Awakening a Keen Observer

Monday, May 31, 2004

Memorial Day in the USA

Years ago Betsy said, Mom I want to go to Washington , D.C. so that summer we planned a trip and went to Washington. We had a great time. Stayed in a strange odd wonderful cheap hotel near the subway and really had fun. We walked miles i'm sure each day we were there. We laughed, looked, waited in lines, and enjoyed ourselves. I'd go back with her in a minute. It was good fun. I'd spend more time in the Art Galleries than we did because we just ran out of time.

There was one time when we waited that a woman and her three boys were next to us. We were waiting in the circular line that was around the Washington Monument those days. They look down the Mall and there was the US Capitol building so beautiful. One of her boys said, "Mom what's that building? " pointing to the US Capitol. " I don't know ." she said...and opend her PICTURE map and said, "we'll let me see." and she looked up and down at the building at the map. " It is one of those smithsonian places I think. "

Betsy looked at me eyes wide open... and I said, "Betsy! Stand over there with the WHITE CAPITOL BUILDING BEHIND YOU and I'll take your picture." By then the boys were whining because they were going to take the bus not the subway home. I don't know if they ever figured it out.

We went to Arlington National Cemetery. We found out where one of my church member's husband was buried and then we took the bus tour. We went to the tomb of the Unknown Soldier. We arrived and watched the changing of the guard. One family brought a wreath to present at the tomb of the unknown. . I was moved. My uncle Clyde Giltz my dad's youngest brother died in WWII in Sicly . To my knowledge none of my family has ever visited his grave in Sicly . My grandparents couldn't afford to have his body returned home so he was buried there. they promised to send his effects and nothing ever ever came to them , finally a note saying that they had been lost somewhere. They did recieve a letter from a buddy of his telling them how he died and how many of his friends loved him. My dad said it broke my Grandmother's heart and she was never the same. I wished she could have seen this ritual, the changing the guard. I wish she could have brought flowers to this grave to honor her youngest child it might not have healed her heart but it might have brought her some peace.

Many flowers on many graves . Some graves very new some very old. All honored. Deep Sigh, O Spirit raise a prayer for those whose hearts are still breaking. Heal them ! Amen

"Happy" Memorial Day.

God abide
Bobbie McGarey


Sunday was Pentecost.

We are lucky in Oklahoma, we have wind almost all the time. I mean it seems we should comment the days it isn't windy. Like look! No wind!

But perhaps we can use it as a constant reminder of what God wants to surround us and move us and push us and remind us of the presence of the Spirit so Holy. That way we won't forget.

We won't forget that God's love abides with us. That we are always in the presence of the Holy and how we use that to center our lives, to make decisions, to live into the love God gives us, is up to us. We can turn to God in times when all we can do is cry OH GOD HELP! Or we can live our lives centering ourselves in the present presence of God...the Spirit so Holy.

The Spirit remains with us no matter our choiice. and that should be good news! And when we live our lives with that knowledge we become more peaceful than ever.

So on Pentecost, and during the week., and during your whole life! remember the Spirit so Holy. Jesus said I will send you an advocat to lead you and I will be with you always..

See...God Abides
Bobbie McGarey

Saturday, May 29, 2004


To put back into your thoughts is to remember something. You can't remember something that didn't happen, or that you didn't read or watch or hear. Those things just happen. But to re-member something is to go to that event again.
Remember the Good Times, Willie Nelson sings, they are smaller in number and easier to recall.

Well, perhaps smaller but in the long range of things, for most of us, our memories are good ones. Perhaps the good ones' don't imprint on our brains like the trauma/chaos ones do. Like pictures we haven't seen in a while memories change as we add more and more to the 'file' in our brain. We replay the memories when something triggers it.

I recall (I used that word instead of remember) one time when I bought a beautiful gardenia plant. My grandmother's house in Virginia had a beautiful wonderful huge gardenia bush out side it. The smell of those abundant blooms were etched in my brain along with family, home, security, fun, and my grandparents. When the plant I bought bloomed even the tiny blossoms filled the kitchen. And in some unconscious way i got really sad. For several days I was just sad. And then I put it together. The wonderful smell of the gardenias had shifted my thoughts to loved ones long gone and I was missing all of them but not knowing why.

Perhaps what concerns us most about some day losing our memory, underlying what we think it might be, is the unspoken concern that we ourselves will some day be forgotten. Perhaps this is so. But nothing , nothing, nothing, will ever let us be forgotten by God. We are/havebeen/always wil be in God's hand and heart. Jesus said ...when he shared the meal with those he loved, do this in remembering me. And in Jesus, we are all remembered, put back together whole.

