Awakening a Keen Observer

Thursday, September 30, 2004


The Presbyterian Women's Gathering in 2003 had many wonderful speakers. You can access much of their talks on the PW website. (see address below) In her talk she said,
"We must be accountable to God and with each other. Hear the words of a Palestinian mother addressed to Jewish mothers, "You and I are the conscience. You and I are love and peace. You and I are the bridge to truth."
Can we say that together? You and I are the conscience. You and I are love and peace. You and I are the bridge to truth."

Elizabeth S. Tapia
I encourage you to read her whole text.

What does this me for you and me? How today can we be bridge builders?

"But wait! wait!" I hear you cry. "I have other plans for today. I have to get the groceries, meet friends for lunch, visit someone in the hospital. I've got way to much to do to add on... Being LOVE and PEACE. I have enough to think about to be the conscience. That means I would have to, 'think' about what I say and do and then call others to a higher reasoning and source. Wait wait!"

We are accountable. We all know that ultimately in our hearts.
We know that we have responsibilities that come with our privilege.
With all we have been given --because all we have and all we are belongs to God.

Really now, have a great day!

God abides
Bobbie Giltz McGarey

Wednesday, September 29, 2004


Full moon tonight. I don't know if we can see it here but it's out there. Fall coming in ... you can tell in the clouds..they just look a little different.
I remember the wonderful multi-colored fall leaves in Ohio in the huge trees in the southern part of the state. They were magnificent. My family and I would always go down into the Hocking Hills to see the trees. I gathered leaves on every trip. Somehow finding them as wondrous as shells. One year my dad helped me make a collection by dipping the leaves in wax. They were wonderful and the color stayed and stayed.
The Fall comes slower here in Oklahoma. The shifts we felt in Ohio and then in Utah were much more dramatic. We even had snow one September we lived in Utah. That was a change. In Texas the fall often came it seemed with a storm, a Blue Norther' which I didn't understand until that sky turned that deep blue and the cold rushed in.
We watch the seasons, we remember the weather. Sense the changes in the world and if we are wise we sense the changes in our lives as well.
Where will you be when fall comes? Remember those past ones. Mark some part of each day with a joy. A giving away of a smile to someone. A letter to a friend on paper sent with a stamp. Something to mark that time has passed and you are still here to enjoy the fall.
God abide
Bobbie Giltz McGarey

Tuesday, September 28, 2004

"just wait"

There was much to be done, Tuesday, and waiting to hear about a friend's possible surgery took time. Waiting and praying to find out when she was going into the will be Wednesday.
Waiting is something we 'do'. We wait. We can be doing other things while waiting...but when we attend to what is important, perhaps we should have focused on that "pause" in our lives... perhaps we should have just been waiting not doing.
Wait for the Lord, is how the 27th Psalm says. It doesn't mean don't just means before everything, wait. Wait until God catches up with your busyness and your business. Wait, until you can see God ahead of you before you rush off into things. Wait, breathe, wait.
God is always present, but we wait on God.

Or do we see that waiting 'ON' God as acting as God's own servant. As one who kneels at God's foot and is ready to hear what it is that God will teach us today. We perhaps don't even need to hear...but just be near...touch the hem of Jesus' garment...and we are healed. Just wait.

My cousin says in the most delightful voice and tells her children in a clear message, "Just wait". And they are learning more and more to do so. They will get her attention, or what they need, but sometimes they must wait. A lesson that we all should learn. Thanks Geeta

Grace be yours
God Abide
Bobbie Giltz McGarey
Wait, be of good courage, wait on the Lord. See... there

"just wait"

There was much to be done, Tuesday, and waiting to hear about a friend's possible surgery took time. Waiting and praying to find out when she was going into the will be Wednesday.
Waiting is something we 'do'. We wait. We can be doing other things while waiting...but when we attend to the what is important, perhaps we should have focused on that pause in a our lives... perhaps we should have just been waiting not doing.
Wait for the Lord, is how the 27th Psalm says. It doesn't mean don't just means before everything, wait. Wait until God catches up with your busyness and your business. Wait, until you can see God ahead of you before you rush off into things. Wait, breathe, wait.
God is always present, but we wait on God.

Or do we see that waiting 'ON' God as acting as God's own servant. As one who kneels at God's foot and is ready to hear what it is that God will teach us today. We perhaps don't even need to hear...but just be near...touch the hem of Jesus' garment...and we are healed. Just wait.

