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Archive for the ‘1 Chronicles’ Category

Then David and all Israel played music before God with all their might, with singing, on harps, on stringed instruments, on tambourines, on cymbals, and with trumpets. 1 Chronicles 13:8 (NKJV)

Serusha Govender, from WebMD[i], tells us of five ways music helps your mind.

  1. Listening to music soothes pain, and the emotions. Listening to your favorite music on your way to work or as you exercise is more than just a fun distraction.  According to a team of Swedish researchers, frequently listening to music you like reduces your cortisol levels.   In addition, it can also be a great pain killer by simultaneously distracting you and boosting your positive emotions.
  2. Drumming can jumpstart brain function. As Govender explains, the brain instinctively syncs to rhythm, which probably explains why you’ll subconsciously walk or run in time to a beat. For many people, percussion instruments are a lot easier to learn than string or wind instruments, and you can get immediate results from the combo of the sound, the vibrations and the visual experience.  Some therapists use drumming to reach patients with severe dementia and Alzheimer’s who normally don’t respond to outside stimulation. Some studies also show that banging a drum is a great stress reliever even for those with healthy brains.

So, let’s remember the five ways that Govender says music helps your mind:

  1. Learning to play a musical instrument boosts memory.
  2. Musical training makes you brainier.
  3. Group singing makes you happier.
  4. Listening to music soothes pain, and the emotions
  5. Drumming can jumpstart brain function.

The music we hear is not the only way to help our mind, “The human heart, given up to Him, will become a sacred harp, sending forth sacred music.”[ii]

Father God, I give you my heart today.  May this gift will be sweet music before you and may the music I listen to help my mind and heart to be all yours.

[i] http://www.webmd.com/balance/features/5-ways-music-helps-the-mind?ecd=wnl_emw_102815&ctr=wnl-emw-102815_nsl-promo-2_title&mb=K2VcbkxhrhREAZ5zC2UpheHnVev1imbCHYS8QQY8uqo%3d

[ii] White, E.G. Mind, Character, and Personality, p.674

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Then David and all Israel played music before God with all their might, with singing, on harps, on stringed instruments, on tambourines, on cymbals, and with trumpets. 1 Chronicles 13:8 (NKJV)

Serusha Govender, from WebMD[i], tells us of five ways music helps your mind.

  1. Listening to music soothes pain, and the emotions. Listening to your favorite music on your way to work or as you exercise is more than just a fun distraction.  According to a team of Swedish researchers, frequently listening to music you like reduces your cortisol levels.   In addition, it can also be a great pain killer by simultaneously distracting you and boosting your positive emotions.
  2. Drumming can jumpstart brain function. As Govender explains, the brain instinctively syncs to rhythm, which probably explains why you’ll subconsciously walk or run in time to a beat. For many people, percussion instruments are a lot easier to learn than string or wind instruments, and you can get immediate results from the combo of the sound, the vibrations and the visual experience.  Some therapists use drumming to reach patients with severe dementia and Alzheimer’s who normally don’t respond to outside stimulation. Some studies also show that banging a drum is a great stress reliever even for those with healthy brains.

So, let’s remember the five ways that Govender says music helps your mind:

  1. Learning to play a musical instrument boosts memory.
  2. Musical training makes you brainier.
  3. Group singing makes you happier.
  4. Listening to music soothes pain, and the emotions
  5. Drumming can jumpstart brain function.

The music we hear is not the only way to help our mind, “The human heart, given up to Him, will become a sacred harp, sending forth sacred music.”[ii]

Father God, I give you my heart today.  May this gift will be sweet music before you and may the music I listen to help my mind and heart to be all yours.

