Sunday, January 21, 2018

WHATEVER HAPPENED TO MODESTY?

Hey, Gabriel Girls!

With Christmas behind us and freezing weather upon us, if you're like me, you're probably thinking of warmer weather. Already, I've been getting catalogues in the mail advertising swimsuits and party dresses and other warm weather clothing.


One thing I've been noticing more and more is the indecency of some of the clothing being sold today.  Clothing styles are revealing body parts that should not be revealed except in marriage. 

What's worse is that girls who claim to follow Jesus are wearing these clothes. In my opinion, this dishonors Christ.

Now, before you get your hackles up, let me assure you that I think we ought to look as beautiful as we can and dress as fashionably as we can. But fashionably doesn't mean indecently.

So, what am I talking about?

I'm talking about low-cut dresses that show cleavage. I'm talking about short skirts that allow  others to see way up to your underwear. I'm talking about hip-hugging clothing that exposes your navel. In short, I'm talking about any clothing that reveals body parts that should be kept private.

Lest you think me old-fashioned, let's take a look at what God says about modesty:

1 Corinthians 6: 19-20 - "Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body."

1 Timothy 2: 9 - "Likewise also that women should adorn themselves in respectable apparel, with modesty and self-control."

I have one question for girls who dress indecently: Why are you doing so?  Most of the time, girls dress provocatively in order to "provoke" the attention of guys. And why do they want to provoke the attention of guys? That is the question that each girl must answer for herself.

 Boys are physically aroused by what they see. A Christian girl who intentionally dresses in such a way as to arouse a guy is leading him into temptation and, possibly, into sin. This should not be.

The Bible says this in Romans 12: 2:  "Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world...."  Are you copying the behavior and customer of this world in the way you dress? If so, repent and start obeying God. Don't allow yourself to be a tool of the devil in causing others to sin.

_______________________________________________
Copyright 2018 by Dr. MaryAnn Diorio, All Rights Reserved. This article may not be published or printed in any form whatsoever without the written permission of Dr. MaryAnn Diorio. You may contact her at drmaryann@maryanndiorio.com to request permission.


If you enjoyed this blog, please forward it to your family and friends. Spread the Word of God and be a blessing to others! Thanks! 
To Become a Gabriel Girl, you need to qualify as follows:
  • You need to be born again. This means that you have accepted Jesus Christ as your personal Savior and the Lord of your life. If you don't know how to do this, click here.
  • You need to have a desire to tell others about Jesus wherever you go and whenever you can.
  • You need to commit to following Jesus by reading the Bible and praying every day and by obeying Jesus' command to love Him and to love your neighbor.
    ____________________________________________________
You can find me on the following Social Media Venues:

Saturday, January 6, 2018

How to Defeat Depression

Hey, Gabriel Girls!

Happy New Year!  May it be your best year yet!

I want to start off the year by addressing one of the chief problems among teen girls: depression. If you're depressed, or if you've ever experienced depression, then you'll want to pay close attention.

What is depression? Depression is a loss of hope accompanied by feelings of dejection, dread, and despair. When we feel depressed, we feel not only hopeless, but we also feel helpless.

While all of us get depressed once in a while, an emotional state is characterized as depression when it lasts for two weeks or more.

So, what are some of the signs of depression? Here are a few:




1---Feeling sad continually.
2---Loss of interest in activities that you used to find enjoyable.
3---Insomnia or sleeping too much.
4---Loss of appetite or eating too much.
5---Constant fatigue.
6---Trouble concentrating or focusing.
7---Difficulty making decisions.
8---Feeling worthless.
9---Thoughts of suicide.
10--Feeling hopeless that things will ever change.

If you've experienced any of the above for longer than two weeks straight, you may be suffering from depression.

So, what should you do?

1--Go to God with your depression. Ask for His help. He is your Healer, and He will lead you out of depression.

2--Talk to your parents or a trusted adult about how you feel. Sharing your feelings with someone who loves you will go far in helping you to overcome depression. 

