Author Archives: gmd40187

1Kings 8; Ephesians 5; Ezekiel 38; Psalm 89

Blessed are those who have learned to acclaim you, who walk in the light of your presence, O LORD.
Psalm 89:15
I am something of a night owl. When evening comes and the kids are all put to bed, I can relax without the tug of responsibilities. All day long I am accountable to others:
  • Clients depend on me to provide service.
  • Employees expect me to provide direction.
  • My family is counting on me to provide an income…and service…and direction.

While I relish all of my roles, I often enjoy the solitude of darkness more. The darkness doesn’t ask anything of me. It permits me to hide my impure thoughts. It allows me to waste time without any obvious consequence.

But Paul says,

For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth) and find out what pleases the Lord. Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them. For it is shameful even to mention what the disobedient do in secret. But everything exposed by the light becomes visible, for it is light that makes everything visible. Ephesians 5:9-14a

I am convicted that I use the cover of darkness to facilitate my own selfish interests.

Lord God,

I confess that too often I am drawn to “the darkness” for all the wrong reasons. It is my sincere desire to live as a child of light. Expose the darkness in my own heart, that I may walk in goodness, righteousness, and truth. I want to shine for your glory. Amen.

Greg (gmd40187)

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Filed under 66 Books, Ephesians, M'Cheyne Bible reading plan, Psalms

2 Samuel 17; 2 Corinthians 10; Ezekiel 24; Psalm 72

For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does.  The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds.  We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.  2 Corinthians 10:3-5

When Paul talks of demolishing strongholds and arguments that resist the knowledge of God, I think he is referring to adjusting wrong attitudes and beliefs of believers.  The reason I think this is that he is writing to believers in Corinth and he goes on to write, “And we will be ready to punish every act of disobedience, once your obedience is complete.”  (2 Cor 10:6)

So that begs the question:  What strongholds, arguments, and pretensions in my life are keeping me from knowing God better?

Unfortunately, I can think of lots of examples.  Invariably, they begin with pride.

Pride that I already know what I need to know.
Pride that I can manage on my own.
Pride that I am responsible for my successes in life.

Lord God,
Allow the “Pauls” in my life to speak boldly of my strongholds and give me the humility to hear them and take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.  Amen.

Greg (gmd40187)

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Filed under 2 Corinthians, 66 Books, M'Cheyne Bible reading plan

2 Samuel 1; 1 Corinthians 12; Ezekiel 10; Psalm 49

The body is a unit, though it is made up of many parts; and though all its parts are many, they form one body.   …  If the whole body were an eye, where would the sense of hearing be? If the whole body were an ear, where would the sense of smell be?  But in fact God has arranged the parts in the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be…  As it is, there are many parts, but one body.  The eye cannot say to the hand, “I don’t need you!” And the head cannot say to the feet, “I don’t need you!”  On the contrary, those parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable.
 I Corinthians 12:12:22 (abridged)

My wife, Amy, and I seek to run our family the same way.  Our sixth child, Daniel, has Down Syndrome.  Last week, we celebrated two milestones with Daniel:  He went off to kindergarten and he participated in his first soccer practice.  Those precious events reminded us that Daniel “seems to be weaker”, but also affirmed that he is  an indispensable part of our body, our family.  Here is how we put it when we announced his birth via email over six years ago:

From: Greg and Amy DiDio
Sent: Friday, May 13, 2005 9:09 AM
Subject: The Birth of Daniel Gregory DiDio

Please celebrate with us as we rejoice in the birth of our son Daniel Gregory!

Daniel entered this world last night at 6:13 PM weighing 5 pounds, 15 ounces and he was 19 inches long.  He has blonde hair and a handsome DiDio profile.  Daniel has other attributes that may point to Down Syndrome.  A definitive diagnosis will take one to two weeks.  As we have had several months to ponder this possibility (and now another couple weeks), we have realized that if it comes to pass, it would be part of God’s perfect plan for our family. 

