Daily Devotions

Posts tagged “memories

Memories That Heal

A while back I walked into the kitchen and I said to Kathy, “That smells like Thanksgiving!”. As I walked in, I experienced a wide range of sensory connections with Thanksgiving. The smell of spices and basting meat and the odors of baking coming out of the oven filled my senses. But I also began to hear things. As memories of Thanksgivings-come-and-gone stirred in my mind, I could hear the sounds of those gatherings, those loved ones, those children, those songs, that worship—in my memory. Kathy couldn’t hear any of it but I could hear many things all at once. I had to just stand there for a minute or two, not focusing on anything in the room but looking with my memory into those sights and sounds that had been cherished and stored away in valuable files of my heart. Then, even as I write now, hot tears filled my eyes and my heart raced up at the peace and joy and delight all those sounds and people in my memory brought to me. I didn’t even realize that I had tucked those precious memories away so many years ago. But the loving atmosphere, the loving people, the lovely ambiance and delicious foods all impacted my senses then for a delightful, sensory and welcome release now. No camera could have accomplished what those pleasant experiences wrought, for they were drawn up out of the well of cherished ones and cherished things in my heart. And for a brief time they were all there, all real and all so lovely once again. I am so thankful for a rich spiritual heritage, deeply meaningful relationships and for cherished memories that still impact me today. May this Thanksgiving bring to you sights and sounds and smells that pleasantly soothe you and heal you, and may they all bring you to a fresh place of rest in our Lord.  (Prov.10:7a, Amp) ”The memory of the righteous [person] is a blessing,”.


Goody Bags and Memories

My father pastored for more than 22 years in Houston, TX. He loved Christmas time and enjoyed planning Christmas events and activities for the church and the community. Several years we had a thirty foot tall (made of scaffolding and live Christmas trees) “Singing Christmas Tree” in the parking lot of our church and it was advertised on radio and in newspapers. I had the privilege of being at the very top and played “Silent Night” on my trumpet (accompanied by Kathy on the Hammond organ) at the end of the program. The music could be heard all over that business district on Jensen Drive.

We helped needy families with food and gifts and ministered at the men’s shelter at the mission in downtown Houston. But there was one very special night of the year. It was always the Sunday night right before Christmas. People who only came once a year would attend at Christmas. A few who felt unworthy (because of their long absence from church attendance) tentatively entered the auditorium right at starting time hoping there were a few seats remaining vacant so that they might once more feel the warmth of the hearts that lifted in glorious carols recounting the birth of the Christ Child who still brought them hope, and they hoped that the anointing upon the special time of gathering would reach even them once again so they might experience the sense of its cleansing, the sense of belonging and being accepted in the beloved. Many families brought a visitor or two. Everyone dressed up. 

The auditorium glowed with golden candlelight which would only convey the merest fraction of the golden warmth of the presence of Holy Spirit upon the evening’s message about the Son of God. There would be many a tear shed on this night of celebration. The pastor knew this was going to be a great time to give people the opportunity to ask this Savior, Who was born in a manger, into their hearts – as the choir sang one more verse of Silent Night. All the players were in the old auditorium checking their costumes to make sure they were just right and reciting their lines to make sure they would properly communicate their portion of the Christmas story. In the main auditorium everyone was abuzz with excitement mixed with awe and reverence anticipating what they were about to see and hear. Musicians checked their instruments to make sure they were in tune while choir members and soloists warmed up their voices and double-checked the lyrics on song sheets (even though some had scribbled out lyrics on little bits of paper stuck up their sleeves, hoping the choir director did not notice). Teachers and directors were corralling children hoping to organize them into their respective groups and go over their lines just once more, while consoling themselves that a partial or damaged costume was better than none at all, and being thankful that they took the pastor’s wife’s advice and brought a large doll to fill in for the “little Jesus” who came down with colic at the last minute. Yet, all in all, that wondrous Sunday night just before Christmas was always said to be “the best one yet” and everyone felt they had participated in the worship of the Christ whose name was Emmanuel. However, everyone knew that pastor’s dismissal prayer was not really the last item expected on that once-a-year night.