3---Analyze your thoughts. Yes, depression is largely rooted in wrong thinking. If you are believing a lie, that lie could make you depressed. So, identify any lies you are believing and then renounce them and replace them with the truth.

4--Discover truth in God's Word. God's Word is Truth. It alone will help you recognize a lie. Any belief that does not agree with what Go says about you in His Word is a lie. As you study God's Word, truth will replace the lie. And it is the truth that will set you free from depression (John 8: 32).

5--Praise God continually. The Bible tells us that praising God drives out depression (Isaiah 61: 3). So begin praising God with all of your heart, soul, strength, and mind.

When Jesus died on the Cross and rose from the dead, He defeated depression and gave you His joy. Receive His joy into your life today. Then watch depression leave your life.

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Copyright 2018 by Dr. MaryAnn Diorio. All Rights Reserved.

Friday, December 29, 2017

Making the New Year Your Best Yet

Hey, Gabriel Girls!

Happy New Year! If you're like me, you want to make 2018 your best year yet. So, how can we do that?

Well, here are a few thoughts followed by some ideas for action:

1--Time is a gift from God. How we use the time He gives us on this earth will affect how we live in eternity. It has been said that our life on earth is a preparation for our life in eternity. Did you know that before you were even born, God had written down what He wanted you to do each day of your life? 

Check out this cool Scripture verse: "You saw me before I was born. Every day of my life was recorded in your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed" (Psalm 139: 16). WOW! Talk about planning ahead! 


ACTION QUESTIONS: 

  • Am I doing what God planned for me to do each day? 
  • Do I know what God planned for me to do each day?
  • If not, how can I find out?
2--Obedience to God's Word will lead me into God's will for my life. God's ways are opposite our ways. We may think we have to know the next step before we take it. God says, "Obey My Word, and I will show you the next step to take."  

In order to obey God's Word, we have to know it. We have to read it and study it. As we read and study God's Word, we then need to obey it by applying it to our lives. Make it your goal in 2018 to study and obey God's Word. As you do, you will begin to see God's purpose for your life unfolding.

ACTION QUESTIONS:
  • Am I reading and studying God's Word every day? If not, why not?
  • Am I obeying God's Word? If not, why not?
  • Am I beginning to discern God's purpose for my life?
3--My relationship with Jesus Christ must take first place above all of my other relationships. God created us for relationship with Him. When our relationship with God is right, then all of our other relationships will be right. 

Jesus Christ is the only way for us to have a relationship with God the Father. So, all relationship with God must start with Jesus Christ. Jesus Himself said, "I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life. No one comes to the Father except through Me" (John 14: 6).

ACTION QUESTIONS:
  • Have you established a relationship with God the Father through Jesus Christ? If not, you can do so now. Click here if you need help.
  • If you do have a relationship with God through Jesus, is that relationship top priority in your life? If not, why not?
  • What can you do to improve your relationship with God?
Set aside some time to think about this post and to answer the questions. If you do, you will be starting the new year on the right foot. 

And that's a good way to start!
__________________________________________________
Copyright 2017 by MaryAnn Diorio, PhD. 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.


If you enjoyed this blog, please forward it to your family and friends. Spread the Word of God and be a blessing to others! Thanks! 
To Become a Gabriel Girl, you need to qualify as follows:
  • You need to be born again. This means that you have accepted Jesus Christ as your personal Savior and the Lord of your life. If you don't know how to do this, click here.
  • You need to have a desire to tell others about Jesus wherever you go and whenever you can.
  • You need to commit to following Jesus by reading the Bible and praying every day and by obeying Jesus' command to love Him and to love your neighbor.
    ____________________________________________________
You can find me on the following Social Media Venues:


Sunday, December 17, 2017

Walking the Walk with Jesus by Dr. MaryAnn Diorio

Hey, Gabriel Girls!

How's your walk with Jesus going? Are you keeping in stride with Him? Have you gotten off track? Or have you gotten lost by going your own way?

Knowing where we stand with Jesus is something we need to be aware of constantly. It's like taking a test to see if we are on track with our schoolwork. The results of the test will tell us if we understand the material and if we are where we need to be in our learning journey.