God Abide
Bobbie McGarey

Sunday is Pentacost wear something RED!

Friday, May 28, 2004


"Sometimes I go about in pity for myself, and all the while a great wind is bearing me across the sky." Ojibwa Saying

Have you ever been trying to find a house, or building, or some new place and you just can't seem to get there? You have the address. You know the end point. In fact someone may have even told you what turns to take. But nevertheless you can't get there.
And so you resign yourself to being lost.
Then you make a turn and voila! there you are!

It seems to me that parts of our lives are like this as well. We make plans about where we 'think' we should go, what we should do, the end point. But somewhere in between we can't exactly get there. Mary Chapin Carpenter, one of my very favorite singer/songwriters wrote, A Place in the World. (lyrics below) She touches on how we feel when we aren't sure of our direction or where we are on the map of our lives.

When we are feeling lost we have options. We can hold on and keep doing what we are doing, (though getting nowhere). We can hold on, brace ourselves and refuse to move at all. We can forget that destination and make up a new one. Or we can surrender to the moment and voila! there we are. Perhaps, just perhaps, because we listened to God's voice leading us--only found in surrender.

Putting ourselves in the hand of God who has had a plan for us all along----gives us both the way and the means to get to that end point. And sometimes that point looks entirely different than we thought! It is even more wonderful.
Have a good day wherever you go!

God Abides
Bobbie McGarey
These words are lyrics by Mary Chapin Carpenter its a wonderful song. A place in the world
(mary chapin carpenter)

What I’m looking for, after all this time
Keeps me moving forward, trying to find it
Since I learned to walk all I’ve done is run
Ready, on my mark, doesn’t everyone
Need a place in the world

Could be right before your very eyes
Just beyond a door that’s open wide
Could be far away or in your own backyard
There are those who say, you can look too hard
For your place in the world

Takes some of us a little longer
A few false starts gonna make you stronger
When I’m sure I’ve finally found it
Gonna wrap these arms all around it

Could be one more mile, or just one step back
In a lovers smile, down a darkened path
Friends will take our side, enemies will curse us
But to be alive is to know your purpose
It’s your place in the world
Your place in the world
Your place in the world

Wednesday, May 26, 2004


One of my seminary professors, I think it was Dr. John Donahue, said that compassion is that turning in the gut of a human. When I looked it up in the dictionary it came up with three other words·pas·sion·at·ed, com·pas·sion·at·ing, com·pas·sion·ates
I had never thought of applying this word except to say for example, that was done with compassion,
What if each day we looked for a way to apply this word in all its forms as nouns? compassionateness (N) "The quality or state of being compassionate." and "deep awareness of and sympathy for another's suffering." Would the world not be changed? I think it would? Would it change your world?
There is such a need for this attribute just now. This sense that we cannot tolerate any longer the disparities of God's children. We cannot look away because there is no where else to look. We can't close our eyes and expect the world to be changed by our blinking. Blinders no longer keep us from seeing the needs that are straight ahead.
So one by one by one by one we change the world with our acts of compassion. Go and do! I know you can.

How far you go in life depends on your being tender with the young, compassionate with the aged, sympathetic with the striving, and tolerant of the weak and strong. Because someday in your life you will have been all of these.
George Washington Carver

God abides

Tuesday, May 25, 2004

House and Home

I read a short article a few weeks ago in the local paper about the house being moved down Rt81 and how somehow they didn't get the proper papers and clearance and so the house had been moved to the parking lot of a closed store.
That was a few weeks ago. In that time it was turned some, angled a different way, and then the truck which had been hauling it left. There it sits.
Empty, yes, and seemingly looking really lost.
Somebody's home... not at all at home in the parking lot.

I wonder what all happened? Couldn't/wouldn't get the right permit. Had not planned ahead to know that the road they were thinking of going down wasn't wide enough? What didn't happen that let this house be in it's new place. I imagine there is more than one sad 'party' in this whole bargain.

Deep sigh Not homeless..but not home.

House and home and heart are all places in the mind as much as physical places. At a retreat I asked them to say where was home. Many talked about where they grew up, their grandmother's house, their parent's house, and a few said where they were just then.

Dorothy in the "Wizard of Oz" says there's no place like home and gets there. Perhaps that is what we all need to understand some times home is where we are, where we are known and loved, (even still), where the things of our lives are, where everybody knows our name.

Seems like we look long and hard for home and it can be found right where we are.

I hope this house finds it's home.
Where IS home for you?

