Awakening a Keen Observer

Tuesday, April 26, 2005


My mother in law, (frankly I've always thought that sounded legal) My mother-in-heart, Gladys T. McGarey returned today from her work in Afghanistan and India. Thanks Be to God. She looks well! Tired from the work and the trip but well...renewed.
When people return we want to catch them up on where we've been too. But I realize that really what I want to know is how her experiences changed her life, what she knows now that she didn't and I want to let others know that too.

What do you know today, that you didn't know yesterday? Write it down. Share it with someone...
More soon.
God abide
Bobbie Giltz McGarey

Saturday, April 23, 2005


William carlos williams
so much depends

a red wheel

glazed with rain

beside the white
What does this mean? I heard a radio show this morning that used this poem to test some guys in a quiz. It's about a wheel barrow ...
What we See in things has become a whole industry. Reading into and over a situation sometimes we miss it alltogether.
We miss the things that are simple and pure because we rap them all in some deep meaning. It just is. life, breath, wind, sun, hope, love, laughter, birdsong, cat mews, all just ARE as they ARE.
There needs to be no deep meaning to have value. We are just because we are. We have life and purpose and joy and it is good.
you can't buy that sense of your 'whyness' you just accept it and say...yea! There's work to be done!
God abide
Bobbie Giltz McGarey

PM Gladys is in India and heading for Phoenix on Monday, Travel mercies surround her.

Friday, April 22, 2005

Friday Morning II

Last night I got up to get a little water and I looked outside and saw shadows?! It was that bright a night. How I love the full moon. Jerry Jeff Walker has on one of his really old tapes(see how old) a poem by Hondo Crouch about the Moon over Luckenback. It's wonderful.
I remember a song...O Mr. Moon, Moon, bright silver moon won't you please shine down on me... hiding behind that tree.
Moon light is not light it is reflection there-of.

Maybe there is where we get confused as people what is the true light?

Today reflect the son.
(yes this time it's not a typo)

God abide
Bobbie Giltz McGarey

ps. Mom is starting her journey home from Afghanistan and India think happy thoughts for uneventful travel as she makes the journey. Monday she gets to Arizona.

Windows open

When I was young nobody had air conditioning. We lived in Ohio and we were so happy when we got a big fan for the windows. Our house was built in the early 1950's and looked like all the other houses on the street.
If you opened your bedroom window you would like right into the bedroom window of the neighbor. My neighbor Nancy and I got into trouble when we discovered that we could whisper to each other. Apparently our defining whisper was different than her grandmothers who came upstairs and told us both to go to bed!
But they were built so that air would flow through the two upstairs bedrooms when the wind was blowing. In the spring it was so great. At night when it was cool we'd open the windows and sleep with that fresh air flowing through.
Last night in Oklahoma it was cool like that. I opened the bedroom window but there really isn't a cooresponding window on the other side of the house to open so that the air can flow through. It wasn't windy, almost odd for Oklahoma, but it was just the right temperature. Deep sigh.
I woke a couple of times but when I smelled the fresh air it was so good. Don't misunderstand I'm spoiled for airconditioning in the summer. (here it starts now) and that is good. And air-conditioning keeps out the dust, and we have that in Ok, and it keeps out the pollen, and we have THAT too in Oklahoma, but it also keeps out that sweet fresh air.
I don't take fresh air for granted. Not all big towns have it worthy of enjoying. But here, in April in Oklahoma, what a great way to breathe.

Oh and Happy Earth Day. Remember we are all in this together....

God abides
Bobbie Giltz McGarey

Thursday, April 21, 2005

written by hand

Good day. It has been a long time since I've gotten a letter written by hand. Oh wonderful people have written thank you notes etc., but a long letter? I tried the other day to write and realized that I am not much good at writing anymore. I make mistakes and want to start again and then that takes time and paper. On the computer you can backspace and move from one change to another, cutting and pasting things. It is amazing I think how that works.

But there are things that have to be signed and written by hand. Legal documents, promise notes, birthday cards.

Here's what I'm thinking
Let's take time today with our communication as if it came from a letter written by hand. May your thoughts considered before spoken or written, taking time to form words/letters, especially the salutation.

Deep breath.

God is in the midst if it and God will not be moved.

God abide
Bobbie Giltz McGarey

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

When 'Just Because' isn't enough

Years ago we knew a young man who really wrestled with his faith. There was never one answer to a question about faith, Jesus, the Bible stories, the Bible itself, how and why we did everything we did in the church. He was completely faithful about his wrestelings. He went to an adult class and really troubled the people. The literature they used to guide them only raised many questions for him, which he asked. One of the members of the class complained, "He asks so many questions we can't finish one lesson!:" I asked him what was their basic goal in this class? He said it was one which had said it was one where people could think together about matters of faith. I asked how that description of the class and this young man's questions were different. The class member paused and said.... there is no difference... and he walked away. The Young Man came into the office a few weeks later and said it was obvious to him his questions puzzled people. So he came to talk to us more.
He was baptized because after all his wresteling he did come to see God's grace and love at work in his life and brining him joy and strength. His 'affirmation' 'profession of his faith in Jesus as his own Savior was amazing.
He died about three weeks after this profession from a chronic disease... Resting in the arms of God.

