Awakening a Keen Observer

Thursday, July 29, 2004


 We're hungry.   Sometimes we really feel hungry and we want just the right thing to satisfy our taste.  For some people the answer is 'always chocolate'.   There are times when we want to have a special meal.  There are other times when we really just want something to satisfy us. 

When you are hungry what is it that satisfies you?   Is it food?  Or  is it something deeper that calls our hunger?

God provides what we need.  This is what the Lord' prayer promises.... and what God provides...our daily bread.  

Friends we have the bread we need to be satisfied God's love.   Be filled with that promise.  It will supply your need. 

God abide
Bobbie McGarey

Wednesday, July 28, 2004

Ah Rain

    I got an email from our cousin in Varanasi India and he wrote of the dry dry condition there where usually the monsoon rains would be falling and bringing a years' worth of rain.  The farmers are frightened and it will effect the whole area with food loss. 
    And I drove home today in a downpour the whole way. No let up and Duncan streets were really flooded and the water washing down the gutters and it was in the way.
   And I thought about Ben and Susan in India and how they all pray for rain. 

  So what some have in abundance and excess ---others long for. 

What can we do?   
   Well about the rain we can say...ah rain... or ah no rain...

But about the abundance-- we can share it.  We are called to share it.  To give it away.  To give so much that it feels good.  Perhaps you've heard someone say that you should give things away until it hurts...well In God's understanding we are to give it away until it feels good.  Until we have what we need and others have what they need as well.  

The prayer Jesus taught said...Give us this day our daily bread.  Not bread for every day forever and ever and our grandchildren too...but what we need for the day.  We don't do that. We want bread for tomorow.  Jesus says Cast your bread upon the water...and it will return to you. Gifts given for God will bring joy and peace like nothing else. Satisfaction, happiness,  a breath. 

Generosity is a virtue and a joy.  Giving to those who need it, or through the church who uses it for the Good of the world, opening doors and opportunities for service ...  this is a gift we can return to God.  All we have is God's remember.  "All that I have is Thine alone --a Trust-- O Lord from thee'"   We sing this line in worship. 

I remember in Logan we were taking a special offering.  The first woman to come to share was a woman I would have 'excused' from the opportunity.   This woman was one who was single with three children, her husband wouldn't get a job becasue if he did he'd have to pay child support and since he wasn't employed she had to help him.  All in all not the one I would have expected to come with her gift.  But she was.  And it was her great gift. 

Ah Rain,  God's gifts rain upon us in so many ways. Give some away. Give a lot away to those in need.  You'll feel better... Even if this musing made you uncomfortable.  What amazing work we could doin the world  if all would give as they have been given. 

God abides
Bobbie McGarey


Monday, July 26, 2004

perfect morning

e.e. cummings - i thank you God for most this amazing day

i thank You God for most this amazing
day:for the leaping greenly spirits of trees
and a blue true dream of sky;and for everything
wich is natural which is infinite which is yes

(i who have died am alive again today,
and this is the sun's birthday;this is the birth
day of life and love and wings:and of the gay
great happening illimitably earth)

how should tasting touching hearing seeing
breathing any-lifted from the no
of all nothing-human merely being
doubt unimaginable You?

(now the ears of my ears awake and
now the eyes of my eyes are opened)

One Sunday Ed Key brought  a beautiful piece of music to the service to play as the organist.  I brought a poem.   He had looked for this very poem the night before and hadn't found it anywhere.   I had brought the very poem but didn't know how we might use it in the service. 

God's work continues and swirls all around us.

God abide
Bobbie McGarey

Friday, July 23, 2004


  Mono-tasking  Multi-tasking

The pumpkin patch in our back yard is really amazing.  The blossoms are big and broad and the perfect yellow of summer. 
   Is it any wonder that people everywhere have enjoyed summer time. The blooms.  Now in some places there are flowers all year around.  There is never a time when there aren't flowers outside in the yards and on the tables. 
   But for others these blossoms are a seasonal thing.

 We are in part more like the seasonal blossoms in our lives. There are times when we bloom big and beautiful and just take over the whole place. And there are times when we are more resting ... preparing...getting ready.

Jesus would go off by himself to a quiet place. To a  place where he could think and not do.  We are not a society that supports that kind of action. We'd rather be 'doing something'.  There are a lot of folk who don't Go to the movies but rent them so they can be doing something while watching the movie.  For many...multi-tasking can be a way of life.  Always doing many things at once.  Well who doesn't?  

Well,  perhaps that is part of the model of life lived in the hand of God that Jesus presents.  That is he was always PRESENT with the people he was with,  with the situation he encountered.  He wasn't looking ahead to the next town, he heald the leper on the way.  He wasn't so rushed in the crowd he didn't feel someone seeking his healing, he healed the woman when she had just touched his robe.  All of these things point to MONO-tasking.  