God abide
Bobbie McGarey

Monday, May 24, 2004

Beautiful earth

The most solid comfort one can fall back upon is the thought that the business of one's life is to help in some small way to reduce the sum of ignorance, degradation and misery on the face of this beautiful earth.
George Eliot

When I was in High School we had to read a book for English class called the Mill on the Floss by George Eliot. It was as I recall one of those books that takes time to sink into your understanding the writing rich and full. But what escaped me at the time, though we were taught this all along, was that George Eliot was a woman Mary Ann Evans who had to use a masculine name to be published. This fact back then I just accepted. Things have changed.
Here is a paragraph from the Mill on the Floss:

"Life did change for Tom and Maggie; and yet they were not wrong in
believing that the thoughts and loves of these first years would always
make part of their lives. We could never have loved the earth so well
if we had had no child-hood in it, - if it were not the earth where
the same flowers come up again every spring that we used to gather with
our tiny fingers as we sat lisping to ourselves on the grass - the same
hips and haws on the autumn hedgerows - the same redbreasts that we
used to call `God's birds' because they did no harm to the precious
crops. What novelty is worth that sweet monotony where everything is
known and loved because it is known? "

In the first quote of hers at the start of this musing you can see that there is a depth to her thinking and it is a real key to most all of her writing. She wanted to produce "something beautiful for God" as Mother Teresa of Calcutta wrote. Mary Ann Evans was willing to give up her own name to share with the world the writings and thinking that she had in her that had to be written.

She saw her writing as a gift to the beauty of the world.

What gift today will you be giving to the beauty of the world?
You have many.

God abide
Bobbie McGarey

Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth. . . . But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven. . . . For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
Matthew 6:19-21

more about George Eliot

Saturday, May 22, 2004

Courage to Remember

There is a well written book by Keck by the name, Forgetting whose we are. It is about living with someone with altzheimers. It speaks of the challenges to those who are care-givers as well as what this disease may look like from the perspective of the one who has it. It is well worth reading for family and friends.

But I think that disease is not the only thing that makes us forget who we are. Could we say that the young person who makes poor choices has forgotten whose they are? Could we say that the adult who moves in and out of relationships that are not healthy for them has forgotten whose they are? Could we say that the older adult who decides they've done everything they need to do and it is just time to coast has forgotten whose they are?

Perhaps, not to judge mind you, but to observe. God has given each of us gifts and talents and energy and for most all of us the means to be about wonderful work all through our lives. Whose we are then dictates what it is we are to do.

Whose we are-- as God's own children --claimed in our baptism and sent out into the world to find out what the world needs most--empowers us with courage to do what it is that needs to be done.

Maya Angelou said on a program the other night that Courage is an extremely important virtue. That with courage we can live out all the other virtues (though to note I did not find it listed among the Roman Virtues for good life). But I agree with Maya. Courage has given ordinary individuals the permission and the power to do great things. And that's what we are called to remember--- Whose we are- God's own Beloved --- now what--- Courage for whatever God calls us to do.

Listen--- beloved---remember----now Go out into the world to love and serve Jesus.
God Abides
Bobbie McGarey

Power out Power On

The lights went out here at my home several times today. I have set the clocks a couple of times already. I am sure there are some blinking 12,12,12 somewhere in the house.

When I was in India several times, whether we were at the orphanage or at the house of a wealthy architect, the power went out. When the demand for power is so great with so many people then that will happen. New Delhi has over 13 million people - that's a lot of demand on electricity.
In the rural areas of India the demand is not that great with the houses being lighted by simple lights. Unlike the Big cities that have the lights like downtown anywhere ... Check out this map of the lights coming from the big cities on the earth.

You will probably have to cut and paste it. You also may have to scroll around to see the whole picture.

But consider not only where there are so many lights, (geography review) but also where there are NO lights at all to be seen from space. What a world! What a world!

What brings true light into your life? What lights up your eyes like a young child filled with delight? What is that spark, the memory, the hope, the joke, that makes you light up and shine in the world? Perhaps you will find something new today while you think about all those lights... and all the beautiful world unspoiled.

God abide
Bobbie McGarey

Thursday, May 20, 2004

Voice from the Past

Our daughter is home for just a few days and the phone rang and it was her friend from high school that she hadn't heard from in a long time. How does that happen? And so often it seems?

One person said there is a 'great cosmic coincidence coordinator' a phrase I find kind of funny and fun at the same time.

You know how you'll be thinking of someone and they'll call or later you find out was a critical time in their lives. Twins, they say, do this often. My mother and her sisters were also connected.

But even more amazing is that God sends certain people into our lives at important times and when they come we learn new lessons. Just at the right time. God's good time as I wrote before (GGT).

If Dawn had called Betsy tomorrow she would have missed talking with her. But now they are talking on--catching up with one another's lives. Laughing and sighing.