How do we so easily say yes when someone says...Believe this... be it a politician or a religious leader? If we cannot wrestle with the consequences of our actions or of a rule of law are we putting aside our own good God given wisdom. If God only wanted one person to have brains to make decisions then the rest of us would be mindless wonders. There would have been a species of rulers not a planet packed with children of God, created in God's image.

As many have said before, John Williams at Austin College for one, God gave us brains and expects us to use them.

have a good day
Bobbie Giltz McGarey

Tuesday II

John and I both woke early this morning and were in the living room drinnking our coffee and tea and had the news on the tv. My goodness, how I really didn't want to hear anything about the horrible troubles people have with death and violence, with the depression and chaos and the hope lost here and there.
In the middle of this we were talking about concerns we had for people and what we could do to help. In our talking we were praying about their troubles, and how we in the midst of them, can be helpful.

I came home after exercise to finish up the report to a Chamber of Commerce thursday and turned on the tv on the side and saw the announcement that the Cahtolic church has elected a Pope. Benedict. All I know about Benedict is the rule...
So is that what we will see in teh church, prayer, isolation? what will theis benedict look like.

May God bring you peace an dmay chaos disappear and be filled with a clear bule sky understanding of the world and the world's love for you.

God abide
Bobbie Giltz McGarey

Ten Years

We got a call ten years ago today from one of our members who said, turn on the tv, there are horrible things happening. We were in Utah and turned on the tv and watched the coverage of the bombing in OKC. Now ten years later we live in Oklahoma.

There is a piece of the building in the church. So that people remember.
I know there will be a lot of musings. And the THEY who did this were really part of us. Not some foreign entity.

Schools know all too well how the outcasts and those who are bullied sometimes turn to violence to be heard.

Who do you know who lives their lives without a voice? Without someone to speak for them. Who do you know who needs to have someone listen to them?

Yesterday I passed a jail with all the men outside, playing basketball, standing around looking at the world, razor wire on the tip of the fence. and I thought... When did I see you hungry, or in prison? That quote from Jesus about caring for him through the least of these.

Could someone listening have helped the anger in the bomber of the Murrah bilding not turn to violence or revenge?

Let's listen to each other. deeply.

God abide
Bobbie Giltz McGarey

Sunday, April 17, 2005


My Grandmother Giltz was a rug weaver. Have i told you this before? Grace, Grace would make rugs with colors that she had, with materials she had and also with some she got from friends. I have a picture somewhere of her holding a rug with a large scene on it. I think her daughter Janet had that rug.
We put together the colors of our lives in ways that make sense to us. And we do the best we can with our weavings of our gifts and our faults and when it all comes together it is beautiful, at least in the Eye of God.
Stand therefore every day knowing that this day will be part of that weaving. Let each day be something you do to make the world a wonderful place.

God abide with you and happy Monday
Bobbie Giltz McGarey

like a mockingbird at midnight

Here I am working on a project for next week. The front door is wide open becausee the air is just right temperature. And then I heard it, not but a minute ago, a mockingbird singing it's song, loud and sunrise clear. But wait, it is 12:40am. It is far from dawn, and yet the bird sings.
Could it be the brightness of the half moon on it's way to full? Could it be a song sung like so many we have, a plea in the dark to God's grace? Like a psalm to God's love begging to be heard... Hear it, it sings again and again.
Do you think I hear it so clearly now because there is not a lot of peripherial noise, just the bird and a little music I have on to make it peaceful? .
Years ago I had an independent study in college. I did a search of the literature on the Mocking bird family. There are several cousins. One of the 200 articles i read
But I clearly remember one account of a woman who had a 'midnight mocker" and who got so crazy by the singing in the middle of the night she shot it. Only to find out two nights later that apparently a mate came and sat on her window and sang as loud as the mate that died.
She learned to love it.

sing yourself like a mockingbird at midnight. live your life a little pace from a fear-feeding and fear-fed word.
sing your life into the glory you know God planted in you.

So many questions, so few answeres.
to say.

God abide
Bobbie Giltz McGarey

Saturday, April 16, 2005

Direction Home

, Spiritual Direction is different from counseling in O so many ways. But it can be part of ones growing and learning about their relationship to God and God's wide open arms (i accidently just typed Wild open arms and perhaps that is more accurate) anyway--Gods wide open arms welcoming us back home to the home we maybe never knew we left but have been searching for ever since.