[i] http://www.webmd.com/balance/features/5-ways-music-helps-the-mind?ecd=wnl_emw_102815&ctr=wnl-emw-102815_nsl-promo-2_title&mb=K2VcbkxhrhREAZ5zC2UpheHnVev1imbCHYS8QQY8uqo%3d

[ii] White, E.G. Mind, Character, and Personality, p.674

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And they cast lots for their duty, the small as well as the great, the teacher with the student. 1 Chronicles 25:8 (NKJV)

Terri Peters continues with the 9 annoying things parents do that drive teachers crazy.[i]

  1. Assume that we don’t like your child because they got a bad grade. In general, all teachers want their students to succeed. The reality is that, for a host of reasons, some children will get bad grades and some fail.  Teachers want parents to know that when their child is failing it is not because the teacher does not like your child.  Often parents blame teachers for their child’s grades instead of being involved to help them succeed.  Ask your child’s teacher what your child can or needs to do to bring their grades up.  It may be as simple as doing their homework at home.  Instead of looking for a teacher to blame, show an interest in helping to further your child’s educational career.
  2. Refuse to let your child take ownership for their actions. If you want to hurt your child’s chance to succeed, shield your children from the consequences of their actions instead of allowing them to fail. As a teacher explained to Peters, “Sometimes, the best road to success is failure – it should compel families to discuss the causes and consequences of their actions absent the instructor.”

These words need to be carefully considered:  “The object of discipline is the training of the child for self-government. He should be taught self-reliance and self-control. Therefore as soon as he is capable of understanding, his reason should be enlisted on the side of obedience. Let all dealing with him be such as to show obedience to be just and reasonable. Help him to see that all things are under law, and that disobedience leads, in the end, to disaster and suffering…Help the child to see that parents and teachers are representatives of God, and that, as they act in harmony with Him, their laws in the home and the school are also His. As the child is to render obedience to parents and teachers, so they, in turn, are to render obedience to God.”[ii]

Father God, we never want to see our children fall and fail.  At the same time, help us to understand that a stumbling block on their path can become a stepping stone toward success in their lives.

[i] http://www.today.com/parents/parents-heres-9-ways-you-drive-teachers-nuts-t40711

[ii] White, E.G.  Education, p. 287

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Sing to Him, sing psalms to Him; Talk of all His wondrous works! 1 Chronicles 16:9 (NKJV)

Brian Dollar[i] continues describing more principles that guide our attitudes and our words as we talk with our children.

  1. If your child won’t talk, be gracious and patient, but don’t give up. Sometimes, especially after a traumatic event such as the death of someone close to them, your child may withdraw and try to process things internally. Don’t press them too hard, but don’t withdraw too far either.  Remember that often nonverbal communication is the gateway to the heart, so give them a hug, go for a drive to a favorite spot, or just spend time together some other way without talking about the topic.

When the time is right – and you will know when that is — gently ask an open-ended question and wait for an answer.  If your child begins to talk, again, don’t press him/her too hard too soon. Be gracious, patient, and kind.

  1. Be willing to apologize. All parents make mistakes at one time or another, but not all parents are willing to admit it, much less to apologize. As Dollar says, “Some of the most wonderful words children of all ages can hear from parents are, ‘I was wrong. I’m so sorry. Please forgive me. I won’t do it again.’ Apologies are necessary for individual offenses, but parents also need to address prolonged, harmful patterns of communication – demanding too much, blaming, withdrawing, smothering and so on.”
  2. Be attentive to body language, both yours and theirs. Body language accounts for 50 to 70 percent of communication. Such things as facial expressions, eye contact, and other nonverbal cues powerfully shape the messages we send and receive.  A smile or frown, crossed or relaxed arms, etc., may reinforce what we’re saying or it may completely contradict our words.   At the same time, you need to be a good student of your children’s body language as it often tells you more than their words can ever say.

Father God, Help me to be very attentive to how I say things and not just what I say, At the same time, help me to be a better listener of what my children say, and how they say it.

[i] https://vitalmagazine.com/Home/Article/How-to-Lead-Your-Kids-Through-Life-s-Tough-Topics/

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Both riches and honor come from You, And You reign over all. In Your hand is power and might; In Your hand it is to make great And to give strength to all. 1 Chronicles 29:12 (NKJV)

A serial dater, according to Leslie Becker-Phelps, of WebMD,[i]

is “someone who dates many people, but manages to steer clear of long-term commitments.”  They can be quite charming and a lot of fun to be with, but they will probably leave you feeling alone and unhappy.  She explains that serial daters avoid:

Getting to know you:  It’s all about having fun, not really getting to know your personal thoughts, feelings, experiences, or life history.