My cousin says in the most delightful voice and tells her children in a clear message, "Just wait". And they are learning more and more to do so. They will get her attention, or what they need, but sometimes they must wait. A lesson that we all should learn. Thanks Geeta

Grace be yours
God Abide
Bobbie Giltz McGarey
Wait, be of good courage, wait on the Lord. See... there

"just wait"

There was much to be done, Tuesday, and waiting to hear about a friend's possible surgery took time. Waiting and praying to find out when she was going into the will be Wednesday.
Waiting is something we 'do'. We wait. We can be doing other things while waiting...but when we attend to the proper things we come to find that perhaps we should have just been waiting.
Wait for the Lord, is how the 27th Psalm says. It doesn't mean don't just means before everything, wait. Wait until God catches up with your busyness and your business. Wait, until you can see God ahead of you before you rush off into things. Wait, breathe, wait.
God is always present, but we wait on God.

Or do we see that waiting 'ON' God as acting as God's own servant. As one who kneels at God's foot and is ready to hear what it is that God will teach us today. We perhaps don't even need to hear...but just be near...touch the hem of Jesus' garment...and we are healed. Just wait.

My cousin says in the most delightful voice and tells her children in a clear message, "Just wait". And they are learning more and more to do so. They will get her attention, or what they need, but sometimes they must wait. A lesson that we all should learn. Thanks Geeta

Grace be yours
God Abide
Bobbie Giltz McGarey
Wait, be of good courage, wait on the Lord. See... there

Monday, September 27, 2004

A cup of tea

Come, sit a while with me
and share a cup of tea, do you take milk?

On a quiet morning,
pondering dreams,
planning days
there needs to be a moment when we
take a breath ---perhaps sigh
and say to a good good friend,

Come, sit a while and share a cup of tea, I like milk and a little sugar,
it reminds me of the first cup of tea I had in India. Chai. more plain than fancy.

How are you anyway? Happy? I hope.

Ok Back to the plan....

Thanks for the time.

God abide ---please
Bobbie McGarey

Sunday, September 26, 2004

What we know

I found some letters my mother wrote me when I was in college. I also found some from my grandmother. It seems that talking about the weather in a letter was part of what the family did. But then again, there was not national news/weather service. We couldn't hear about storms before they hit. We just weathered what came.
A couple of years ago a hurricane came into Va Beach where my Aunt and Uncle live. I called them once during the storm and though their electricity was gone the phone worked. I was watching the storm report, pictures of the ocean at the Beach, and telling them what was happening where they were. I was in Olkahoma at the time.

How did we function without a daily, or up to the minute forcast? We wouldn't know that a fourth hurricane in the same year would hit Florida hard. If it was but a few years ago we might just be hearing by letter that there had been a first storm. Time flies, distances melt, and we all become one under the sun.

And you know, we are...all of us here...ONE under the sun. The same sun that shines on me in the morning is shining on those I love in India right now. The same winds blow around the earth, (we learn that when a volcano erupts and sends its dust cloud into the air). We are all on this one earth together.

Do we really know that? We don't act like we do.

What do we know?
We are bound together, family all around the earth. Weather happens everywhere, life happens everywhere, joy and sorrow, hunger and thirst, hope......
hope..... hope..... everywhere.

What we know is that we are all sisters and brothers under the sun.
Now let's act like it.

God abide
Bobbie Giltz McGarey

Saturday, September 25, 2004

John's Anniversary 2nd Musing for Saturday

Twenty seven years ago today Rev. Dr. John Paul McGarey was ordained in the Presbyterian church. He two was ordained in a Union Presbytery. He was ordained in Trenton, KY, (about 30 miles E of Hopkinsville, KY). It is a beautiful church in a little town. There were 400 folk there when we were there. The manse next door was lovely. (I drove to Vanderbilt for my final year, 70 miles each way.)
I remember the afternoon being beautiful, the church being full, and the people most warm and welcoming. He also served the Cumberland Presbyterian Church in Elkton. We lived there for a year.

Congratulations and blessings John!

God abides and has been with you all these years.
Bobbie Giltz McGarey

Three women

I just heard from a young woman who is entering Seminary. She sent me an email address update. I am so excited for/with her as she starts this work. She is JUST married and full of energy and enthusiam, (but I think this is a normal state for her.) I hope to hear from her. Pray for her that she is touched by the work ahead and continues her enthusiam for life and the church.
I just heard from a young woman I knew in Utah who is expecting twins, her 3rd and 4th child. The other two boys are a little older. I am excited for her, for them, and seek prayers for a safe delivery for them all.
I just heard from a third woman who had news that was 'not good' from her doctor. She's older than the first two but no less deserving of miracles in her life. She seeks healing of body and strength for her spirt in the days ahead, and this we will pray for her.