  What is there to learn?
 I'll let you know when I put the wash in the dryer and finish this report and check the mail and read a book and put the dishes in the dishwasher, and then ....  

remember the saying Be Here Now

God Abide
Bobbie McGarey

Thursday, July 22, 2004

the story?

  I was having a routine exam at the hospital and saw something I can't explain. 
 Walking down the hall a doctor, a nurse who was carrying a baby carrier, and two police officers.
All rather grim faced. 

   I don't know what was happening.  I don't know if that child was allright  or not.  I don't know if it was a good thing for the child or the mother or for the doctors or the nurse or what was going on.  I do know that it is a story that I can't finish. 

   We can speculate about the lives of those we 'pass in the hall' .  We can guess or surmise. We can look in the paper for information that would lead to some understanding.   We can make up a story that is happy or sad.  There seems little else we can do.

Wait, no, there is much we can do.
 We can do this because we have a powerful energy of prayer to surround the whole situation.
The physician and nurse, the police officers, and all involved, all surrounded with the love of God and the light of Christ. And that sweet  little baby, God's own child.  Known and beloved by God
  For what-ever reason being walked down the hall. 
For what-ever reason not with it's mother.
For whatever reason a story unfinished.

Unfinished in our book. 
Always a happy ending with God.

God abide
Bobbie McGarey

Wednesday, July 21, 2004

What Map?

Over the weekend four of us drove to San Antonio for the Presbyterian Women's Synod of the Sun Gathering. A good time was had by all. On the way home I asked what they thought I might write about our trip. One suggestion was about being lost and found.
We had a map, printed out and left on the counter at home. I also had studied the route and except for the last part in downtown S.A. and knew pretty much where we should go. I had been throught that part of TX before.
So off we went and did quite well getting there. But then, in town, even with the map in our hand we got turned around. No 'grid' street planning there the roads more like cattle trails as one women described them. We even got lost --uh turned around-- heading four blocks to the Alamo. I mean REALLY! and we all have a fairly good sense of direction for the most part.
Three of us got turned around at night and were glad when the lady at the parking lot told us how to get 'home' to the hotel. We asked if it was safe to walk that way and she looked puzzled. All turned out well.
The next day in bright, hot, daylight we got turned around again. One block made all the difference. We then got turned around walking on the River Walk which snakes along and inbetween big buildings. Again all turned out well. Even with a map in hand and a "You are HERE" sign-- we weren't sure which way was 'home'.
Ok now do not jump to any conclusions about any of our abilities to find things. This was just really tricky. And it got amazingly interesting as we drove home with a slight variation in our route...aka Outlet-Mall. But we were heading home still without a map, it was a matter of principle now not to buy one, and we did call home and asked how far we were from the State line of OK.
See we thought we knew where we were going..and we DID! What we hadn't counted on was how we would get there. Take a breath, here's were the good news arrives, (you knew it was coming). When we give up our own desire and illusion of control we get back on the map for our life that God had planned all along. and Wahoo! we end up home.
We pretend that we are doing what we want but when we live our lives in the fullness of God's love, we are joyful because things 'just seem to work out'. amazing, no just the way God planned them.
We have before us--behind us--beside us--- and amazing Savior who wants for us good things in all things.
And God has a plan for our lives... for good!
Now go out and enjoy the day... God what would you have me do next...i wait to hear you calling.
God abide
Bobbie McGarey

Tuesday, July 20, 2004

can't say it better

i thank You God for most this amazingday:
for the leaping greenly spirits of trees
and a blue true dream of sky;
and for everythingwich is natural which is infinite which is yes
(i who have died am alive again today,and this is the sun's birthday;
this is the birthday of life and love and wings:and of the gay
great happening illimitably earth)
how should tasting touching hearing seeing
breathing any-lifted from the no
of all nothing-human merely being
doubt unimaginable You?
(now the ears of my ears awake and
now the eyes of my eyes are opened)
When I was in college I went to lead worship with a friend where we volunteered in a church in Ohio.   He was a musician and an organist, Edd Key,  and he had a beautiful piece he wanted to play for the prelude. But he wanted a poem read during the time he played  but he couldn't find it.  He had hunted for it for a long time.
I walked in that Sunday with a Poem I loved but didn't know how it could be incorporated in the worship.   Yes, it was THE poem he had hunted for it all worked together so perfect. 
I don't know where Ed is anymore. The last I heard he was in Oregon.  I saw him a couple of times later and he met John and we had a good time together.  We both remembered the morning...he brought the music I brought the poem and God was praised. 
What do you bring to this day? 
Have a great day. 
Bobbie McGarey