Sharing personal details: Inasmuch as they’re not interested in knowing about you neither are they interested in opening up to you; They avoid making themselves vulnerable.

Talking about your relationship: They refuse to talk about the relationship at all, where it may be heading, what needs to happen until they get there.  They remain vague with comments about not being sure how they feel or not being ready yet for any commitment.

Instead, Becker-Phelps suggests that serial daters prioritize:

Single happiness: They send the message that they are happy being single, and when they do express a desire for a committed relationship, they are focused on finding nothing short of the perfect partner which, of course, does not exist.

Materialism: Serial daters often focus on earning money, showing off success, or dating someone who can bring them such rewards.

Fun: They want to have fun and keep the relationship “light”, without any emotional commitment.

Sex: Serial daters are more interested in pursuing sexual pleasure than in nurturing emotional intimacy.

Keep these red flags in mind. If you meet someone that displays these warning signs, smile politely and move on, even if you are feeling charmed and interested. You may be passing on some good times, but remind yourself that what you really want is a close, loving, lasting relationship; and remain true to that goal.

Father God, help me to not rely solely on my feelings but instead use your guidance, my head, and the help of those closest to me.

[i] http://blogs.webmd.com/art-of-relationships/2015/04/how-to-spot-a-serial-dater.html?ecd=wnl_sxr_050215&ctr=wnl-sxr-050215_nsl-ld-stry_1&mb=K2VcbkxhrhREAZ5zC2UpheHnVev1imbCHYS8QQY8uqo%3d

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Oh Give Thanks!

Scripture: “Oh, give thanks to the Lord, for He is good! For His mercy endures forever” (1 Chronicles 16:34 NKJV)

Observation: 16:34 Oh give thanks to Yahweh This verse is most likely adapted from Psa 106:1, although both refrains are common throughout the Psalms (Pss 107:1; 118:1; 136:1). See Psa 106:1 and note.

his loyal love is everlasting This refrain acts as a repeated chorus in some Psalms (Pss 118:1–4; 136:1–26). [Barry, J. D., Grigoni, M. R., Heiser, M. S., Custis, M., Mangum, D., & Whitehead, M. M. (2012). Faithlife Study Bible (1 Ch 16:34). Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software.]

Application: Have you stopped to listen to your prayers lately? Are they characterized by long “to do” lists for God?  As parents, it is easy to fall into this trap. We can quickly recite a long list of things for God to “fix” in our children.

Don’t allow the negative to overshadow the good. There is more good than bad but focusing on the bad prevents you from seeing the blessings that are right in front of you. That strong willed chichitchat gives you so much trouble now will be able to stand up to his/her peers later. So, give thanks! That child who talks non-stop may grow up to be a preacher. So, give thanks! That child who seems to have an argument for everything may stand before courts to argue for religious liberty one day. So, give thanks!  What may seem like a negative trait today may be used by God for His purposes tomorrow. So, give thanks!

When you are tempted to complain, think again. Give thanks instead. You will feel better and your family will also benefit from a more positive you. “Oh, give thanks to the Lord. For His mercy endures forever!”

A Prayer You May Say: Dear Lord, thank you for the special gift you gave me in my child. Thank you for… ( make a list of all of the positive traits you see in your child. Be specific. Take this time to focus on what’s right in them and give thanks to God).