There are times when we just know something we cannot explain and when we check it out amazing things happen. Thanks Be to God.

God abides with YOU!
Bobbie McGarey


There seems to be more and more ways that the world wants us to view reality. We look at it from our own view or perspective.
I watched the Movie, Girl with the Pearl Earring. About the creation of the painting by that name. Vermeer was truly a painter of light. It is not an action picture but there is movement and the images are lush and beautiful. The story comes together so beautifully. After I saw the movie I looked on the Internet to see some more of the pictures he had done. The detail of so many of his paintings are so full and beautiful. It was interesting.

These pictures give a view of what reality was about in the 16th C for some people. Snapshots of the world that was present then.

Pictures of realities of our present day are not ones that we want to linger and look at when these images are one that bring not joy but shame. Deep Breath.

What images will we hold of our world? A beautiful sunrise or sunset? A child newly born just peeping out at the world? An older person waiting to hear about a medical test in that limbo of wanting to know?

Whatever they are these are reality as well.

Let us live our lives to bring the best beauty we being people who bring justice, voice to the voiceless, food to the hungry, and hope to those in despair.

May your day bring beauty to the world in word or action toward someone in need.

God abide


Wednesday, May 19, 2004


We have a Mockingbird outside our house. It sings almost any time, day or night, the songs of other birds in a wonderful way. The one that stays closest to our house that we hear early in the morning while we have our coffee has about 10 different songs. I've tried counting them, and will try again. It sings so beautifully.

What song do we sing? What song do we sing when we are happy? Or what song we sing when we are sad? There was a list of songs on the internet some time ago that talked about the 10 songs that get in your head and you can't forget them. Hey I don't want to read what those are...they will get in my head!!!

So what do you sing when you are happy. The psalmist wrote down their songs of praise and songs of woe and songs calling thanks to God, and songs reminding God not to forget them.

So if you can't find your Song. Make the Psalms your song... there is at least one for you.

I personally love the 27th... What is yours?

God abide
Bobbie McGarey

Tuesday, May 18, 2004

what do we know?

There are so many ways to find out things these days, radio, TV, internet, all three, these are ways that we find out weather, news, gossip, and all kinds of things that we seem to want to know. The other day John and I wanted to know the name of an actor and we found it by looking up the movie on the internet.

However, there are really some things that we want to know for sure that only can come from a source that isn't available electronically, there are things we know in the heart. And how we listen to the heart is in part how we listen to God's calling to us. To that inner deeper place where we 'know'. We know when things are right with people we love, we know when they are wrong. We know when things are right in the choice we are making, and in the best cases we know when they are wrong. Perhaps one of the real challenges we have is when we see those we love going down a road ...a choice...we don't think is for their health.

What can we do? We can share with them in as non-judgmental way how we see the path they are taking may not lead where they really want to go. And....And we should pray for them. Surround them with the loving light of Christ that has power to help others change their direction. This is something we can do. When God speaks to someone's heart there is no turning. Let us hold in prayers those who need God's guiding hand and guiding Word in their lives. Believe in the power of the Spirit. Work for justice and wholeness and know that God abides.

God abide with you
Bobbie McGarey

Monday, May 17, 2004


Once I saw a Peanuts cartoon where Charlie Brown the end frame said. There's no greater burden than a great potential.

When I've been to the services at Grandfield and Temple you see these young people with potential. What they will do with that potential ...that's up to them. Many of them have great support to reach that potential and others are more on their own.

What can we do as faithful people to encourage everyone we meet, everyone we are in contact with to reach their potential?

Everyone can use encouragement and support. Everyone from the people who check out our groceries or when we pay for gasoline can use a kind word, a smile, looking them in the eye. Bringing to someone affirmation is a wonderful gift you can give.

I remember seeing pictures of Mother Teresa walking with her arms at her side ready to reach out and bless. In your own way live your life ready to bless. How will you do that today?

Love is something if you give it end up having more.

Saturday, May 15, 2004

Uproar People

In the movie Hanging Up one character describes another as an Uproar Person... someone who wants all the attention and the world isn't good unless they are the center of attention and that happens by keeping everything else around them and everyone else around them in an uproar. What a way to live!

What would be the opposite of that? Perhaps a Jesus-like-person = JLP. Someone who brings order in chaos, healing to dis-ease, wholeness to brokenness, joy to discouraged, peace to the lost, and mercy to all.

But then, I hear you ask, what do we do about/for the uproar people? They are still stirring the water, splashing their uproarness on everyone around. What about them?