Photo by Alexsandr Ledogorov. Source: Freelyphotos.com.

Well, how can we take a test regarding our walk with Christ? What questions should we ask ourselves? What kind of results should we look for to indicate that we're still following Him?

Here are a few questions to ask yourself. Rank yourself according to the scale below, and place your rank on the lines provided. When you've finished answering the questions, check your answers against the Score Key that follows the questions.

RANKING SCALE
5 - Your answer is YES.
4 - Your answer is OFTEN.
3 - Your answer is SOMETIMES.
2-  Your answer is RARELY.
1 - Your answer is NO.


  • Do I spend time with the Lord every day, reading His Word, memorizing and meditating on His Word, talking with Him in prayer, and just hanging out with Him?_____
  • Do I regularly gather with fellow believers for fellowship and fun?_____
  • Do I attend church services regularly?_____
  • Am I part of a small Bible study group?_____
  • Do I have a mature spiritual mentor (a woman for a gal and a man for a guy) who can advise me and hold me accountable to God's Word?_____ 
  • Do I serve in some capacity in my local church?_____ 
  • Do I tell others about Jesus?_____

SCORE KEY:
---A score of 30-35 means you are on track in your walk with Jesus.
---A score of 25-30 means you are doing well but have room for improvement.
---A score of 20-25 means you are getting off track and need to re-evaluate your priorities.
---A score of 15-20 means you have gone your own way and should get help in getting back on track.
---A score of 1-15 means you are in danger of losing your way. Talk with your pastor or a mature Christian who will help you find your way back.

One disclaimer: Perhaps you are a new Christ-Follower and have just started your walk with Jesus. If so, it will take you some time to incorporate the above spiritual disciplines into your life. But you can start right away to spend time with the Lord every day, reading His Word and talking with Him. Ask God to lead you to a good church that teaches the Bible without compromise. As you begin attending church, you will find other believers who will help you to grow in Christ.

If you need help with any of this, please write to me at drmaryann@maryanndiorio.com. I will be happy to help you in any way I can.

Now it's your turn: Place your comments or questions in the Comment Box below. Thanks! 

Please tell your family and teen friends about this blog and please pass this post on to them. Thank you!

______________________________________________________________
Copyright 2000-2017 by Dr. MaryAnn Diorio. All Rights Reserved. This article may not be published or printed in any form whatsoever without the written permission of Dr. MaryAnn Diorio. You may contact her at drmaryann@maryanndiorio.com to request permission.

If you enjoyed this blog, please forward it to your family and friends. Spread the Word of God and be a blessing to others! Thanks! 
To Become a Gabriel Girl, you need to qualify as follows:
  • You need to be born again. This means that you have accepted Jesus Christ as your personal Savior and the Lord of your life. If you don't know how to do this, click here.
  • You need to have a desire to tell others about Jesus wherever you go and whenever you can.
  • You need to commit to following Jesus by reading the Bible and praying every day and by obeying Jesus' command to love Him and to love your neighbor.
    ____________________________________________________
You can find me on the following Social Media Venues:

Saturday, December 9, 2017

HOW TO SURVIVE CYBER-BULLYING

Hey, Gabriel Girls,

First off, I want to thank my good friend Anna, a teen follower of Christ, who provided me with valuable information for this blog post. Thanks, Anna!  (Waving to you out there! :)

So, today we're going to talk about cyber-bullying. Just in case you don't know what it means, cyber-bullying is using social media to post rude, negative comments about another girl for the purpose of hurting her. When the targeted girl reads the post, she immediately knows it's about her, although others who read the post may not know who the targeted girl is. For this reason, it's difficult to punish the poster because there is no real proof that the poster was targeting a specific girl.



Cyber-bullying also includes online threats, tweets, and posting any kind of information--including pics or videos--that are meant to hurt, embarrass, or upset someone. Often, these pictures, videos, and rude comments are not removed, even after the targeted person asks the poster to remove them. 