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Praise God for His Will

Scripture: (1 Chr 17:16-27 NKJV)  Then King David went in and sat before the LORD; and he said: “Who am I, O LORD God? And what is my house, that You have brought me this far? {17} “And yet this was a small thing in Your sight, O God; and You have also spoken of Your servant’s house for a great while to come, and have regarded me according to the rank of a man of high degree, O LORD God. {18} “What more can David say to You for the honor of Your servant? For You know Your servant. {19} “O LORD, for Your servant’s sake, and according to Your own heart, You have done all this greatness, in making known all these great things. {20} “O LORD, there is none like You, nor is there any God besides You, according to all that we have heard with our ears. {21} “And who is like Your people Israel, the one nation on the earth whom God went to redeem for Himself as a people; to make for Yourself a name by great and awesome deeds, by driving out nations from before Your people whom You redeemed from Egypt? {22} “For You have made Your people Israel Your very own people forever; and You, LORD, have become their God. {23} “And now, O LORD, the word which You have spoken concerning Your servant and concerning his house, let it be established forever, and do as You have said. {24} “So let it be established, that Your name may be magnified forever, saying, ‘The LORD of hosts, the God of Israel, is Israel’s God.’ And let the house of Your servant David be established before You. {25} “For You, O my God, have revealed to Your servant that You will build him a house. Therefore Your servant has found it in his heart to pray before You. {26} “And now, LORD, You are God, and have promised this goodness to Your servant. {27} “Now You have been pleased to bless the house of Your servant, that it may continue before You forever; for You have blessed it, O LORD, and it shall be blessed forever.”

Observation: David wanted to build God’s temple and told so to Nathan the prophet who encouraged him to do so.  That night God told Nathan to tell David not to build Him the temple he intended to.  David’s response is our Scripture for today, in the form of a prayer of praise.

Application: I think David’s response was exemplary.  He could have become angry or bitter that God wouldn’t want him to build the temple for His honor and glory.  He could have argued with God that he had won so many battles for God and for Israel so he should be allowed to build this great monument to God.  He could have become bitter and resentful, he could have rebelled, he could have become a stumbling block to the building of the temple, he could have acted like a bad looser or a politician after being voted out of office, or he could have reacted in many other negative ways.
What I love about this story, and why God said of David he was a man after His own heart (1 Sam. 13:14), is David’s positive, indeed joyful, reaction, which is our text for today.  The way I feel is that if we truly believe in God’s will for our lives, and that His will is always best, then if we don’t get what we thought we might, what is offered to us, or even what we hoped we would, instead of becoming bitter or resentful we should praise God and thank Him.  Don’t be sour grapes because the job you wanted was given to somebody else, because someone made a higher bid on a house you had made an offer to buy, because somebody else is now dating the person you were hoping to date, or because the person you were dating left you to marry somebody else.  Praise God it worked out that way!  That means that what God has in store for you is better than what you wanted or though you might get.  It may not appear to be so at first, but it is God’s best for you, without a doubt.

Prayer: Father, today we echo David’s words of praise for Your will in our lives.

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Abraham’s Tree

Scripture: And Abraham begot Isaac. The sons of Isaac were Esau and Israel.    (1 Chr 1:34 NKJV)

Observation: This is one of the driest portions of the Bible, mainly because it just consists of lists of names, a genealogical chart of the generations since the creation of Adam to the date of the writing of this book.  Here and there you may find a short account of a prominent person, but for several chapters there are lists, and more lists.  The text today points to one of the best known family tree, that of Abraham.