Jesus said, pray for your enemies, those who persecute you, and move on. You don't have to fix them. Your prayer raised to God will bring to them the healing that they need. You yourself even in the midst of their roaring can be the calm. (Trust me when I say that when you do this at first an uproar persons roaring will get louder because they don't think you've heard them...) But you have raised their need to God. You have set it out of your hand to fix. And you respond, as best you can as the JLP you were created to be.

That is not to say you don't work for justice, speak for those who have no voice, or ignore the hurtfulness of others actions in the world. It is to say that you release it all to God's good grace and trust.

deep breath now...
Peace peace peace
hope hope hope
joy joy joy
love love love
See, that's better already.
God abides

Bobbie McGarey


A Walt Disney tune says... A dream is a wish your heart makes...
Well what dream does your heart make?

What way would you configure the world, dream the world to be, if you could have that image show up in the real world? Peace in your family? Health? Financial security? What would that dream look like?

I've kept track of my nighttime dreams since I was 12 and have had some really unusual ones. Some time we'll talk about them. But right now let's say that the dream we have for the world seems to be very different than the world we have.

So how do we help the world live into the dream that God has for the world, for that realm of God where justice is done, where the silenced ones have a voice, where those who are trapped are set free, where there is food for all, homes for all, hope for all,
What does the world of your dreams look like?

And then I ask the question that Jesus asks in the Scripture from John for this Sunday, Do you want to be healed?
What if God said. I've given YOU gifts and talents and wits and support and privilege, now bring that dream of the realm of God, the KIN-dom of God, where you are into reality. Jesus told the disciples that all the things he did we would do and even more...
So, here we go! let your dreams be a wish your heart makes linked to the heart of God!

Happy Saturday and good Sunday
God abides

Thursday, May 13, 2004

Storm Path

I have to have my car repaired from the hail that hit it a few weeks ago. So when I heard the warnings for today that there were other storms on the way I looked at the NOAA weather site and sure enough... a line of storms is forming. But what was most interesting to me is how quickly they come up. on the Noaa site you can set the view of the radar for an hour or so and you can see how the storms form and the path they are taking. Wow amazing what we can do and how it is shared.
Right now it seems however that there are alot of folks that are living their lives as if some terrible storm was headed their way and there is nothing they can do to get away. Oh I know there ARE times when we see things coming and we know that we have to 'steel' ourselves against the trouble. But is that really a way to confront trouble? I think fists tight, back tight, and afraid is a way to get hurt by trouble.
When uncle Edgar first taught me how to ride waves in the ocean he said the first thing you have to learn is how to get through them if you aren't going to ride it in. You don't stand straight, stiff, and let the power hit you. You relax and go over them as they come. And if the wave is breaking you dive through it. Head first. But more relaxed than stiff. I learned, got tossed a couple times, but learned.
When we see trouble as faithful people perhaps what we need to do is to relax, ride over it, or dive through it, and come up whole on the other side.
But we can't just stand there afraid. That won't help.

We stand ---- Assured not afraid.

And it is with the spirit of assurance and we face everything as faithful people. Because, well here's the good news, we aren't in control. Thanks Be to God... who IS.
And when trouble comes, God remains with us through it all.

Jesus said it more than once. Do not be afraid
Who do we listen to really. Our beloved Jesus... or the fear of the world?
Repeat after Jesus three times....let me hear you...
Do not be afraid
Do not be afraid
Do not be afraid...

big breath...again... ok
God abides
Bobbie McGarey

Musing from Anne Fontaine

This one is written by a minister in Wyoming. I subscribe myself to her writings. She takes the scrupture for the day and then writes brief notes to follow. Always good for morning meditation and for focus for the day. I share this one with you today. You can subscribe, (no cost) with the web listing at the bottom.
God abide

When you reap the harvest of your land, you shall not reap to the very
of your field, or gather the gleanings of your harvest. You shall not
your vineyard bare, or gather the fallen grapes of your vineyard; you
leave them for the poor and the alien: I am the LORD your God
Leviticus 19:9-10

What is my land
my field of reaping?
What are the gleanings and grapes?
Who are the poor and the alien?
Where am I taking it all
and leaving nothing
for those in need?

The Rev. Ann Fontaine
Lander, Wyoming

Tuesday, May 11, 2004

Hackberry Flat I

Sunday after church in Frederick I took the back road to Granfield through Hackberry flat area. Really a quite beautiful area. I was the only one out there. Maybe because it was Mother's day. I spent about an hour walking out there and then went on over to Grandfield. I didn't pass a car or see anyone the whole time.

It was really quiet there. The wind blew clear and the sky was sunny and with just a few clouds.

The Red-winged Blackbirds, I've mentioned before, are obviously nesting. You could see them fly up from their nests here and there.

What brings you back to your center? What do you think about or where do you go in your mind's eye to find peace? I think everyone should have such a place.