Some teens create "fake" or "fun" Instagram accounts that they use only for cyber-bullying. These accounts are called "finsta' accounts and are separate and distinct from their official Instagram accounts. While "finsta" accounts are supposed to be used for good, fun things, too often they are used to post incidents of girl drama or to make rude comments about other girls.

This is so sad!  And so wrong!

Perhaps you are a victim of cyber-bullying. Perhaps you've felt firsthand the pain of being publicly embarrassed, harassed, and mocked. If so, what can you do?

1--Tell your parents or another trusted adult that you are being bullied. Many teen girls are afraid to reveal that they are victims of cyber-bullying because they may feel embarrassed. They may also be reluctant to report the bully because they are not sure of the bully's identity or they are afraid of repercussions. But when not confronted, cyber-bullying gets worse, often with tragic results, including suicide. So, don't hesitate! Tell your parents or a trusted teacher or adult friend that you are being bullied.

Some states have laws against cyber-bullying. If the bullying includes harmful threats, report them to your local police who can often track down the bully. Also, report the bullying to the social media platform on which the bullying occurs. Social media platforms have ways of identifying bullies and blocking them.

2--Ignore the cyber-bully's lies about you. Yes! That's exactly what they are: lies designed to discourage you and depress you. You are not who people say you are. You are who God says you are, and God says you are His amazing child, loved and accepted by Him (Read Psalm 139). 

3--Pray for the bully. Cyber-bullies bully because deep down, they are insecure. In order to feel important, they hurt other people. They don't realize that hurting another will only hurt them more. Cyber-bullies are acting under the influence of Satan. As a follower of Jesus, you have authority and power over Satan. You can command him to loose his hold on the cyber-bully, and you can pray that the cyber-bully will come to know Jesus as her Savior and Lord. 

The Bible says this in 1 Peter 3: 9: "Don't repay evil for evil. Don't retaliate with insults when people insult you. Instead, pay them back with a blessing. That is what God has called you to do, and he will bless you for it." Ask God to give you the opportunity to do something good for the person who is bullying you. For example, when that person has a birthday, post a Happy Birthday greeting on her FB page or send her a birthday card. If you see her at school, do something nice for her, like offering to help her with a subject with which she may be having difficulty. 

If you find that the cyber-bully continues to bully you, then ignore her but continue to pray for her. And always remember that no matter how much you are bullied, the Lord is your Defender.  Read this comforting promise in Psalm 18:

How I love you, Lord! You are my defender. 

The Lord is my protector; he is my strong fortress. My God is my protection, and with him I am safe. He protects me like a shield; he defends me and keeps me safe. 
I call to the Lord, and he saves me from my enemies. Praise the Lord!


Now it's your turn: Have you been cyber-bullied? If so, what have you done to handle the situation?

Please share your insights in the box below. Thanks!

Please tell your family and teen friends about this blog and please pass this post on to them. Thank you!

______________________________________________________________
Copyright 2000-2017 by Dr. MaryAnn Diorio. All Rights Reserved. This article may not be published or printed in any form whatsoever without the written permission of Dr. MaryAnn Diorio. You may contact her at drmaryann@maryanndiorio.com to request permission.


If you enjoyed this blog, please forward it to your family and friends. Spread the Word of God and be a blessing to others! Thanks! 
To Become a Gabriel Girl, you need to qualify as follows:
  • You need to be born again. This means that you have accepted Jesus Christ as your personal Savior and the Lord of your life. If you don't know how to do this, click here.
  • You need to have a desire to tell others about Jesus wherever you go and whenever you can.
  • You need to commit to following Jesus by reading the Bible and praying every day and by obeying Jesus' command to love Him and to love your neighbor.
    ____________________________________________________
You can find me on the following Social Media Venues:

Monday, November 27, 2017

ARE YOU FEELING HOPELESS?

Hey, Gabriel Girl!

Are you feeling hopeless today? Are you wanting to give up, throw in the towel, end it all? If so, this blog post is for you!

Everywhere I turn, I find teens who are feeling hopeless. Maybe you're one of them. If so, listen up!