Application: As part of my doctoral dissertation I wrote the following:
One way marriage and family therapists, maybe even trained clergy people, can discover unhealthy family patterns transmitted from one generation to the next is by the use of a Genogram.  A Genogram is a pictorial display of a person’s family relationships and medical history, and goes beyond a traditional family tree by showing hereditary patterns and psychological factors that punctuate relationships. It can be used to identify repetitive patterns of behavior and to recognize hereditary tendencies.  A Genogram could help one understand the meaning of the words of God through Moses, “You shall not bow down to them nor serve them. For I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and fourth generations of those who hate Me” (Exodus 20:5 NKJV).  While some look at this text as God’s way of punishing succeeding generations for the sins of their fathers, it seems as if what God was trying to show was that the sins, habits, practices of one generation are transmitted to others and often get worse.  The editors of the Seventh-day Adventist Commentary explain:
A distinction should be made, however, between the natural results of a sinful course of action, and punishment inflicted because of it (PP 306). God does not penalize one individual for the wrong deeds of another (Ezekiel. 18:2–24). Each man stands before God, responsible only for his own acts. At the same time God does not interfere with the laws of heredity in such a way as to protect one generation from the misdeeds of its fathers, as that would be inconsistent with His character and His principles of dealing with men. It is only through these laws of heredity, which were of course ordained by the Creator in the beginning (see Gen. 1:21, 24, 25), that divine justice visits the “iniquity” of one generation upon the next.
No one can escape completely the consequences of dissipation, disease, profligacy, evil doing, ignorance, and bad habits handed down by preceding generations. The descendants of degraded idolaters and the offspring of evil and vicious men generally begin life under the handicap of physical and moral sin, and harvest the fruit of seed sown by their parents. Juvenile delinquency proves the truth of the second commandment. Environment also has a decided effect upon each rising generation. But since God is gracious and just, we may trust Him to deal fairly with each person, making due allowance for the disadvantages of birth, the inherited predispositions, and the influence of previous environment upon character. His justice and mercy require this (Ps. 87:6; Luke 12:47, 48; John 15:22; Acts 17:30; 2 Cor. 8:12). At the same time our aim is to be victorious over every inherited and cultivated tendency to evil (COL 315,  330, 331; DA 671).
God “visits,” or “appoints,” the results of iniquity, not vindictively, but to teach sinners that a wrong course of action inevitably brings unfortunate results.
In the Bible there is the history of several prominent families, patriarchs of the Jewish, Christian, and even Muslim faiths.  When these families are studied, and with the help of a Genogram, it’s clear to see some of the unhealthy patterns transmitted from one generation to several generations that followed.  One of the examples is the family of David, as seen in the Genogram below.  At least three patterns or themes become evident from one generation to the next.
i. The first is their heart or religion.  Although we don’t know much about Jesse, David’s father, he must have been a devoted believer in God (1 Samuel 16).  God referred to David as a man “after His own heart” (1 Samuel 13:14 NKJV).  However, he also committed a doubly-grievous sin when he sinned with Bathsheba and then plotted to have her husband, Uriah, killed. His son, Solomon, was responsible for the actual construction of God’s temple and asks for wisdom and is granted the answer to his prayers plus riches and power as well.  However, Solomon married hundreds of wives who led him to mix the worship of God to that of pagan deities.  By the time of the next generation Rehoboam, son of Solomon, ignores God completely and practices idolatry of the worst kinds, like other nations around Israel.

abrahams-family-genogram

ii. A second pattern or theme that can be seen through the Genogram of David’s family is that of sexual sin.  Much like people and rulers of the time, David marries several wives and even commits adultery with Bathsheba before marrying her.  His oldest son, Ammon, commits sexual immorality, possible forcible rape, with his half-sister Tamar.  David’s other son, Solomon, continues with this pattern by marrying seven hundred wives and adding three hundred concubines to his retinue (1 Kings 11:3).  Following him, Solomon’s son Rehoboam had eighteen wives and sixty concubines (2 Chronicles 11:21).
iii. Another pattern is the family division and sibling rivalry present in every generation.  David has some problems with his older brothers who don’t think much of him (1 Samuel 16-17).  Absalom, one of his sons, murders one of his brothers, Ammon as revenge for raping his sister Tamar.  Later Absalom rebels against his own father and goes out in pursuit of him but is tragically killed by one of David’s generals.  Rehoboam, Solomon’s son, continues this pattern of rebellion and disobedience to God so Israel is divided into two with ten tribes to the north and two to the south.  Eventually both separate kingdoms are conquered by surrounding nations and the people either taken captive or scattered.
This knowledge of family history through the use of Genograms  is very important, as Scazzero writes, because “sin is passed on from generation to generation.  God allows this story to be recorded to sober us to take a deep, hard look inside (cf. 1 Corinthians 10:6).  The implication for church life is clear: It is impossible to help people break free from their past apart from understanding the families in which they grew up.  Unless people grasp the power of the past on who they are  in the present, they will inevitably replicate those patterns in relationships inside and outside the church.”

Prayer: Father, may we learn from our past so we don’t repeat with our children mistakes and sins that will continue to be transmitted for many more generations in the future.

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