Tilden Edwards the director of the Shalem foundation, one of my heros, wrote.

"My spiritual practice invites the window of my soul to open, letting out the love that is in me to the Love that is beyond me. That is enough. More than that is gift. A

nd yet I know how much I want the gifts that Hafiz identifies to enlarge my heart and allow me to be a more responsive vessel of those qualities in the world I touch. Our world at every level is so profoundly in need of realizing its true nature in God, with all the fruits of this realization for the way we live together as an inclusive family. "

I really like the way that this is said... letting out the love that is in me to the LOVE that is beyond me. more than enough, more than that is a gift.

Give a gift to someone you meet today. Let them know that you are loving them because God loves you and has given you the possibility to be as you were created to be.

Coming home from Ft. Worth TX to Duncan, we stoped several times along the road to take pictures of the wild flowers. I imagine some will be like taking pictures of fall leaves, great in person, not so spectacular from a small photo. You have to get up close to them to make them really come alive. So we did hunker down a couple of times and take pictures. We'll see how they come out.
In the meantime, keep your eye open for that gift blooming where no one else might see it and enjoy it to the fullest.

God abide
Bobbie Giltz McGarey

Thursday, April 14, 2005

Gentle Spirit

Have you ever known anyone that you would say has a 'gentle spirit'? I hope you have. I hope you will find them as a part of your life. These GS folks are just wonderful and such a gift to the world. And you know, usually, they aren't the ones that are most visible in their worlds. They are instead. They are usually in the middle of everything. And in that middle bring peace where there is chaos spinning from opposite sides. They bring to their world a sense of peace.

And you know that really what people should understand is that they could themselves become this GS kind of person. The kind of person who stands in the middle and who breathes, and reminds others to breath, and who then brings us joy. Joy because we are feeling that peace they share.

What if you listed yourself as.. Your Name, GS
And what if every day you worked harder and harder to become that GS each day getting better at it.
I think Jesus was a GS. Now don't misunderstand what I'm saying he was not passive, he just stood in the middle of the world and say, breathe, and feel my breath and gift of the Holy Spirit, and let's get on with the work that God has for us to do.

Good luck on the GS thing!
God abide
Bobbie Giltz McGarey GS in training

Wednesday, April 13, 2005


Some man took a picture of his cat and put it on the web. Someone saw it and took a picture of their cat looking at the first cat. Now over 800 cat's later this webpage still grows ( I don't think you can look at it and not smile.
I mean really. How can you not smile when you see this. And imagine all those cats looking at the pictures.... and all the people who've enjoyed it. It makes me smile just ot think of it.
It's relaxing
Give it a try for something differnt.
Smile and breath.
God abide
Bobbie Giltz McGarey


Sixteen days not many
the child walked beside her father
and watched his stride so long from hers
she stretched her legs to keep up
to be with him
because he was
her father.

How do we mark time? By the days or the length of stride. By the length of the sun or the length of the night? We move carefully through the time.

Sixteen days is not many
the baby held in her arms
wanting so much for be kept there forever protected and nourished safe from harm of the world
so that they will be ok
and because
she/he is
her child.

How do we mark time? By days or hours a'rocking? By joy and by laugter by little strengths and steps celebrated over time. Carefully through the time

Sixteen days not many
but perhpas
just perhaps
just enough.

bobbie giltz mcgarey


Ok there was a bad country song some years ago...Here's your sign. But what I am talking about are the affirmations we get when we are on the right track. How we do this? We make decisions about the big choices in our lives and then we pray that God will let us know if this is right. Usually that affirmation comes from our firends. Sometimes strangers give us a gift of affirmation. Sometimes it is something we read.
A friend of mine was once trying to decide if it was time for her to move back to where her family came from. She started praying about it and suddenly, seemingly out of the blue-- Montana started running advs on the television. She said she'd think about whether she should go home and there would be that Adv again. Montana was her home.

Looking for the way of God is important. God has a plan for your life. Follow that plan. Make each decision with God's plan in mind. Is it for the Good? Is it what God wants it to be? It is what I do. What next? Ask God? What should we do about.... Ask God. When should I ... ask God. How can I help..... Ask God. All these things are part of who we are. God's own.

God is calling

God abide
Bobbie Giltz McGarey

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

There's work to be done

Several folks have responded to my writing about Aunt Dorcas and Uncle KM John and I thank them for their words. I remember the first time I met them, Uncle John had never met a woman pastor and he came bounding up to meet me. He was interested and really quite kind. In fact I was honored that he asked me to return thanks the second meal we shared together.
But more than that, and more than the wonderful food, I remember at the end of the meal Aunt Dorcas with the care one takes handling find china, scraped the grains of rice from the serving bowl into a bowl that would either be saved or shared, or both. Not a grain remaind- not one--someone was hungry...somewhere.

