieving; it encourages it.  When referring to the death of believers, the Apostle Paul wrote this in 1 Thessalonians 4: 13: “And now, dear brothers and sisters, we want you to know what will happen to the believers who have died so you will not grieve like people who have no hope."  Paul didn't simply write, "so you will not grieve." No, he wrote "so you will not grieve like people who have no hope." In other words, Paul encouraged grieving, but the right kind of grieving--the grieving that was filled with hope. What hope? The hope of being reunited one day with one's loved one in Heaven. This is the wonderful hope experienced by those who are born again. 2. God wants us to express our grief to Him. The Psalmist David is our example in this. David frequently expressed his grief to God. But almost always, his expression of grief turned into an expression of praise. Expressing our grief to God lightens its burden as God replaces our grief with His comfort. 3. God wants us to express our grief to others. God has placed us in relationship to others so that we can bless one another. Part of blessing another is to share our pain during times of loss. Allow others to comfort you when you are grieving. Sharing the load will lighten it. Grief becomes dangerous when it becomes pathological. Pathological grief is inordinate grief that remains stuck and cannot resolve itself. This most often occurs when the person has not gone through the stages of grief in a healthful manner. Although I won't get into them here, these stages of grief include denial, anger, bargaining with God, depression, and acceptance. If you are experiencing grief, know that God cares. As you give your grief to Him, He will take it and, in due time, restore to you the joy of living.  Jesus died to take away our grief. If you do not yet know Him as your Savior, pray this simple prayer with me now to receive Him: Lord Jesus,You, above all others, are acquainted with grief. I come to You now,
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! ______________________________________       Do you prefer listening instead of reading? Then click below to listen to today’s blog post:       https://media.blubrry.com/winning_with_the_word/content.blubrry.com/winning_with_the_word/WWW_Podcast05042020_Are_You_a_Perfectionist_.mp3 ______________________________________________ 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, May 4, 2020. Today’s Podcast is Episode #18 in Series 2020 and is titled “Are You a Perfectionist?" Perfectionism is a silent malady. It often afflicts people without their realizing it. I was once its victim but, by the grace of God, I have made enormous strides in overcoming this silent monster. By applying the Word of God to my life, I was able to discover how the enemy uses perfectionism to keep us in bondage. And, as always, God's truth set me free! What is perfectionism? Simply put, it is deriving our worth from our accomplishments instead of deriving it from God Who alone is the rightful source of our worth. So, let me ask you? Are you a perfectionist? Here are some questions to ask yourself: You think in "all-or-nothing" terms. There is no gray in your life. For example, if you are trying to lose weight but eat a doughnut, you figure you've blown it, so why not eat the whole batch?  SOLUTION: Recognize that life is not black-and-white. Sometimes it is gray. You determine your worth by your accomplishments. You don't feel good about yourself unless you accomplish a lot. And you continually judge your worth by how much you have accomplished. SOLUTION: Recognize that you don't have to earn your worth. God has already given it to you by virtue of creating you. You continually beat yourself up when you mess up. Your self-worth is conditional, based on how perfectly you do something. If you don't do it perfectly, you are miserable. SOLUTION: Your worth is unconditional and does not depend on how well or how badly you do something. You do not like constructive criticism from others. Any corrective comment from another person is a personal threat to your self-worth because such a comment implies that you are not "perfect." SOLUTION: Do not take constructive criticism personally for it is not meant to be that way. Accept it gratefully as a gift to make your life better. You include the word "should" as a major part of your vocabulary. I "should" plan a menu each week; I "should" call my best friend more often; I "should" read my Bible for at least one hour a day. SOLUTION: Give up the "tyranny of should" and learn to relax by simply doing your best. You take little time for yourself. You always put the needs of others above your own. You tell yourself that you will take time for yourself after you fulfill your responsibilities to others. But you never take that time for yourself. SOLUTION: Treat yourself with the same love and respect with which you treat others. Make time for yourself and do so without guilt. You are worth it because God said so! You always live in the future, thinking, "I'll feel good about myself when . . . ." The truth is that a perfectionist will never feel good about himself because he feels his accomplishments are never enough. SOLUTION: The future never comes because it is always today. Learn to be thankful for where you are today. Tomorrow will take care of itself. There is a huge difference between perfectionism and excellence.  Perfectionism means doing something perfectly,