There are some places I go in my memory that bring me incredible peace. Camp Akita near Logan Ohio had such places that still bring for me great peace. I can 'walk' there in my mind's eye.

Find such a place for yourself. It could be your Grandmother's or Grandfather's place, or somewhere you felt empowered.

Remember Jesus went off to a quiet place ... we imagine him praying and gaining strength and his center.

Find that place. Visit it regularly..have a nice time...and let me know how you feel when you get back.

God abide

Bobbie McGarey

Monday, May 10, 2004


You know every once and an while I'll hear a song that is not new but somehow it all seems to shift to some real faith story. I was driving home Sunday evening after the baccalaureate in Grandfield and heard the song "Have I told you lately that I love you" Rod Stewart was singing. And I began to think that this could be a prayer of thanksgiving to Jesus.
Have I told you lately that I love you...that there is no one above you.. You fill my heart with gladness take away all my sadness...

How often do we thank God for the good moments in our lives. Surely there are enough not so good ones...but let's not forget to thank God and to tell God how we love God.

What songs can you think of that are prayers ... perhaps unintentional...but truly prayers?

Bobbie McGarey

School's almost out!

They count the days until it is time for school to be out. Somehow even those of us who have been out of school for some time remember that feeling. You have had a teacher you love and you enjoyed your class. You think you have learned EVERYTHING there is to know in the ----the Grade...You are ready to summer!

When I was little in the 50's we would really have the summers free. Susie and Jackie and Nancy and I would spend the summer playing cards, reading, climbing trees, riding bikes, going to the swimming pool, and then starting over the next day. We played hours of canasta, read every Nancy Drew Book, and rode our bikes in a prescribed pattern around the neighborhood. I would play golf some with my parents. I remember the summer when they paved the street in front of our house, now that was big fun to watch.

Was life simpler then? Well my days were not programmed. I didn't have a myriad of different lessons to turn me into an expert in something or other. But it seems in my memory like good times. We were lucky to be in a neighborhood with children and our street, Dunedin, was not busy. Summer....

So what do we as adults do for ourselves that is like Summer? Do we give our bodies a break from the stress of the "school year" ? Or do we remain in high maintenance? It's not good for our bodies, too much cortisol I think it is. What do we do to give ourselves a breath?

In a world that seems to demand action....perhaps we should rebel and meet friends for tea and conversation. We should walk a little more and smile a little more and enjoy the world a little more.

So I suggest that you consider how your life is in line with the seasons of the earth. Let yourself feel the summer breezes and fresh air. God created the world enjoy it!

God abide
Bobbie McGarey

Saturday, May 08, 2004

The Day

Think of the Mother's whose children are threatened by malaria and how a gift you could give to the church Networkers through the Presbyterian Women could save lives.

Think of the Missionaries in Bangladesh, Cyndi Morgan, who work with women to help them give birth safely by giving them a birthing kit, a sterile string, a clean blade, and instructions on how to help the child not be infected as the cord is cut. And think of how a gift to support her work through the church can change things for these mothers far away.

Think of our Presbyterian Mothers/Sisters in Iraq who in their churches pray for peace for their country, as we pray for peace here, and for their sons and daughters, as we pray for our sons and daughters, and through this prayer we are One.

And this day raise a prayer for all for whom this day is more bitter-sweet than sweet. Because of all the sugar poured on by companies want us to indulge in giving to those who are not in need of anything..

And in this day remember God's all enfolding love for us that embraces, renews and re-energizes us for the work of God's kin-dom. And say Thanks Be to God.

God knows us and loves us still.

God abide
Bobbie McGarey


I put the sheets on the line this morning. I love the way they smell when they dry outside! Something about my childhood I think when my mother would hang out the wash and how fresh and clean everything would smell. Thanks to the Oklahoma wind it doesn't take long for them to dry.

John came in about 20 minutes later from mowing on the riding mower and asked if I could help him find his glasses. He feared he had them fall off as he had gone under the sheets on the line and perhaps he'd "mowed" them. He went out and I followed in a minute. I found him laughing. He had gone under one of the pillow cases that has a pocket in the end...and there--neatly tucked--were his glasses. We both laughed...what are the chances there eh?

Lots of things in our lives are neatly tucked away for us to pick up later. Things that seem important but are set aside by the world to be picked up and used at another time.
God's good time I think. GGT = a new time zone!

It's like relationships somehow. John and I both attended a party a year before we met. Let me explain. I had gone to a party at a friend's house...he had too. We met everyone there. Liked the people but not so much impressed with anyone in particular. A year later I visited my cousin and met John. We didn't know we had both been at that same party for about 10 years. Apparently that first time we 'met' we weren't ready to meet.... it wasn't time. We've laughed about that for 30 years.