Woven together

What brings us together as people of God?  What is the 'tie tha binds' as the old hymn says?  How do we come to understand the preciousness of time?    
    We do that  by thinking about where we are --and who we are with --and what is happening in our world and in our lives right now.  Then we have to understand that our lives are not THE life. We have to understand we are not the the center of the universe.  The world and all of us together are the lives of this time. What happens to a child, a woman, an adult around the world also happens to us. We are all so very connected.  And isn't that what life is all about?  This connection.   Humankind was not created to be solitary beings.  
    The WWW  world wide web, (I first typed the World Wild Web which is perhaps more accurate)  is part of what connects us now. We are linked and inter woven...all of us around the world.   
   Years ago at a PW meeting in Logan Utah we ended the first night of a retreat by sitting in a circle (women=circle) and we had a big ball of yarn.  We took the yarn and tossed it across and back and forth to one another each one rasing a concern or prayer we had to share.  When we were finished each one in the room was connected..some closer to others...but all connected. A tug here or a tug there pulled all of us and the part of the string we held.  
  I am always happy that the Presbyterian Women's symbol is a circle but there is a break in the chain - in part I always thought to symbolize there is always room for others.  We are not a locked system.  We are an open system waiting for another.  God's family is like that open system  waiting for another. 
    Whether visible or invisible we are connected by a web of God's love for each of us and and we are drawn together --a tug here or there-- and we are all pulled.  And we all dance together and weep together when life situations are involved.  What a joy what a joy!   What a wonderful opportunity. 
    And this should be cause for celebration.   We are One in the Spirit.   Truly
God abides
Bobbie McGarey
Duncan, Oklahoma


   How are you? I've missed you.  We had a power surge at home and the phone lines...and computer lines have been out and then I went to Howdy.
   On the way down 281 we went to a store with the largest wooden rocker! It was about three stories high.  It was a great way to get attention and have people stop at their store. I guess it had been featured in Southern Living a couple of months ago. Anyway they were having pictures taken of the staff sitting up on the rocker looking like they were about a year old in proportion to the rocker. What a sight.
  Then later I was trying to get the smushed bugs off the windsheld of the van and it's high and tall and I felt like a little child reaching up to do a task and not quite being big enough to finish it.  It was funny. 
I sat down at a table at the conference and the chair that I was given was very short and the table came almost up to my chin,  We all laughed...but isn't that like a child feels some times? 
   I heard once there is a museum in England, somewhere, that is built so adults get to reexperience being little. Chairs, forks, plates, glasses, all are made to adult size and you are made to feel like you are three.  Nothing fits.
   What would it be like if we remembered what it was to be child-size.  To have things not work for us?  Then think what about those who have to fit into a row when their wheelchair dosn't quite fit. Then think about those who have to fit into the rows in the airplane and their legs are too long. 
   God made us all to fit...into the reign of God and Jesus loved an accepted us all especially the most vulnerable. 
     So to say someone is acting child-like should be a good thing.  A blessing...  because we don't fit in the 'adult' word that name-calls, and separates, and shuts-out, and eliminates and votes off the island.  Nope we love one another.
God abide
Bobbie McGarey

Tuesday, July 13, 2004

Hot Oklahoma

My oh my, if the last post was cool, Texas, the 106 degrees at the bank time/temp sure qualifies Oklahoma for being hot. This is our fourth summer here and each year someone says...this isn't like our usual summer? You can look up statistics and find out if that usual has to do with fact or memory or hope. Whew it is warm.

And we are so very accustomed to it being cool. Actually we are accustomed to it being exactly like we think it should be. And that 'exactly' has a wide range among those who set the thermostats in different buildings.

Amazingly enough I carry a shawl with me even in the summer into restraunts and movies. I often get cool and sometimes just downright cold. One summer I was doing graduate work and the building we were in had the thermostats down to 70. Now that might feel good if you walked in off the street when it's over 100 outside but sitting for four hours in a class--without really moving around --- it was downright cold. I had to go out and buy a sweatshirt for a class in June. (And I had a suggestion for the registrar when my tuition went up....don't spend it all on air-conditioning)

But what is this about really? I think it's about control. We want to control not only how we dress but how we feel and how cool or warm we are. Nature be gone! We want it to be naturally fall or spring, you know those perfect days. We don't want it too cold or too hot...we want control.

Humm? What do you think is coming next. Surprise? or maybe not
we are Not in control. If we really want it to be a particular temperature maybe we need to move to a different climate.

What can we control. Well we can control the same thing we always have a choice to we will react to what is happening around us. How we will deal with the day however that day looks. How we will live in the world. I think Jesus said something about that... love God with all your heart and mind and soul and your neighbor as yourself.

not control your neighbor, not control God. but love love with every cell of your body -love God- and God in the one out there----

whew. ya it's hot. perhaps we should remind ourselves that people pay big bucks for sauna's and today in oklahoma the whole outdoors is free.

God abide
Bobbie McGarey

my home internet is down and i'm headed for San Antonio on Thursday so I'll be back on Monday. God bless you.

Thursday, July 08, 2004


Those of you who know Tx in the summer that this name is not about the temperature there. In fact it was a little town near Mineral Wells. But I loved the name. I saw a church there and imagined what name they could put on it. Cool Presbyterian Church.....It made an impression.

Would that folk knew that the church was "cool". That church is a cool place to be and that by being there you became cool, ( we most all of us have air conditioning). Cool because when you discover that you are loved by God and you know that and live into that love, you are indeed the coolest. Why? Because you become the child of God you were created to be and you speak for the voiceless and you seek justice for all and you are filled with the spirit of God. Cool Presbyerian Church ---what a good way to tell folk that you are proud of your church.

There was a button at GA ..."I'm enthusastic about the PCUSA!" Wow what a great button. I want one! or ten or 20 to give away. I want them to be able to share with others. I want them so people see them and want to know more. I want us all to be enthusastic about God's love for us!

The other day someone came up to my car and asked if I was presbyterian as he'd seen the little magnet that says pcusa on it on the side of my car. We had a good chat he'd worked at Goodland Children's Home. It was a the way to a conversation and I challenge you to find some way to start a conversation. Like a magnet, or a presbyterian cross pin or necklace-- something that is unusual. Something that lets' people know you are proud of who you are and then you can share how God's love shines through the whole church. We have something different to share with others. be (sinfully) proud to be presbyterian! Let God's love overflow!

God abides
Be cool.... Cool Presbyterian Church...

Bobbie McGarey

Wednesday, July 07, 2004


Last summer I went to buy a water-mellon and when the man loaded it into my car he said," Let's anchor this so it doesn't fall out and go Ker-sploosh!" I loved that word. Ker-splosh. It sounded so perfect to describe what a watermellon might sound like if it hit the ground.

Saturday the 3rd of July I woke to a huge clap of thunder and jumped out of bed. I found that the computers were ok, but the telephone and the tv/vcr/dish all-- kersploosh.

They didn't actually fall, but they fell out of operation. Then I found out the phones didn't work either. Oh my

cell phones worked...whee
but I couldn't connect to the internet at home and again felt that kind of isolation.

but don't we all feel sometimes that things happen and our lives go ker-sploosh. Messy all over the ground. And we can't pick it up or put it back together. A humpty-dumpty kind of day.

well here's hoping when those days come that you know that you are caught instead in the arms of the loving God who won't let you fall ...

God abide
Bobbie McGarey


Friday, July 02, 2004

One Grain of Rice

John has been away at General Assembly in Richmond so I've been cooking for myself. I'd rather cook for a crowd. Anyway, last night I heated some chicken from the night before and cooked a batch of rice. I made plenty and have enjoyed it today as well.
As I was pouring the rice into a bowl I noticed that some had stuck to the bottom of the pan. So I got as much of it out as I could.
And then was transported in my memory to a meal seven years ago in Verenasi India (Benares) and dinner with Aunt Dorcas and Uncle John. There was not a grain of rice or any food left on their plates. Mine still had a little I had taken but not eaten. Aunt Dorcas took the serving bowl and very carefully transfered the 'extra' food to another container to be taken to the hungry. Not a single grain, not one, did she waste. And neither did she scrape it out of the serving bowl like it was 'left-over'...It was precious food.
I still see that image of her loving beautiful hand tending to the poor.
I am convicted.
Like the other day in Austin Texas when I was going to perform a wedding and had just bought a pair of shoes and was in my car and watched a man opening a thrown away McDonald's bag with scraps in it and eat them and put the bag back in the trash. Those shoes will always be linked with that hungry man. How can I make my 'walk' in them be for justice? That is to be seen -but I'm going to try!

Happy 4th of July we do live in what?

I'll be back online in a couple of days.

God abides
Bobbie McGarey

Thursday, July 01, 2004

Heap of faith

I walked into a friends office yesterday and asked her staff, Ok, which animals are you going to gather two by two. They laughed. It has been rainy here. Apparently more so than usual for June. Wednesday was no exception.

The image of Noah on the ark has always been one that fascinated me. I know I can look up how many cubits high and wide it was but the question is that this must have been unusually big...what if it didn't float. OH OK hold on, I know it was God's plan and therefor it was of course going to float. But that took a heap of faith too.

Heap of faith... like a leap of faith... those kinds of times when we say here I am in your hands O God. "Let it be unto me according to your will." Mary.
So what do we do with the Heap of faith God has offered? Do we apply it, or put it away for a 'rainy day'? (I wonder is that where that phrase comes from? Noah, rainy day) Anyway what do we do with this faith we have as a gift from God?
apply it where it is needed in the world? Like manna it may not last more than each daily bread share.
Think about that as you are in your day. And pray for the General Assembly of the PCUSA. Thanks
God Abides in heaps of faith
Bobbie McGarey