No matter what situation you're in, there is hope for you!

If your parents have just divorced, there is hope for you!
If your Mom has just died, there is hope for you!
If your Dad committed suicide, there is hope for you!
If your boyfriend just broke up with you, there is hope for you!
If you just got rejected from your favorite college, there is hope for you!
If you're addicted to drugs, there is hope for you!
If you're overweight and struggling to lose weight, there is hope for you!
If you're experiencing panic attacks, there is hope for you.
If you just failed your biology final, there is hope for you.
If you hear voices in your head and think you're going crazy, there is hope for you!

No matter what your problem or situation, there is hope for you!

That hope is Jesus Christ!

You see, hopelessness is a dangerous trap Satan sets for those he wants to destroy. And that includes you! If Satan can steal your hope, then he can overpower you.

But if you refuse to give up your hope, Satan doesn't stand a chance!




The Bible tells us in Hebrews 6: 19 that hope is "an anchor for the soul." In other words, hope keeps us stable and positive in the midst of trials. Hope keeps us looking ahead toward a better tomorrow---toward the day when Jesus Christ will return and usher us into the eternal realm where all suffering will end. 

If, that is, you are born again!

But while we are here on this earth, God wants us not only to survive, but also to thrive. And in order to do so, we must have hope. But our hope must be in the right place.

The only right place for our hope is in Jesus Christ. To hope in anything outside of Christ is to hope in vain, for only Christ is the Solid Rock on which hope can stand.


Much of our disappointment in life comes from the fact that we have hoped in the wrong thing or the wrong person. Perhaps we have placed our hope in a parent or a friend who has betrayed us or let us down. Perhaps we have placed our hope in a job or a career, only to be disappointed in that job or that career. 

Whatever the case, when we place our hope in imperfect human beings or in imperfect human situations, our hope will falter. But when we place our hope in the Perfect God, our hope will never fail.

In Psalm 39: 7, King David asks this question: “And so, Lord, where do I put my hope?” David answers his own question when he says: “My only hope is in You.”

David knew that the only safe repository of his hope was God. The same is true for us. When we place our hope in God, we will never be disappointed.

Perhaps you are reading this today, and you are feeling hopeless. Perhaps your life has crumbled, and you don’t know where to turn. Perhaps you have even contemplated suicide or have already made arrangements to kill yourself. If I am talking to you, then I urge you to give yourself another chance.

You see, Satan wants to destroy you because you have a great purpose in God’s plan, and Satan wants to keep you from fulfilling that purpose. If you were not important to God, Satan would have no need to make you feel hopeless or to try to get you to kill yourself. But you are a threat to Satan, so he wants to eliminate you—to take you out of the picture. He does this by stealing your hope.

Without hope, we see no reason to go on. So, if Satan can steal your hope, he can steal your life, your blessings, and, yes, even your future.

God, on the other hand, wants to give you life, not steal it from you. He wants to give you hope and peace and every good thing. But in order to receive the hope that God wants to give you, you must receive it from His hand. You must, in short, come to Him.

God is waiting for you to do that now.

Today, if you are feeling hopeless, I urge you to turn to Jesus Christ. He is waiting with open arms for you to turn to Him. He wants to be your Hope. 

If you have not yet accepted Jesus as your Savior and Lord, I invite you to do so now. Just pray this simple prayer after me:

Lord Jesus, I come to You just as I am. I admit that I am a sinner in need of Your mercy and grace. I acknowledge that You are the Son of God, that You died for me to pay the penalty for my sin, and that You rose from the dead. I receive You now as my Savior and Lord. I receive You as my Hope. Make of me all that You created me to be. Amen.

If you sincerely prayed this prayer, you are now a born-again child of God and follower of Jesus Christ. Place your hope in Him. I promise you that you will never be disappointed.

For more information to help you grow in your relationship with Jesus, I invite you to visit my website at maryanndiorio.com.

Now, it's your turn! Do you ever feel hopeless? If so, what do you do to combat hopelessness?

Please share your insights in the box below. Thanks!