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! ______________________________________       Do you prefer listening instead of reading? Then click below to listen to today’s blog post:       https://media.blubrry.com/winning_with_the_word/content.blubrry.com/winning_with_the_word/WWW_Podcast04272020_How_to_Experience_the_Abundant_Life_in_Christ.mp3   ______________________________________________ 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, April 27, 2020. Today’s Podcast is Episode #17 in Series 2020 and is titled “How to Experience the Abundant Life of Christ." If you are a believer in Jesus Christ, then God has given you hundreds of promises, the fulfillment of which He wants you to experience in your life in a practical way. But what if you are not experiencing the fulfillment of God's promises in your life? What is wrong? Well, first of all, of one thing you can be sure: The problem is on not on God's end; the problem is on your end. Okay. So, what is the problem? To find out, let's take a look at Mark 11: 24: "Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them." Notice the verb tenses in this verse.  The first verb (ask) is in the present tense. The second verb (believe) is in the present tense. The third verb (receive) is also in the present tense. The fourth verb (will have) is in the future tense. So, three of these verbs are in the present tense--the now--and one of the verbs is in the future tense--in a time yet to happen. Now, keeping those tenses in mind, let's read this verse like this: "Therefore I say to you, whatever you ask for when you pray, believe at the instant you ask that you receive it at the instant you ask, and you will experience the answer in your life at a future date. What this verse is actually saying is that we must believe that we receive what we ask for the instant we ask for it. The asking, the believing, and the receiving occur at the same instant in the spirit realm. When these three acts--the asking, the believing, and the receiving--coincide--in other words, when they occur at the same instant--then what we ask, believe, and receive in the spirit realm in that instant will eventually show up in the physical realm in the future. To put it another way, the simultaneous asking, believing, and receiving take place in the spirit realm, and those three acts, done at the same time, will bring what we ask for from the spirit realm to the physical realm at a future date. It is our faith that connects the two realms. It is our faith that brings the promise of God from the spirit realm to the physical realm so that it can show up in our lives, and we can experience it in a practical way. Let's consider healing, for example. We may need healing from a disease. Mark 11: 24 tells us that when we ask for healing, we must believe that we receive it the instant we ask for it.  If we believe that we receive our healing the instant we ask God for it, then we will eventually see the sickness leave our body.  Most believers, however, believe that they have received an answer to their prayer only after the answer shows up.  But in most cases, the answer will never show up in their lives because their prayer was motivated by hope, not faith. When we pray with the mentality that we are not healed until we are free of symptoms, we are praying in hope, not faith. Hope is always future. But faith is NOW. Hebrews 11: 1 says "NOW faith is the substance of things hoped for,
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! ______________________________________       Do you prefer listening instead of reading? Then click below to listen to today’s blog post:       https://media.blubrry.com/winning_with_the_word/content.blubrry.com/winning_with_the_word/WWW_Podcast04202020_How_to_Have_Hope_When_Things_Seem_Hopeless.mp3 ______________________________________________ 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, April 20, 2020. Today’s Podcast is Episode #16 in Series 2020 and is titled “How to Have Hope When Things Seem Hopeless." Lately, I've been deeply saddened by the rising number of suicides as a result of the Corona virus. I read of a young nurse in Italy who killed herself when she was diagnosed with the virus. Others are killing themselves as a result of the recent sharp dives in the stock market that have drastically cut their life savings. What do all of these people have in common? They have all placed their hope in the wrong place. You see, where we hang our hope will determine if our hope will carry us through bad situations. The people mentioned above hung their hope on things of this world--things that had no solid foundation. Things that will not last.  Where are you hanging your hope? If on the things of this world--your IRA, your savings account, your job, your vitamins, your medication, your social distancing--all of these things are temporary and will not ultimately protect you. Only Jesus Christ can and will protect you. There is only solid and secure place where we can hang our hope, and that is on Jesus Christ. In 1 Peter 3: 6 the Bible says this about hoping in Jesus: "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, He has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead...." Notice this verse calls Christ our "living" hope--a hope that is alive and will remain alive forever. So, if you want to have hope when things seem hopeless, turn to Jesus Christ, the perfect Hope-Giver. If you have not yet asked Jesus to come into your life and be your hope, do so now. Please pray this simple prayer with me: Lord Jesus, I have lost my hope. I am discouraged and depressed. Sometimes I want to give up. But You are offering me true hope. So I receive You now as my Savior and Lord. Fill me with Your hope, the hope that never ends. 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 relationship with Jesus Christ. I also encourage you to get yourself a Bible and read it every single day, starting in the Gospel of John, which is in the second half of the Bible. The Bible is God's love letter to you, His manual for your life. In it He reveals Who He is. In it He reveals His infinite love for you and 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. I also invite you to visit my website at https://www.maryanndiorio.com/book-table. There you will find a complete list of the novels, novellas, and short stories I have written about characters with problems like yours. One such story is my latest novel, In Black and White. BUY NOW! On my website,