There was one activity that my Father took particular delight in. He loved to greet the people, shake the peoples’ hands and hand out the goody bags as they walked out the door. On the Friday before that Christmas Sunday, my Father and I would go to a discount house in the Heights area of Houston not far from downtown. We got a flat cart and proceeded to load it with apples, oranges, Snickers, Hershey bars and mixed nuts still in their shells. Our house smelled wonderful as the odors of fruit and chocolate wafted their way through the whole house. My Father, my sisters and I spent all Saturday afternoon filling the brown paper goody bags. The deacons hefted the heavy duty boxes of goody bags into the auditorium next to the main exit only after the dismissal prayer. The children were always the first to get to the exit and in line in front of Brother Gabler as he blessed each one and joyfully handed out the tasty treats. If an aunt or uncle or grandparent was unable to attend the special Christmas service, the attending relative walked out the door with several goody bags and a special message from my Father to the absentees.

As I sit here tonight and write these memories, I can still see (through misty eyes) and hear the sounds of the people and even smell the fruit and chocolate. I am thankful for all those memories for they represent people of God who impacted my life/ministry. It’s not the events but it is the people who were the life and activity of those events which make those memories so precious. Thanks be to God for the wonderful gift of relationships that keep on giving through our memories.

Kathy and I pray you have a most blessed Christmas with the presence of people who redemptively impact your life and imprint your heart and mind with warm, loving memories.
Our love and prayers,
Marty and Kathy


A Communication Tool

Dreams can also be a communication tool that is a disclosure within ourselves, between our subconscious and conscious mind.  Though these dreams may not be a telegram from God, they can still be sanctioned by a God-purpose for our life. These type dreams can help us “work out our own salvation,” by revealing issues that are causing dysfunction or lack or sickness. 

These dreams spring from our senses, concerns, questions, thoughts, choices, emotions, desires and imaginings, “dreams which you cause to be dreamed” (Jer.29:8) or they spring from memories, beliefs, values, worries, fears, stresses, etc., “dreams come when there are many cares” (Ecc. 5:3).  A common disclosure dream is that you are back in school, but can’t find your class, or you didn’t bring your homework, or you forgot your clothes!  In either case, the disclosure of what is going on inside is that you are dealing with feelings of being unequipped or inadequate or you are fearing failure or humiliation, etc.  –Kathy Gabler
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CLICK HERE to see Kathy’s books on dreams.


Can You Hear Thanksgiving in Your Memory?

A while back I walked into the kitchen and I said to Kathy, “That smells like Thanksgiving!”. As I walked in, I experienced a wide range of sensory connections with Thanksgiving. The smell of spices and basting meat and the odors of baking coming out of the oven filled my senses. But I also began to hear things. As memories of Thanksgivings-come-and-gone stirred in my mind, I could hear the sounds of those gatherings, those loved ones, those children, those songs, that worship—in my memory. Kathy couldn’t hear any of it but I could hear many things all at once. I had to just stand there for a minute or two, not focusing on anything in the room but looking with my memory into those sights and sounds that had been cherished and stored away in valuable files of my heart. Then, even as I write now, hot tears filled my eyes and my heart raced up at the peace and joy and delight all those sounds and people in my memory brought to me. I didn’t even realize that I had tucked those precious memories away so many years ago. But the loving atmosphere, the loving people, the lovely ambiance and delicious foods all impacted my senses then for a delightful, sensory and welcome release now. No camera could have accomplished what those pleasant experiences wrought, for they were drawn up out of the well of cherished ones and cherished things in my heart. And for a brief time they were all there, all real and all so lovely once again. I am so thankful for a rich heritage, deeply meaningful relationships and for cherished memories that still impact me today. May this Thanksgiving bring to you sights and sounds and smells that pleasantly soothe you and heal you, and may they all bring you to a fresh place of rest in our Lord.  (Prov.10:7a, Amp) ”The memory of the righteous [person] is a blessing,”.

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Pleasant Memories

memoriescouplesunMay sights, sounds and smells bring back to you pleasant memories. May those remembrances serve as witnesses to you of what is yet to come. May your heart and mind be filled with all the good things our good God has done in His Word and may you thrill with the possibilities for your tomorrows. May you see them coming on the horizon and may you embrace them in near days.
”Joyfully you’ll pull up buckets of water from the wells of salvation. And as you do it, you’ll say, ‘Give thanks to God. Call out his name. Ask him anything! Shout to the nations, tell them what he’s done, spread the news of his great reputation!’” (Isa.12:3-4, Msg)


 


Rejoicing With Loved-Ones

reunion

 

May you have seasons of rejoicing and celebrating
with loved-ones who hear your name and think fondly
of you. May you enrich their lives and may they enrich yours.

“…He also told us that you always have fond memories of us
and want to see us, as we want to see you….” (1Thess.3:6b, GW)


Listen to a short audio file of MELISSA GABLER speaking.
CLICK ON THIS LINK:
“Everything Is Set Up For You To Cross The Finish Line.”