You pray too. Pray for all three.

We are blessed in our lives with many people who stay in touch with us and keep us filled with energy and excitement about their lives. We get outside ourselves and our own little worries.

Today, let's keep our own worries in perspective.

God who knows us and loves us still. Fill these women's lives with your fullest measure of joy and grace and mercy and healing. Thank you for your presence. And for all who need your prayers we raise them to you on their behalf. You know the heart.

God abide
Bobbie McGarey

Friday, September 24, 2004

A Trillion

What would you do if your holdings in life were a trillion dollars? Well Bill Gates has to figure that out. His company has given way a lot, transferred the stock to his foundation, but that still leaves you with enough...Don't you think.

Well as I read this article from a 'yahoo' link to Forbes magazine --it caught my breath. I began thinking what I would do with the money. There were articles about the average price of houses in new desirable places to live. These houses cost more than all my debt. There were article about stars, the celebrity entertainment/sports kinds. Deep sigh.
Then I read articles about the world where people have two dollars a day for their life. They don't have debt I hear you say... no they don't have ANYTHING. No need to have repair insurance on appliances, they don't have any. They have fresh food, when there is food, because there is no storage. Shall we talk about the numbers of people who are refugees. What they did have they have been forced to leave or die. Now they live in cloth tents with less than nothing. No water, no food, no sanitation,
How can there be such disparity? One of the articles I read said, (and it sounded smug to me) "The rich keep the economy going so that everyone can benefit." Deep breath! If it trickle down I don't think that the people in Sudan refugee camp, or in the poorest counties in the state and country would say that it had ever reached them.
A trillion?
100- hundred
1,000- thousand
10,000- ten thousand
100,000 - one hundred thousand

1,000,000- million-

1,000,000,000 billion

1,000,000,000,000 trillion

When you think of your life, which of the categories do you 'work' in.

Talking about money makes us anxious doesn't it? Is it a measure of one's real value?

I don't think so. One's real true value comes from the measure of the heart and what one does with Whatever they have.

Jesus told a story about a widow who put in all she had out of her 'bounty'. That story is a challenge not just to the top top money people, but to every single person. Everyone.
Because what we do with what we have says more about us and our relationship to Jesus than anything else we do.

God abide
Bobbie McGarey

Wednesday, September 22, 2004

Yellow Roses

I know this isn't august 26th but I just came upon this article and remembered too the movie "Iron Jawed Angels" is now out in Video!

On August 26, 1920 was the day suffrage for women was ratified. Garrison Keillor on the Writers' Almanac writes it this way...

It was one this day in 1920 that the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, guaranteeing American women the right to vote, was declared in effect. After the Congress passed the amendment, it had to be ratified by a majority of state legislatures. The state that tipped the balance was Tennessee and the man who cast the deciding vote was the twenty-four year old representative Harry Burn, the youngest man in the state legislature that year. Before the vote, he happened to read his mail, and one of the letters he received was from his mother. It said, "I have been watching to see how you stood but have noticed nothing yet .... Don't forget to be a good boy for suffrage."

At the house, supporters of suffrage sat in the balcony wearing yellow roses. On the house floor, those who opposed suffrage wore red roses. When Burn entered the room, he wore a red rose and the anti-suffrage camp thought they had his vote. But when he was called on to say aye or nay for the ratification of the 19th amendment, he said, "Aye," and the amendment was ratified by a vote of 49 to 47. A witness there that day said, "The women took off their yellow roses and flung them over the balcony, and yellow roses just rained down."

Remember vote, it is a privilege, it is an honor, it is a duty. Wear a yellow rose on voting day, both men and women! Mark the fact that in our democracy racy all votes count. Seek utter fairness in the elections. Do not stand for anything less. Know that it is important. As MTV puts it...Rock the Vote.

God gave us brains and expects us to use them!
Bobbie McGarey
writers almanac can be found... on your local PBS radio station and

there are archives for daily program and those in the past.

Tuesday, September 21, 2004


I read an article that said that one of the ways to stay healthy is to have a good laugh, deep laugh, everyday. Well that is a prescription one should be able to follow.

