Monday, December 14, 2015

25 Days of Christmas Stories: Deck the Soul with Boughs of Forgiveness

Welcome Dr. MaryAnn Diorio to the blog today. She's received her MFA and PhD degrees and loves to minister to people through the written word. Today, she's giving away one copy of this book that she wrote:



Enter the book giveaway contest by filling out the form on the Rafflecopter widget below:
I hope you will enjoy this guest post by MaryAnn. She has a wealth of wisdom to share! 

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Deck the Soul with Boughs of Forgiveness
A guest post written by Dr. MaryAnn Diorio

CHRISTMAS! The word evokes many feelings, depending on our experiences. For some, Christmas is a happy time, filled with beautiful memories and joyful expectations. For others, Christmas is a depressing time, a season one wants “to get over with” as quickly as possible because of bad memories associated with this time of year.

Having ministered to people for many years, I have come to the conclusion that depressing memories at Christmas time are most often related to problems of unforgiveness. Hurts from the past become more pronounced during the Christmas season, but the reason those hurts still affect us is that we have not let go of the bitterness associated with them. In short, we have not forgiven the people who have hurt us.

Why do most people have such a difficult time forgiving? I believe the main reason is that they do not understand what forgiveness really means. If you are one of those people, what follows may help you:

LET’S LOOK AT WHAT FORGIVENESS IS NOT:

• Forgiveness is NOT letting someone off the hook.

• Forgiveness is NOT condoning evil.

• Forgiven is NOT being a doormat.

• Forgiveness is NOT having to trust again the person who hurt you.

• Forgiveness is NOT a feeling.

• Forgiveness is NOT an option.

NOW LET’S LOOK AT WHAT FORGIVENESS IS:

• Forgiveness IS taking the person who hurt you off of your hook and placing him on God’s hook, then praying that God will have mercy on him.

• Forgiveness IS acknowledging that evil was done but choosing to bear the consequences of that evil without retaliation.

• Forgiveness IS taking charge of your emotions.

• Forgiveness IS setting boundaries with the person who hurt you, even refusing temporary or permanent interaction with that person, if necessary. An example would be a wife who is being beaten by her husband.

• Forgiveness IS a decision.

• Forgiveness IS obedience to God’s commandment to forgive.

No matter how badly you have been hurt, choose to forgive. It’s the best thing you can do for your own well-being. Unforgiveness chains you emotionally to the person who hurt you. Forgiveness breaks that chain and sets you free.

What better time is there than the Christmas season to forgive those who have hurt us? The very essence of Christmas is the truth that God forgave humanity through the shed blood of Jesus Christ. Who are we not to forgive when God has forgiven us?

So this Christmas, forgive! But don’t just forgive. Ask to be forgiven. As the Word of God tells us, “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). All of us need not only to forgive but also to be forgiven. And as long as we are on this earth, it is never too late to forgive or to be forgiven.

For a heartwarming, compelling story on the power of forgiveness, you may wish to read my new novella entitled A Christmas Homecoming. It is available in electronic format for your Kindle, Nook, or iPad. You may purchase an electronic copy of A Christmas Homecoming HERE, or for a print copy, please email me at maryann@maryanndiorio.com and write the words PRINT COPY in the subject line, and I will send you purchasing instructions.

To view the beautiful book trailer of A Christmas Homecoming, click here.

Last, but not least, may you forge happy memories this Christmas season as the power of forgiveness sets you free!

*Copyright 2012 by MaryAnn Diorio, PhD, MFA. All Rights Reserved. This article may not be reproduced without the written permission of Dr. MaryAnn Diorio. You may reach her at maryann@maryanndiorio.com.

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Author bio:
Dr. MaryAnn Diorio loves God, people, children, and dogs, in that order. She also is passionate about story and its power to transform the human heart. 

Dr. MaryAnn, as she is affectionately called, writes compelling fiction that deals with the deepest issues of life. She is Adjunct Online Professor of Fiction Writing for Regent University and coaches writers on their journey to publication. 

MaryAnn and her husband Dominic are the blessed parents of two wonderful daughters and a fantastic son-in-law. They are grandparents to a beautiful new granddaughter. 

Find out more about MaryAnn at http://maryanndiorio.com/.

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Book blurb: 
Seven Christmases have passed since Sonia Pettit last heard from her daughter Jody. Since Jody’s departure, Sonia’s world has been turned upside down. Her husband has died of a broken heart, and her son, bitter over his sister’s destructive actions, has become rebellious.

Her greatest desire is to have her family together at Christmas, but after what Jody has put them all through, can Sonia truly forgive her daughter?

Jody Pettit O’Dair ran away to experience a life of adventure and excitement, but since her
departure, her world has been turned upside down. She’s been abandoned by the man she met and married, lost her job, and is unable to care for her two children. With nowhere else to turn, this prodigal daughter begins the long journey home and prays she will be welcomed after walking away so long ago.

Will Jody find forgiveness in the arms of her family as easily as she received it from God?

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Buy Mary's book:
Amazon - http://amzn.to/1YdczU1
Barnes and Noble - http://bit.ly/1YdcFuJ
Christianbook.com - http://bit.ly/1miE82l

1 comment:

  1. Amen to everything in your post, MaryAnn!!

    Christmas, to me, is: joy, peace, time with family and friends, love, the birth of my salvation in the Christ Child, and yes - there should be forgiveness, also.

    I have enjoyed reading/reviewing a couple of your books, MaryAnn - would love to read/review "A Christmas Homecoming". Thanks for the giveaway opportunity!!

    Shared post!!

    ReplyDelete