But tucked in the world are windows and opportunities. To meet...someone who will change our lives...someone who has a message for us...someone who will teach us exactly the lesson it is time for us to learn. I imagine that is the way Jesus functioned in the lives of those he met. At exactly the right time he came to the town where the woman needed to be healed and she touched the hem of his garment and was healed. Perhaps the day before she would not have been so bold as to go out in public where people would shun her. Perhaps the week before she would have been so angry at her life she would not have even tried to be healed but would have given up. Perhaps it is exactly the time for you to encounter Jesus in a new way and be healed of anything that keeps you from being the child God created you to be. GGT

In God's good time...
And in the meantime... remember the psalmist wrote

Psalm 27 I believe that I shall see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living..

God Abides

Bobbie McGarey

Friday, May 07, 2004


I read a list today of the top 100 names put out by the Social Security office it is always interesting to me. Our names can have power and we make them valuable.

Some names trigger in us memories of people. Some of those are good...some not so good. So we hold names as important parts of peoples lives. Some people chose to change their first names to reflect more of who they have become than a name that parents gave them when they were born. A friend of mine in the 60's changed her name to a name that had meaning to her. She said that everything someone called her new name...she was reminded of the new person she was becoming and the best came out in her.

I'm not going to list some of the more 'interesting' names that I know. However I'm sure we are all thinking of a few. Some names seem like they will be trials right at the start for a child to overcome.

My name, Barbara, is one of those late 40's early 50's popular names. I usually go by Bobbie which was what my parents called me all the time. I've known other Barbara named women. In fact had a rather funny conversation with a Barbara-Bobbie in Washington DC some years ago. Again I digress..

But what is the name that God knows us by? What name does God call. I think for all God's children it is beloved. As God's daughters and God's sons... It is the same.. Beloved...


That name whether male or female I think draws out in us the best of us. We are loved so what else do we need we have been named and claimed by God in our baptism... and called to baptism...and new life... every time our name is called.

God abide
Bobbie McGarey

Thursday, May 06, 2004


Well thousands watched a TV show Thursday night of Friends. It has been on for ten years and you could see the actors age some during the flash-back times. I will personally miss this show as I watched it with our daughter all along. It also had a window into some parts of the world that I, no longer 20 something, didn't experience. Though you know there were things that were reminders of my younger time.
One of the things I realize is that those who care for one another don't have to be related by blood or marriage, but can be related by relationships that are formed in good and hard times. They took care of each other, loved one another through joy and folly, and they laughed together.
I've written before about laughing together. So we will find a new way to do so. Reality TV won't provide that kind of laughter in it. Because contrived horrible situations are not really reality.

So, call a friend of yours right now and let them know you care about them. Drop them a letter, a note telling them hi, help them to laugh somehow.

God abides --there is Reality and Good News.
Bobbie McGarey


Perspective in art and literature relates to how we view something in the world. If you and I view something, even standing side by side, we'll have a difference in how we see that object. That is to say my angle will be slightly different than yours, it just is, no judgment necessary.

So Imagine if you will-- if we view an object, or an idea, from opposite sides. We would both be looking at an object but from different ways...But at the same thing... Only different because of life experiences, people we know, choices we've made, dreams we have for the world.

We even in our own life time we can view the same thing, issue, situation, differently as the lens-of-life experience unfolds before us. A kaleidoscope of colors.

Experiences change how we view situations. We may judge others one way because of something we've heard about "THEM" and then when we meet one of "THEM" and lo and even behold!.... We come to see THEM entirely different. The problem can be--- when we try and go back to where we were before our encounter...We find people who still see "THEM" as we did before ----and we have to try and convince others that "THEY" are not like we thought. Got it? Let me try again..

Perspective comes with both observation and a willingness to learn, to be stretched, to be changing and perhaps that is why children's perspectives are so important. They are often quite keen observers of life AND willing to change. Opps what I thought was A is really B. Humm well ....Ok well now let's go on with it. No need to be sad that B was A.... Just live life in that present tense of it's B... Alright what's next.

This perspective shift is natural and part of life. We human beings seem to want to get to one place, adulthood, and stay that way. Doesn't happen. Because we live in a changing world. Because we live in changing bodies, because we live in changing perspectives of who we are and what is the plan for our lives NOW.

So may your Perspective be rich and full and may Change never be a 4-letter word.