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! ______________________________________       Do you prefer listening instead of reading? Then click below to listen to today’s blog post:       https://media.blubrry.com/winning_with_the_word/content.blubrry.com/winning_with_the_word/WWW_Podcast04132020_How_to_Endure_to_the_End.mp3 ______________________________________________ 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, April 13, 2020. Today’s Podcast is Episode #15 in Series 2020 and is titled “How to Endure to the End". Tough times show us what we're made of.  The world has been going through a very tough time recently. Many are calling it unprecedented, and I agree. At least, unprecedented in our life times.   So, how are you holding out?  Are you holding out?   Jesus said that only he who endures to the end will be saved. That means if we quit along the way, we won't be saved.             Photo by Yiannis Papanastasopoulos. Freelyphotos.com Are you on the verge of quitting?  If so, let me encourage you with these tips on how to endure to the end:   1. Cling to Jesus through study of His Word. Only the Word of God will sustain us in these difficult days. Jesus said that man does not live by bread alone but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God (Matthew 4: 4). The Word is our spiritual food. Without nourishing ourselves on it every day, we will die spiritually. 2. Stay closely connected to fellow believers. We are the Body of Christ. We all need one another. When we are being tempted to quit, a brother or sister in Christ can encourage us to hang on.   3. Pray without ceasing. Maintain a running conversation with the Lord throughout the day. Constant communication is essential between a soldier and His Commander. We are soldiers of Christ, and we need to hear continually from our Commander.   "Tough times show us what we're made of."   Dark days are upon us, dear ones, and they will grow darker still. The Apostle Paul described these days in 2 Timothy 3: 1 as "perilous times." Now, more than ever, it is imperative that we apply the three tips above to endure to the end. For, oh, what glory awaits those who do! (1 Corinthians 2: 9).   There is only one way to experience God's glory. We must accept Jesus Christ as our Savior and Lord. If you have not yet done so, I urge you to do accept Jesus Christ now by praying this simple prayer with me: Lord Jesus, I come to You just as I am. I need You to save me. I cannot save myself. I repent of my sins and ask You to forgive me. I invite You into my life to be my Savior and my Lord. Make of me what You created me to be. I pray, believe, and receive in Your Name. 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 relationship with Jesus Christ. I also encourage you to get yourself a Bible and read it every single day, starting in the Gospel of John, which is in the second half of the Bible. The Bible is God's love letter to you, His manual for your life. In it He reveals Who He is. In it He reveals His infinite love for you and 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 some of the issues I deal with in this blog and podcast. As a token of my deep appreciation for all of you who...
WHY the Corona Virus?

WHY the Corona Virus?

2020-04-0606:52

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! ______________________________________       Do you prefer listening instead of reading? Then click below to listen to today’s blog post:       https://media.blubrry.com/winning_with_the_word/content.blubrry.com/winning_with_the_word/WWW_Podcast_04062020_WHY_the_Corona_Virus_.mp3 ______________________________________________ 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, April 6, 2020. Today’s Podcast is Episode #14 in Series 2020 and is titled “WHY the Corona Virus?" Have you asked yourself why the entire world is experiencing the pandemic of the Corona virus? Surely, there have been pandemics before, and perhaps they occurred for the same reason I'm going to present to you today.  Among the many scientific and social reasons for the virus, this one is one to consider as well.  It is the SPIRITUAL reason for the Corona virus. Yes, there is a spiritual reason for the current presence of the virus in our world. That spiritual reason is that God is calling us to repent of our sin and to turn to Him. Of course, the spiritual reason is not a very popular one because people don't like to talk of sin nor to confront their own sin. But this is what we must do if we want God to heal our land. There is a very pointed Scripture verse in the Second Book of Chronicles that says this: "If My people, who are called by My name, will humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land." Who are God's people? Those of us who have been born again by accepting Jesus Christ as our Savior and Lord. God is talking to us, the Church. He is saying that in order for Him to heal our land, we must do four things: 1. We must HUMBLE ourselves. This means we must acknowledge that we are helpless without God. 2. We must PRAY. We must communicate with God and do more listening than talking. 3. We must SEEK His Face. This means we must put God first, above everything else in our lives. 4. We must TURN from our wicked ways. This means we must repent of our sin and do an about-face in the way we live. To repent means to do a 180-degree turn and go in the opposite direction. When we have done all of these four things, then--and only then--will God heal our land. Notice in this verse that God is speaking to His people, not to the world. The buck always stops with the Church. As goes the Church, so goes the culture. What a sad commentary on the Church!  To a great extent, we have failed in our mission to be the salt of the earth and the light of the world. We have failed to fulfill the Great Commission given to us by Jesus in Mark 16. We have failed to uphold righteousness. Indeed, we have even succumbed to unrighteousness and participated in evil by siding with the culture of the world.   So, I implore you. Let all of us who call ourselves Christ-Followers repent of our complacency and our compromise. Let us humble ourselves, pray, seek God's face, and turn from our wicked ways. Then let us go out into all the world and preach the Gospel so that others, too, can be saved.     If you have not yet accepted Jesus Christ as your Savior, I urge you to do so now by praying this simple prayer with me: Lord Jesus, I come to You just as I am. I need You to save me. I cannot save myself. I repent of my sins and ask You to forgive me. I invite You into my life to be my Savior and my Lord.
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