Please tell your family and teen friends about this blog and please pass this post on to them. Thank you!
______________________________________________________________
Copyright 2000-2017 by Dr. MaryAnn Diorio. All Rights Reserved. This article may not be published or printed in any form whatsoever without the written permission of Dr. MaryAnn Diorio. You may contact her at drmaryann@maryanndiorio.com to request permission.

If you enjoyed this blog, please forward it to your family and friends. Spread the Word of God and be a blessing to others! Thanks! 
To Become a Gabriel Girl, you need to qualify as follows:
  • You need to be born again. This means that you have accepted Jesus Christ as your personal Savior and the Lord of your life.If you don't know how to do this, click here.
  • You need to have a desire to tell others about Jesus wherever you go and whenever you can.
  • You need to commit to following Jesus by reading the Bible and praying every day and by obeying Jesus' command to love Him and to love your neighbor.
    ____________________________________________________
You can find me on the following Social Media Venues:
Website: www.maryanndiorio.com
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Copyright 2001-2017 by MaryAnn Diorio, PhD, MFA.  All Rights Reserved.

Thursday, November 23, 2017

LOOK, LISTEN, AND LOVE

Hey, Gabriel Girls!

When I was a young teen, I started a club with some of my high school girlfriends. We named the club The AGCs, which stood for The All-Girls Club–a simple name for a club comprised of ordinary teenagers with an extraordinary purpose: to impact our community with the love of Christ.

Our first project shortly after our founding was to provide a Thanksgiving Day meal for a poor family in our town. The local butcher where my mother shopped for meats provided the name of the family. You see, our butcher was a humble man who, quietly and unobtrusively, gave generously to poverty-stricken families in our area. So he knew those families who could use our help.

The day before Thanksgiving Day, we members of the AGCs busily and excitedly planned, purchased, and packed the meal we would donate to the designated family. On the eve of Thanksgiving Day, in bitter cold weather, we loaded the boxes of food into my mother’s car, and she drove us across town to the family who would receive our gift.
I will never forget that night. In frigid temperatures that made our bones ache, we climbed the three flights of the fire escape that led to the tiny apartment on the third floor of an old, dilapidated house next door to the butcher shop. Laden with a big box of food, I carefully slipped a hand from under the box and nervously knocked on the front door.
My heart pounded and my teeth chattered.
In a few moments, a young woman opened the door. She looked to be in her early twenties. In her left arm, she held a baby.
“Yes?” Her eyes questioned me.
“Hello.” I tried to reassure her with a smile. “We are the All Girls Club and we want to bless you with a Thanksgiving Day meal.”
The woman’s eyes grew wide and immediately filled with tears. “How did you know we had no food?” Her voice quivered. “We were not planning to celebrate Thanksgiving Day.”
A lump rose to my throat. “May we come in to deposit the boxes of food?”
She nodded and then opened the door all the way for us to enter.
We placed the boxes of food on the kitchen table and then, after exchanging tearful hugs, we left.
On our way home that night, we AGCs shared our feelings about what had just transpired. To the last girl among us, we all knew we had just experienced a miracle of love within our own hearts. We had learned that, as Jesus said, it is truly more blessed to give than to receive. None of us would ever be the same.
That young family was only one of many families that still need our help today. Why not start your own club to impact your community? People are in need all around us. To find them, we just have to look, listen, and love.
______________________________________________________________________
Copyright 2017 by MaryAnn Diorio, PhD, MFA. All Rights Reserved.
If you enjoyed this blog, please forward it to your family and friends. Spread the Word of God and be a blessing to others! Thanks! 
To Become a Gabriel Girl, you need to qualify as follows:
  • You need to be born again. This means that you have accepted Jesus Christ as your personal Savior and the Lord of your life.If you don't know how to do this, click here.
  • You need to have a desire to tell others about Jesus wherever you go and whenever you can.
  • You need to commit to following Jesus by reading the Bible and praying every day and by obeying Jesus' command to love Him and to love your neighbor.
    ____________________________________________________
You can find me on the following Social Media Venues: