Awakening a Keen Observer

Friday, April 28, 2006

Talk is Not Cheap

Grace be yours in abundance.
Apparently, talk is not cheap. Instead of talking we rattle 'sabers' (old old image) and pretend that we have power over the other because we have bigger toys of destruction.

But is that what the image of peacemaker has been? Surely the true leaders did so not by threat or fear-selling but rather by incredible acts of love and generosity. Jesus said if someone asks for your coat, give them your cloak as well. Everything is to be shared and given to those who are in need. That's what was said.
Gandhi the India leader followed this path in many ways, as he was a student of Jesus though he was not a Christian. He worked for justice by pointing out to those in power that the power was with those who stood against unfairness.
Martin Luther King Jr. In the USA did the same with the many boycotts and the peaceful protests bringing to light the issue of unfairness. Weapons did not win.
Sacrifices to be sure when we follow such leaders. Some women peacemakers call it the policy of listening.
We listen until we hear the questions others are asking. We don't ask them we listen. A whole body experience in that we focus on all that is said, clarify what is heard, and struggle with the questions together. Apparently according to some sociologists women's lives are relational and in this way have crossed political boundaries and listened to those on other sides of the line of disputes, in Northern Ireland, Palestine/Israel, built peace villages with Hutu and Tutsi in Rwanda, and made miraculous progress in teaching children other ways of dealing with disagreements.
Our son John when he was a young child, pre-school, and heard of a war said, there must be a better way.
Our only clan is peacefulness. Our hope is in community standing together for justice, kindness, and walking in the presence of God.

God abide
Bobbie Giltz McGarey
Rev. Dr. Bobbie Giltz McGarey

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Heart's Sincere Desire

My mother, Betty Giltz, had a book called, Your heart's sincere desire. I don't know the author but it was one of the thin books that today would be deemed self help books. But it's focus, if I remeber was after a few glances years ago, that one must find and seek that place of satisfaction. Today that is called Vocation.
My mother had many such books. Some of which contain a mind-set of the 50's that now seems so completely odd and out of place. Perhaps that alone marks the differences between then and now. Assumptions about women's role and where all women would find their peace abound in such books. Now we all, women and men, seek ways to find what it is that will bring us peace, shalom.
We would do well to look at self-help books of today with such an eye so as to see what current thinking we assume will last upon those books. Remember the books on Open Marriage in the late 60's? Other theories come and go to be sure.

So then, what remains?
Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.
Love your neighbor and welcome the stranger.
Follow the yellow brick road....ha ha ha I was just seeing if you were paying attention....
B r e a t h e --for it is God's spriit.
Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy on me.

God abides
Bobbie Giltz McGarey

Sunday, April 23, 2006


Do you remember the poster that was popular some years ago of a kitten hanging on to a tree branch and the title, "hang in there". Since you knew that the kitten would no doubt be saved from the situation the picture seemed to resonate with the way some feel sometimes. Like we are hanging in there.... and that's about it.

John, my husband, once climbed a tall tree to haul up his little brother who was hanging from a tree branch and couldn't pull himself up to safety. His mom says he almost ran up the tree to help his brother. It's amazing what we can do when emergencies appear in our lives.

Why then do we wait for emergencies before we give help to folks who need it? Why don't we guide along the way? Do you ever wonder what a difference we might make in lives early on. Giving encouragement when we can all along the way with people we can meet. The other day a waitress was lovely and Carol and I talked with her and told her how really pretty she was. She stopped, and looked at us and she was obviously touched. She was a striking looking woman. But by her action I don't think that she had heard that often.

Encourage someone honestly. There will be fewer of those posters sold. (hang-in there)

God abides
Bobbie Giltz McGarey

Saturday, April 22, 2006

from our own wells

There is a great book about liberation theology called "We drink from our own wells". I had a copy and think it's on loan out there some where I hope the one who has it is applying it's message. That the living water they have is just as 'sweet' as that that we have and that we have no monoply on that gift of God's love.

I have talked about water before, and how we here in the US for the most part take it for granted. You can detect that by looking at the ever greening lawns in a time of drought and tended and watered turf.

But it is not just the H-2-0 that I'm talking about it is that which renews and refreshes us... Like a rocking chair on a porch in a beautiful place... or a hawk pair like I saw this past week tending their nest protecting their young...or people wrestling with what they can now understand of their beliefs and seeing how to work together to figure that all out... it is....well I'll let you fill in your own.

That breeze that has now come into the office window as I finish up again my sermon for this week cools and refreshes as well. I know that God's goodness is just that ...God's and that my job is to share that goodness, that living water of God's grace and mercy... and perhaps that is your job as well? What do you say? Shall we head out together on this journey of faith... Good I'm ready each day... let's get about the work of the kingdom...

God abide
Bobbie Giltz McGarey

Friday, April 21, 2006


The Seminary library was having a book sale and in an unselfish move I bought some of the books...just to keep them from... OK OK I bought them because I found them interesting and because I'm 300 miles or so from a Theological library... OK OK you think there's enough books in my den to be a theological library...

Confession-- I bought some more books-- no excuses!

I would choose them by author or by title. I picked up one that I've heard of but not read. The Silence of God, is one such by Thielicke. This isn't new. It was written in 1962. Here is the line that persuaded me to read this.
"There is a rising up among us a host of young Christians who are tired of the new paganism. They can describe this atonishment far more clearly and realistically than those who have inherited the secure tradition of the 'fathers'. Perhaps God has first to be jerked away from us complacient Western Christians, like a rug from under our feet, if we are to be reawakened to this surprise." pg 19

What is it we need to see, hear, experience that is God's truth for us and for those with whom we live and work and encounter? What is it we need to be part of that will indeed give us strength and wisdom and hope and joy? What is it that we have left behind? Have we left behind hope for guilt, or joy for fear, or trusting for cynicism?
Well as we read the scriptures in Eastertide we should be clearly convicted about what we carry with us...and what we lay down. Lay down as in to abandon a burden we choose to worry over... lay down as we release those things which trip us up...lay down as we leave to God those things which we cannot change...lay down...
Tom Paxton's song... Pack up your sorrows has been running through my thoughts recently. Here's the choras as I remember...
"But if somehow you could pack up your sorrows and give them all to me.
You would lose them...I know how to use them... give them all to me. "

That's what eastertide is all about the outstretched arms of Jesus calling us to give up, lay down, all that binds us, because we believe he is set free.

God abides
Bobbie Giltz McGarey

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Almost a Week

We have been talking in our pastor as theologian group about what and how the church's history and those who have gone before have constituted the church. Two professors shared their perspectives with us which was really really helpful. We've had some wonderfully lively discussions. Then too, by being on Austin seminary campus for a few days, we've had a good time connecting with those we've not seen in a while. I love seeing the Seminary students and feeling their energy and knowing that the work I've done will be in good hands....down the road.

You know, if you've read this at all, how much I love watching the birds. A pair of hawks has built a nest, (looks like a nest of several years in the making by it's size) outside the seminary building. They are amazing to see swooping down and all around...So close. Two of my colleagues were standing on the patio when they came flying oh so close to them though they were chasing each other. You could see the head of the one sitting on the nest. It was great.

We head home tomorrow with a lot of things to be thinking about .... and that is good. We have enriched our spirits, gotten a new perspective and enjoyed our time together.

I am looking forward to being home however!

In the meantime happy Eastertide.

God abide
Bobbie Giltz McGarey

Friday, April 14, 2006

Good Friday

Last night driving home there was a beautiful sunset. The full view of the western sky was awesome. I got into town and visited in the hospital and then as I was leaving I thought I saw a huge bright round sign? Burger King? No... no no no
It was the full moon low on the horizon and as clear as a pearl hanging in the not dark sky. I look forward to it's coming again.
Oh yes, I remember many 'moons' from all over. All the places I've lived or visited. All the places I've been part of and people I've known. People I've watched the moon rise with and those who are watching it on the other side of the globe tonight.
We wish that we had time back with some of those people. But why not make new memories all the time? Why not mark this day as the day that God has given you to be with people who are dear to you. Or Call them and tell them you love the... Or raise a prayer of thanksgiving for their having been in your life.