But some days there doesn't seem like a lot to laugh about. Irony makes me laugh. You know the kind of story about an anger managment counselor who while staying in a hurricane shelter --- got angry and sicked his pit bull dogs on someone who made him angry. (There's work to be done there eh

What does make us laugh? Silly stories. I remember once reading "How do porcupines hug and kiss? Very carefully!" now that is a child-like joke I think but as I look at it there is irony there too. We don't think of things that are sharp and pointy and dangerous engaging in kindness.... and they do...just gently.

I have a friend Jimmy in TX who would call me every morning with a joke. Some were better than others, but that started my day with a smile. We'd talk about all kinds of things and perhaps that is part of the light heart with which I would aproach the joke...I knew that a friendly conversation followed.

So laughter is also better shared. Yesterda our church hosted a meal for a family and when we were in the kitchen cleaning up two sisters there got to talking and laughing and it was so fun to hear their shared amusement. I laughed from the contagion of their joy and laughter.

So perhaps what this rambling is about really is how can we be those who spread not colds or flu, but laugter in the world? How can our lives be those that bring goodness into a world that so needs ---for health reasons--- to find some amusement with ourselves. Never laughter at the expense of anyone but at the irony of lfie itself.

God abides
Bobbie McGarey

Monday, September 20, 2004


When I was a senior in high school I was given a little paper back copy of Siddhartha, by Hermann Hesse. It is a story of a searcher. I wrote my name in the front. bobbie and the year. I read that book several times, always moved by the journey of faith.
"When someone is searching," said Siddhartha, "then it might easily
happen that the only thing his eyes still see is that what he searches
for, that he is unable to find anything, to let anything enter his mind,
because he always thinks of nothing but the object of his search,
because he has a goal, because he is obsessed by the goal. Searching
means: having a goal. But finding means: being free, being open, having
no goal. You, oh venerable one, are perhaps indeed a searcher, because,
striving for your goal, there are many things you don't see, which are
directly in front of your eyes."

I haven't ruined anything for you by putting this passage here....
Anyway this book about a young man searching for truth was one of my favorites. And then I loaned it to someone and it disappeared. My senior year. I graduated and went to college and life went on. My senior year of college I'm sitting in a friends' apt and said. Oh I used to have a copy like that of Siddhartha, I wrote my name in it with the date, 1966. he laughed went over and picked up the book, Yup, you guessed it was my book.

Where had it been and how had it gotten to Ed? I don't know. I wish that whom ever read it had written their names in it as it was passed along. But there it back to me. Ed and I tried to figure some link between the guy who gave it to him ... but it had been five years gone.

Searching and finding are theological issues in many faith traditions. Jesus tells a lot of parables about the lost and found. And we listen and think we are the lost, and hopefully the found.

But maybe this quasi buddhist story can teach us something about being in the present. .... maybe we miss many things, which are right in front of our eyes.
Become friends Keen observers of life. Pay attention. Listen... be present in this moment.

God abides
Bobbie McGarey

Sunday, September 19, 2004

Football US style

I listened to the OSU --that's Ohio State Universtiy--football game with NCS over the internet. I do like radio. Ok so I feel asleep and missed the touchdown, but it was still well done.
When I was little my Mom and Dad and I would go to the games. That was in the 50's and you sat wherever you wanted according to when you got there. Apparently, my Dad liked the game because we almost always had great seats. Then when tickets got harder to get somehow my Dad, (well he was on the OSU Golf Course Greens committee with the head of the athletic dept). still got great seats. I even got to go and sit there with him, about two rows in front of the OSU president.
When I was in college I went because we could get good rates as students. But our seats weren't so great. I remember one away game my friends and I went to where it was so cold we thought the hot chocolate would feel better poured in our boots to defrost our toes than to drink it. And from where our seats were in the endzone about 4 rows up, the perspective was the players getting a little bigger or a little smaller, we had no idea where they were on the field. Maybe my memory is tainted because even after I got so cold, we lost.

Now to get tickets it is a lottery to get seats in the wayyyyyyyyyyyy up there section--maybe. And for much bigger $$$...for sure.

But what is this ritual that we call football? Is it the game? The Texas Aggies at A+M where we lived for a while would say it was, of course, the GAME --that's why they stand up --90% of them stand the whole game, ready to go in and play.
Ok, ok, I confess I cry when I watch the Ohio State Marching band play Script Ohio and march.
Football, or is it America's love for the pagent.? Is it the show around the game? Or the hot-dogs? Or the fact that you are sitting with 89,000+ folks...a huge group experience that overtakes you in its magnitude. We sing together, yell together, sigh together, cheer together for two to four hours.
We'll do most anything to be AT the Big Game whose ever Big Game that is for you. We will gladly pay anything, fly anywhere, make sacrifices of work or whatever it takes.
Apparently we have a real way of honoring the sport, our memories, whatever it is for you.

What devotion? I sat there with my feet freezing. Really! I'm lucky I didn't lose a toe. But what sacrifice would I make for something far less glamourous or far more meaningful? What am I willing sacrifice for....?

What are we willing to sacrifice for:
To give money for...
to travel for ...
to sacrifice for ...
to change our schedule for...
to _______ for....
to spend money for...

Whatever "that" is has power in your life.
Claim that, face that, and determine if "that" is really what you want it to be. What else in your life claims you so much?

Next week OSU (again Ohio State), isn't playing, so I guess if you wanted to do something saturday afternoon.......I'm free.

God abide
Bobbie McGarey

Saturday, September 18, 2004

Through the Archway

In our living room is a picture of the Taj Mahal in Agra India. What an amazing site. Gladys, my mother in law, took the picture with our son Johnny and his cousin Gabriel in shadow, silouette, on either side of this amazing carved archway. The three times I've been to the Taj I went to that same portal. It is a popular place for picture.
but looking through it you focus on this amazing building 350 years old. And someitmes miss the individuals on the side. We do that a lot don't we?
We look at the things that are amazing and attention-getting and miss the people on the side. In this country, the richest in the world, we miss the folk who don't have food, or healthcare, or employment, or education, or friends, or transportation, or any way to do what they were created to do.

We see the stars...the celebrity types who have perfected the art of being noticed. They can be entertainment, or sports, or whatever but they are the ones people look at and see. Not the people on the side. And they all too often so overpower those on the sides that they are never noticed.

Perhaps Jesus had trouble with his driect vision ---because he was always seeing the people on the side. The poor, the widow, the orphan, those bound in trouble or tiral, or illness or pain, or hopelessness, or confusion. And he said...Come follow me.

He didn't say...I'm the star. He said look to God for the light. He taught the world what it is to love without limit. He taught us how much God wants us. That Jesus came.... and left us with the profound message of God's incredible love for everyone in creation.

Perspective through the archway of our lives....what do you see out there? whatever that goal, that might be and not miss the people on the side, or the environment, or the "others" of the world who only can stand at the sides.

Open our eyes that we may see --visions of truth you have for me... open my eyes illumen me, Savior divine.

God abides
Bobbie Giltz McGarey

Friday, September 17, 2004

26 years Today

Twenty six years ago today I was ordained as a Presbyterian Minister in Sturgis, KY. They were two small rural congregations 17 miles apart. I was ordained in what was the Northern and Southern Churches in a Union Presbytery of Western KY. We were in a Yoked parish with Morganfield. We worked as a clergy couple and were paid $12,000 a year salary. I was the first woman to serve in that Presbytery but not the first ordained there. There weren't many of us clergy women at the time. I remember the questions for ordination I was asked both denominations questions so about 25 different ones. I remember when the ministers came forward for the laying on of hands kneeling, six months pregnant, and the weight of the hands on my head. Time has changed some things.
I've served churches in Tennessee as intern, KY as Co-pastor, TX as Minister member-at-large (when the kids were little), Logan, Utah as Co-pastor for 12 years and now in southwest Oklahoma: Chattanooga, Frederick, Grandfield, Temple, Walters.

I've been given the opportunity to be with people at the most remarkable Holy times in their lives. --To have been invited into people's great joys and deepest sorrows. --To have laughed and cried with many.-- To be loved and unloved. --To have been heard and to have been misunderstood --To have grown in my love for God's presence in the world iin the church and to be challenged that there is so much work yet to be done.
God's presence has been real and close and sometimes far away. How blessed I am to have had these opportunites. I have visited India three times and seen the Gospel alive and vital and so perfectly expressed and lived in the lives of adults and children. It enriched my ministry in countless ways.

God's call on my life started when I was young at First Community Church in Columbus Ohio, with a ministers Revs. T. William Taylor, Dave Matthews, Gabe Campbell, Roy Burkhardt, Dick Horn, and as a camp counselor for Westminster Presbyterian Church, in Upper St. Claire, PA with Rev. Hetz March who said...Bobbie I've been thinking about you and I think you should consider ministry. (christmas 1969) , and many others.

Mainly and wholly I thank Rev. Dr. John McGarey who for 34 years has been my companion, my love, my husband, my partner, and my Co-pastor, and truest friend. (We met in September 1970 married in 72)

Always thank my children John Maurice McGarey ( Rev. Bill Peterson said he was probably ordained too)., Martha Elizabeth McGarey (Betsy) our daughter now in Medical school at OSU-COM in Tulsa, and Molly Balthrop McGarey, Johnny's wife, and a dear daughter too!

My mother-by love Dr. Gladys Taylor McGarey who is for me all I want to be for the world. She continues to love the world with her whole being.

And always God who has a sense of humor about my life to be sure. Like one of Betsy's friends once said, "I sometimes think my life is God's Comedy Chanel. You know when things get tough in the world God tunes in on my life and has a good laugh" about my frets and worries that are so very trivial and how I seem so surprised when things go as God ALWAYS knew they would go.

A song that I sing right now is the one Martina McBride sings. Love's The Only House

The choras I believe reminds us of what church is all about. "Love's the only house big enough for all the pain in the world.." .and that is what we are to do. Find ways in this hurting world to be a place of healing, and hope, and nourishment for body and soul. To be the people God calls to stand up for those who cannot stand, to speak for those who have no voice, to be in the world the gatherers who bring in those who are separated from their own heart and the knowledge that at once seems so simple and too wonderful...God knows YOU and Loves you Still!

Thanks be to God have a great day

God abides
Bobbie McGarey


Thursday, September 16, 2004


As I was leaving the house this morning I laughed.
I remembered a story from a friend in Malad, Idaho who said that the day before she had gone outside and seen all these different signs and symbols that had been painted on her grass around her house. She was sure that the "Gangs" had finally come to little Malad, ID. She was so upset because apparently they had targeted her house. There were all kinds of circles and arrows and she just "Knew" that this was trouble. She called the police and waited outside to show them the evidence. Others came by and saw here standing puzzling in her yard and were also convinced that they had to act now to curb the gang problem coming to their town.
They stood and waited and others came (there's only so much to do in Malad) and then the police came and the city workers came and looked. She said they looked at one another puzzled too. But then she realized the puzzled look was expression more of how to tell her what was really going on.
Apparently early in the morning the workers had come by and marked the places in her yard where a major wire went through and where there was a gas line, and where the water line was,...all different colors of paint on the grass. They needed to do repair of the street nearby and needed some guide markers.
She said when they told her she started laughing...and everyone started laughing and they all just had a great time some with tears laughing at their jumping to such horrible conclusions. She told others the story to make a point.
She wasn't really all that embarrassed, well maybe a litte. Mainly she was sure that she had learned a valuable lesson. We can in the face of 'fact' =marks on her yard= think that truly it is a sign of bad things to come or in the face of 'fact' we can be more open and curious. Not jump to the island of Conclusions.

In one of my favorite childrens' stories the Phantom Tollbooth the main character ends up on the Island of guessed it...he jumped there and the only way to get off was to swim through the sea of reason. At least that's how I remember it.

So, in the face of 'fact' friends be open to new conclusions and let reason bathe your assumptions until they become empty of the fear which makes you jump to the worst case!

and remember always and always.
God abides
Bobbie McGarey

Wednesday, September 15, 2004

Power Again

I read an article the other day about solar power being of great use in parts of India. They have so many people and such huge demands and so many in remote areas that electricity is taken for granted. Right now in some areas where there is great drought the electricity is off many hours during the day. It is just part of life there. Solar power may really help some things to function.
We depend on the sun for our light and energy in so many ways. (No this isn't going to be a biology lesson on the cycle of life...but just keep that in mind.) What we do know already how the sun's energy touches and effects every living thing. We depend on the Sun.
Years ago when I was in college, let's not dwell on how many, I stood in line with students who wanted to change their courses. (ok that tells us it was in the primitive times when this was done by hand and not over the phone or internet) Anyway as we were in line folks were talking about what classes they wanted to change. One guy said he had a night class but didn't want it because it was at night. Astronomy....Ok Ok I know that not all astronomy has to be taught at night but there was some irony in it.
Then a friend said in her astronomy class the professor said that the sun would burn out it's energy in "so many years". One student was shocked and raised his hand and said with great urgency... Did you say million or billion!? The professor, I think, said Billion. The student sighed "Whoef" in total relief. S I G H......
Wait wait... neither million or billion is in your realm of worry or control...

And it isn't is it! We fret and worry and hem-n-haw about things we cannot change.
We look to the sun for power. We look to others for power. We look everywhere but where the true power is....
"The spirit of the Creator was on the waters" and there was light. That Spirit, that Sun is the Son who brings to us peace and breath and everything that is. And guess what. Neither you nor I, nor anything else in all of creation, can separate us from that power, that love. Nothing ....can separate us.
Thanks be to God
God abide
Bobbie McGarey

Tuesday, September 14, 2004

TOOMUCH too little

Our water pipe broke outside the house... the neighbor called and asked if we were wattering because water was running out of our yard into his and down his driveway. First let me say that there is quite a distance between our house and their house. This was not good news.

We walked out and quickly sloshed to the problem. There was a break in the line into our house and the water was burbling ---the only way to describe it--- like a fountain. The grass and the yard is soaked through and it mushes down underfoot. The city came promptly and have been working on it for two days now...can you hear them working out there cutting something as I write?

But what worries me when this happens, (this is the second time for us at this spot) is all the water wasted. We are water rich here. Or at least we act like it don't we sometimes. I mean we all take long showers and hot baths and we use so much water. We don't appreciate what it is like not to have it.

Until it is gone. Like right now while I'm here becasue the workmen are here all I think of is putting a load of wash in, or refilling the dishwasher, or getting that floor in the bathroom clean, or water things...

Too much too little also applies it seems to the rain. We had an odd amount of rain in August and then once again we are looking for it...but the folks in Alabama and GA and Florida have had so much rain the lakes and rivers are all at flood stage. And IVAN..a new hurricane is on it's way by or through those areas.

Resources are like that it seems. too much too little. There's that old fairy tale about Goldilocks and everything needing to be just right. One chair too big, another too small, another just right. One bed too hard, too soft, just right... Food too hot, too cold, just right..Spoiled as we are as a country we insist that everything be just right. We deserve it don't we?

But do we diserve just right? ----Do we diserve it more than anyone else?
Check this out...

There is work to be done... not just the routine washing, cleaning, sorting.
The work to be done is the work of God in the world. We who have so much don't want to see those who have too little. This world that is just Beyond us... even if that is just down the street or over the tracks needs all we are and all we can do.
God bless your work.
You know in your heart what you can do.
Even more you know what you must do!
If you don't know you can donate through your church to relief efforts around the world. You know the money will go to the people who need it.

God Abide
Bobbie McGarey

Wednesday, September 08, 2004

Cool Morning

This morning felt different. Almost that Fall change that comes. You know that ONE day when suddenly it feels like fall. It is a combination of temperature, humidity, and probably a little pollen thrown in for good measure, (Bless you!)

Suddenly someone from other days came to mind and I wanted to call/write her and say let's have lunch. I don't live anywhere near her anymore but recalled similar days over the years when I had done that and we'd met at a little lunch place and had crossants. We'd talk about everything and nothing all at the same time.

There are hinges that memory links to ..things we remember...people that we recall...and the sweet ones should be treasured as much as the harsh ones are recalled as well.

I heard Garrison Keiller (Writers Almanac) quote Ann Beattie "People forget years and remember moments."

What do we recall? I pray for you that at that moment when something trips your memory it is a good one. Something or someone that makes you smile. Something that helps you through the harsher times.

And yes... What moments are you making in the world today? What will people remember? A blessing you gave them with a smile, be it friend or stranger. Hope you leave on a counter as you are polite to someone serving you? Patience for just one more minute with someone who needs your time more than you need to 'be" somewhere else. All these things are yours to give. And make memories that bring smiles. What can we do in this world? There is much we can do to change the world. Start where you are. After is God who put you here... Thanks Be to God

Ah... yes... think I'll write her an email.

God abide
Bobbie McGarey

Saturday, September 04, 2004

Hurricane Again

Once again we watch the image of a huge hurricane heading into Florida. It is really big and the eye of it also very big. We have places in the world where we need rain because of huge draught and in FL they are going to have 2-20 inches with this storm.
The eye is huge though. I looked at the noaa website at the satellite image and there is the hurricane and the eye. And oddly enough off the west coast of FL a cluster of storm that looks so like the eye that was lost from the storm. It is curious.

We pray tonight for all those people who are in the line of the storm. Wheter it be natural disaster, or war, or abuse, or addiction, or whatever. We see images of a school in Russia where so many died in an all around huge chaotic mistake and evil put upon the innocent. We pray for the families of those who were lost and their incredible pain and grief. We pray for everyone and pray that God's protection will be with them.

We pray that God's leading will be with those who are lost, that food can come to the hungry, that the lonely will know the companionship of great love, and that we all will be safe in the calm of God's hand. And we pray that we will see our role in THY Kin-dom come!

In the days ahead may you stand in the beauty of Gods plan.
God abide
Bobbie McGarey

Friday, September 03, 2004


I have kept track of my dreams since I was 14. Some times on a more regular basis than others. I have worked out my own set of symbols that help me undertand what my dreams are about. I've had several Big Dreams. Ones that changed my whole perspective.

Once I dreamed about the power of prayer and world peace. I was just out of college teaching Biology. It woke me with a start! I couldn't talk about it for a while because it seemed to have such power to it.

I once had a 'group dynamics' dream when I was working as a camp counselor and we couldn't figure out what was going on in the staff situation. It made all the sense in the world even though the dream itself was set in a Wild West Town. Each of the staff members were playing particular roles that made it clear why we were 'bumping' into one another as we were in the real world.

When John and I were about to get married I dreamed that we were building a house and I 'worked' on it all night and was so frustrated because I couldn't finish it....all I could do was lay the foundation..... and it was a good foundation. When I woke at first I was frustrated but then realized at that point in our relationship a sound frustration was a good thing.

A lot of the people I know pay attention to dreams. It takes a little time to write them down in the morning. It takes a little practice to remember them. It gives us insights we get no other way.

The Bible is full of Biblical dreams and dreamers. We are in good company when we remember them and listen to them... giive it a try.

Sweet Dreams

God abides
Bobbie McGarey

Thursday, September 02, 2004

Still Crazy after all these Years!

At some early moment in the development of the human being it is determined that the child, yet to be born will be male or female. This is determined by the father, whether there is an XX or an XY (female-male), is determined by the gene given by the male. The female only has X's to give. Oddly though in the world's thoughts-- women are still 'blamed' for either bearing a girl or a boy. In some places this can mean life or death for the mother and infant, or being avoided or shunned.

We here in this most materially blessed of places look at those who select against Girl-babies, and Girl-children and shake our heads in rapt judgement. "How dare they?" we say self-righteously. They don't honor their girls. That's just not FAIR!. How dare we? Because we don't honor our girls either.

The American Association of University Women has been working for years to lift up the girls so that they can do all they are meant to do. Self-esteem of young women essential so that they can stand as they should using their gifts and skills. They do not put down males and their needs but rather draw attention to the distinct needs of females.

The church I grew up in First Community Church, in Columbus, Ohio, reminded us as youth that..
"To whom much is given, much is expected." There was never any gender bias about who could do more or contribute more to the world. This applied to both the girls and boys in the church and in the youth group. We were taught that God had given us gifts and skills and that we had by chance been born into a place where we had amazing opportunity to do good in the world.

This is true. How can we in 2004 still abide with those who reinforce the image that to insult men/boys the most --you compare them to women/girls? Because 'females' continue to be the standard by which people are insulted. Look how many swear words are about abusing women. Even those that are hurled at a man are those that infer the domination of females by males.. What is this about? Why are we still so out of step with God's plan for us? Why do we allow insults to be hurled at our daughters, at all daughters, at mothers, at women and laugh it off and say, "Boys will be boys?"

Jesus, that radical male of ALL time, put aside the laws of the day that put people down and taught both women and men, we see this when females and males sat at his feet, a place of honor, and were educated about how God loved them. And yet we, who claim to be faithful, allow and encourage slander against women, by being silent in the face of national figures continuing to use language that belittles females. We laugh, and say boys will be boys. That excuse always fell empty in front of me. It is not funny. Even more importantly is it NOT a faithful stance.

Friends, here's what I've always thought. If God, who we claim to believe created us, (male and female, God created us,) had wanted females not to use the brains and life forces given, then females would simply not have had brains. Females of the human species would have been created sub-human to wait on the brainy gender. Not the case. God, remember God, God created humankind to be in partnership with one another to bring about the best we can for all the earth. No one demeaned. No one put down. Equals in this partnership so that we can praise God together. So to use language, or images, or actions that are against the female of the species is to do these things against the One who created us all.

So, tune your ears to what is being said about females in the world. Object to anything that puts one gender over another. And take care with your own words--- language has power to hurt or heal.

God abides
Bobbie McGarey