God abide

Bobbie McGarey

Wednesday, May 05, 2004

Connections or Not

I once read an article by Harriet Beecher Stowe about her life and her childern. Even after she had become a well known author she faced trauma in her life. The story touched my heart because it was about how she had written her husband in the summer of 1849 about the sickness in the city and their child who was well it seemed but then did not survive the cholera that swept through the area of Ohio. She was cut off from communication with her husband Calvin--- because that is just the way it was then. From Ohio to Boston was much to far.

There was no mail of any rapid delivery, no phone, no internet, no instant message...there was only news. Stories really of the past happenings...not really current information.

A few years ago when I was in India I was able to IM -Instant message- our daughter who was in TX. It was really amazing and since there is about a 12 hour distance we could plan our chats. Now that's communication.

But communication really not so much about how one gets together with another but what is shared in those times. How real do we get. Communication is about being present to the other person and in that offering yourself as a present to that other one.

My computer internet has been 'floofy' --my own term for not working --- and I felt cut off from what has become a normal way to contact other folks. Imagine if it were days or months ...not hours or minutes that separated us from one another?

But here is a connection that knows know bounds... prayer. We aren't cut off or intercepted or traced or spied-on or anything but linked to one another and even more important to God.

God's ready we don't need a pass-word... sometimes even a sigh is enough.... to paraphrase Romans 8:26
The Spirit of God helps us with our present limitations. Even if we don't know how to use the right words to pray as children of God, the Spirit within us is actually praying for us in those 'agonized longings' which never find words. And God who knows the heart's secrets understand, of course, the Spirit's intention as the Spirit prays for those who love God. (paraphrase Phillips translation)

Deep sigh
Keep in touch...
God abides

Bobbie McGarey

Monday, May 03, 2004


It's all about choices isn't it? If I had made a call 15 minutes earlier than I did it would have changed the way the whole day went. Alas...I didn't and I began to wonder why we make some of the choices we do.
Some years ago one of my favorite singer and banjo player and song writer - John Hartford had a song about this very thing. I have never found the words to it but remember it being about a series of choices people made and how that changed everything down the line from that one person. Sometimes we don't understand the power our choices have.

Because Clearly some choices are better than others.

Some choices are better for us and for those around us than others. We have the capacity and responsibility to choose...and how we make those choices makes a difference in the world.

I do suppose we spend time on what-ifs-and-if-onlys,,,and some times beat our selves up with those... what if I had gone here or if only I had gone there. But what is done is done. And so we live our lives making choices hopefully based on learning. If we learn from choices that were made that didn't turn out so great...the perhaps the next time we are confronted with the same situation we will make the choice for the better.

So, move on, learn on, choose on... and may God direct what you do.

God abide
Bobbie McGarey

Sunday, May 02, 2004


She was in her 90's when I visited her and we were talking about some of the things she remembered from her girlhood. Even now I wonder why I didn't write them down. One thing she said that really stayed with me was ..."The older you get the faster time goes."
How could that be? I was in my 40's and my children were growing so fast and even then in my minds eye I could see them as babies...just like yesterday. Now they were in High School. But she's right. My mother would say all the time...OH time passes so fast. How could that be? I wondered when her days for a while were spent at home just watching TV. (I have to tell you she loved QVC the shopping network. She said, " they looked so nice, talked right to you and were so kind and the very best part...there were no commercials.")
How we use our time is important too. I read somewhere that we would be asked to account for every day we didn't laugh.
So I hope your Sunday has been good and that the time of your life is passing at just the right speed and that you find a way to laugh.
I have always pictured Jesus and the disciples walking down the road between here and there.... did you hear the one about the fish that got away..... and laughing.
God abide
Bobbie McGarey

Saturday, May 01, 2004

Common Sense

When I was a camp counselor, (a way many of my stories begin) we had taken a group of kids on an overnight. Many of them had never really been camping out overnight in the woods...especially without their parents. We had cooked dinner over the fire and yet we had used regular forks to eat but paper plates. When one camper asked me what to do with their plate I said.. on you can just put it in the fire.

Not two minutes later I looked over to see the kids doing what I'd asked..they their plates in the fire...and all the forks... the metal forks... I sat with a stick flipping the forks out of the fire? What were they thinking? They were fascinated by what I was doing. I said..Did you not think? They laughed...We did what you said...

I realized then that words had power beyond all that one thinks. And one has to say what one really means because sometime somewhere someone will do what we said... not what we thought we said or what we meant ..

So, we spend our lives hoping to craft words that help to understand what we mean...words of love and caring and words of praise more than words that harm or hurt.

How do we do this... One friend said that in a relationship you can say one thing that is a complaint only after you have said five things that affirm someone else...

What were you thinking? Bless the words of our mouths and the meditations of other's hearts...
That all may hear the love... That's what we are thinking.. God knows you and loves you still!

God abide
Bobbie McGarey