And when you see that full moon every month know that I'll be watching too and thinking of you.

God abide
bobbie Giltz McGarey

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Running in your sleep

Ah our daughters dog, Chili Pepper, was running in her sleep. Go get 'en girl! I don't know what she was chasing in her dreams but she really seemed to be going a long way.
We sometimes have dreams that seem so real that we wake up thinking about whether what we dreamed or it was real. The other night in a dream I remember trying to figure something out.
But what about the other kind of dreams? I mean those longings for something that is a goal or a desire we have for ourselves or for someone we love. What kind of dreams would you want to share? If you could tell someone you love-- your dream for them do you think that would bring them hope? I do not mean our dream like something we want the other to do or be. But the kind of dream that they will find deep joy and satisfaction in the world they are in.

Whatever we do-- We should always have before us dreams--of doing something beautiful for God.
Doing something beautiful for another. Wouldn't that be an answer to dreams-- I think it would. Run after them now ok? Good work!

God abides
bobbie Giltz McGarey

Monday, April 10, 2006


There was a Peanuts cartoon years ago...I really do mean years ago... When I was in Jr.High. The line was the principal talking to Charlie Brown...And then Charlie responds..."There's no greater burden than a great potential'.

Expectations. What is it that you want to accomplish in the Big Scheme of Things that you have not attempted? What is keeping you from doing it.

Remember in God's will-led-world there is no word---fear-- there is always in God's Will led world -- hope.

Don't let the "f-word" keep you from living into the H-word... hope. hope hope.

May your expectations be your joys fulfilled.

What do you expect? Expect miracles. They will fill you...

Holy week arrives-- full of expectation and overflowing with hope because there is no F***.

God abides
Bobbie Giltz McGarey

Moon rises in Eastern sky
Before the sun has set
and brings the promise of light remaining
even through the night.

Friday, April 07, 2006

Getting Ready

I love a parade
Where people line up and cheer
Once the band took a wrong turn
and went around the Baptist church
Ran back in step
The Parade kept going.

What if everyone followed behind the wrong parade?
If the leaders turned and others blithely followed
We'd end up running around
Trying to figure out where were going...
And trying to get back in line.

And the crowd cheered and they rounded the building
Still playing
still playing

God abides
Bobbie Giltz McGarey

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Weeks time

Grace be yours. I am surprised that I haven't written often this week. Perhaps because I have been driving a lot and gotten home tired. A group of Ministers on Monday got to together to talk about the scriptures coming up a couple of months from now. We had a good discussion of the texts we think we'll use and then shared some ideas about how these texts might relate to the world.
Perhaps that is something we need to do often. Figure out how what we do relates to the earth. How we live our lives will be clearly given as the way that we can make a difference in the world. And i think everyone really wants to do that. We want to leave the world a little better than when we came.
I spoke with a woman at the nursing home the other day and she said she was really ready to go..but was worried about a grandson headed for war. She had lost a son herself some years ago so I think that loss was coming into her heart again. How can we change the world for her? How can we let her know we'll be praying for him and for her as she waits, either to meet her Jesus, or to welcome her grandson home? We'll talk about that in church. Because there are things we can do.
How are you going to change the world. I think back over the past week often like an 'examen' that is to so that I will think about what I've done and not done and then seek to do better next week,
Pray for someone who comes to your mind as you read this note... and then find a way to let them know you have been thinking of them. And then... think of someone else... and keep it up.
God abide with you and will all the folks who carry burdens...May they share them so their burdens will be lighter.

God abides
Bobbie Giltz McGarey