As our family has grown and we have observed the challenges our children have faced, we have wondered: 

  •  How do we teach our kids that they can experience joy without always coming in first place?
  • How do we encourage them to appreciate the gifts they have instead of cursing their weaknesses?
  • How do we teach them to rely on God’s provision rather than on their own abilities?
  • How do we show them that their value is based on being children of God, not on any fleeting human accomplishments?
  •  How do we provide them a forum for serving others without any expectation that they will ever be repaid?

Well last night, God may have provided His answer – in the form of a little boy who has entered our family to help teach us all these lessons and a lot more.

 Make no mistake, we would welcome your prayers and support.  If Daniel has Down Syndrome, then he carries a higher risk of several physical maladies and will require more extensive care than most “normal” children for his entire life.  But we won’t need your sympathy.  We are convinced that there was a “Daniel-shaped” void in our family that at long last  has been filled, regardless of any diagnosis.

 We wait with joyful anticipation for the amazing things that God will do through his life.

   Greg & Amy

As I look back on the huge impact and the amazing blessing of Daniel’s life, I am as convinced as ever that every word was true.  Daniel is fulfilling his special role in our family and the Body of Christ.  YES! – God gifts every believer for the benefit of all of us.

Greg (gmd40187)

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Filed under 1 Corinthians, 66 Books, M'Cheyne Bible reading plan, Psalms

1 Samuel 16; Romans 14; Lamentations 1; Psalm 32

I saw a fat girl today.

I’ve never seen her before.  And I may never see her again.  But my mind automatically began to fill in the sad details of her life, just from the way she looked.

I suspect that the above explains far more about me than it does about her.

I am the kind of person that makes snap judgments about people.  Unfortunately, those judgments don’t naturally cast them in the best light.  I don’t want to see others this way.  I want to see them as Jesus sees them.

Man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.
I Samuel 16:7

Jesus sees that girl as a beautiful treasure  for whom He is willing to sacrifice his life.  That’s how I should see her!

I know enough to know that He treasures me, as well.  But when He looks into my heart, it cannot help but grieve Him.

I have a long way to go to stop judging others by their looks.  But that is precisely what I am called to do.

So then, each of us will give an account of himself to God.  Therefore let us stop passing judgment on one another.  Romans 14:12-13

Lord God,

I pray for:

the eyes to see others as You see them,
the heart to empathize with others as You empathize with them,
and the hands to act lovingly toward others as You are loving to them.   Amen.

Greg (gmd40187)

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Filed under 1 Samuel, 66 Books, M'Cheyne Bible reading plan, Romans

Ruth 3,4; Acts 28; Jeremiah 38; Psalms 11,12

From morning till evening he explained and declared to them the kingdom of God and tried to convince them about Jesus from the Law of Moses and from the Prophets.  Some were convinced by what he said, but others would not believe.  They disagreed among themselves and began to leave…  Acts 28:23b-25a

The Apostle Paul is my hero.  I am amazed by his logic, his eloquence, and his boldness.  And yet, despite his oratory skills, listeners would still turn away from his message.  Here he was imprisoned near the end of his life after suffering beatings, shipwrecks, and all manner of persecution for his faith and  many of his own people are rejecting his message.  Perhaps the quality I most admire  in Paul is his perseverance.  He is someone who is finishing the race well.  And it’s not because of the cheers and encouragement of the crowds, because there wasn’t much of that.  It’s out of obedience to his Lord and Savior.

For two whole years Paul stayed there in his own rented house and welcomed all who came to see him. Boldly and without hindrance he preached the kingdom of God and taught about the Lord Jesus Christ.   Acts 28:30-31

Lord Jesus,

Thank you for the example of Paul in your Word.   Like Paul, I sincerely desire to boldly preach the kingdom of God even in the face of adversity.  Grant me the perseverance to finish well and the faith to obediently follow you even when I am tempted to be discouraged.  Amen.

Greg (gmd40187)

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Filed under 66 Books, Acts, M'Cheyne Bible reading plan