And I remember that as I throw away food that we cook and it's extra and we don't eat because have something else the next day. And I rememberr that action as I think that I have time to just sit and play computer games for a few minutes ( or longer) because I deserve to rest. And I remember that action as I fritter time away in oh so many ways.

There is nothing to be lost, all is to be given away, time, gifts, love, hope.

Ok I'm not saying that we are to be slave drivers in all we do to ourselves or that sabbath rest isn't important, no it is essential. Perhaps in days that are particulary full Sabbath time should perhaps indeed-- come daily. A breath here and there a way to be the people that God created us to be. Perhaps a walk in the springtime without cell phone or distraction.

Deep Sigh,

In my last D.Min class we talked about some of the 'saints' Christian leaders who had gone before and some of the things we remember them for, for some of the things they said... I asked the group what they might want to be remembered for... It came to me that i would like to be remembered (at least right now) for saying...
"God abide, there's work to be done! "
What might yours be? Ponder that a while.

Look around
There is work to be done for the kingdom.

Not a grain was wasted, no prayer not said, no hope not shared, no love not given away. Life in its fullness Thanks be to God.

God abides
Bobbie Giltz McGarey


Sunday, April 10, 2005

it is what is

What is it we deserve? I think that this is a quesiton we all ought to ask ourselves. What do we deserve as individuals? as families? as churches? as a country?
Well the world is beginning to tell others what they deserve and there are two things that seem to be in line to be struggled over. Food is one and Water the other.
Does everyone have a right to food? to clean water or water of any kind? or can companies come in and buy up all of it, the rights to it and then in the case of water, take it into their plant put it in bottles and sell it back to the people? And if it is water that would be used to water the plants in the fields what happens then to their food? not food for millions but food for their families and to trade with their friends.
my goodness.
Have you ever had the water cut off to your house for some repair? Don't you immediately want to shower, or drink some water, or wash some clothes?
We do take so much for granted.
Water, food, food, water. The ability to buy food. We are so blessed that every time we go to the grocery stores with way to many choices, we should be laughing with glee.
We should be smiling all the time because we are people of plenty, and more than enough.
What do we deserve? The same as everyone else in the world. Together. No more, no less. And if we happen to have more than our neighbor, we should help them catch up.
The early church in the book of Acts challenges us to be much more compassionate and willing to share. Check it out. It is revolutionary. but then, so was/ so is Jesus Christ.

God abides
There's work to be done!
Bobbie Giltz McGarey

Friday, April 08, 2005

Knock Knock

My mother is working in a third world country where the Christian faith is present but hidden. She called saying they were going to church when they got the call about where Church was being held. Each week they changed the place where they met and then would have their service when everyone arrived. We are always impressed by that aren't we? We who think so often that church is a building should rethink our definition of church.. That there is ONE place 'church' is our own invention. Church is the gathering of believers ready to praise God for God's good graces toward the world.

We are always impressed with this different paradigm of church. We are always surprised that THIS is what Church is in other placees. It is a gathering of those who no matter the risk or the worry the trouble or the place --- church is there and is truly the people in a folded hand, protected.

We build big elaborate buildings so we can 'be church' but when you Go to church in this other country, as in many countries, you do so to be with the people who love Jesus so much they will take risks to say think you to God. And in all their lives this is how they live. You love the church as deeply and with a true understanding of God's community.

Knock knock... Who is it? Welcome to the church you believer in Jesus thanks be to God. come is my home... you are graciously welcomed.

Thanks be to God, let us take nothing gor granted.
God abide
There's work to be done
Bobbie Giltz McGarey


It is my cousin's birthday, Gail, and it is my nephew's birthday, Gabriel. She is older than he, by a bunch. They've only met once some years ago when he came through Virginia on the way to a reunion. Same day, different people.

birthday's are like that really when you think about it. They mark the passing of time. When you've had 58 before, as with Gail, you remember some, but not oall.
I remember when Gabriel was born in AZ because I was there, with the rest of the birthing team, and watched his first breath. It was amazing, it was awesome. the wind had blown hard until the moment he was born and then it stopped. His Aunt Helene and I were crying... but it was an awesome moment.
That first breath. amazing.
And so on birhtdays we celebrate that first breath and pray that there are millions and millions and millions more that come to them...
God abide
Bobbie Giltz McGarey

Thursday, April 07, 2005


James Cardinal Hickey said at the funeral service for Mother Teresa:
?Indeed, a trustful faith expressed in loving deeds is the central theme of Mother Teresa’s entire life. She lived what we just proclaimed in the Book of Wisdom: "Those who trust [in the Lord] shall understand truth and the faithful will abide with Him in love."?

That Abiding thing is something I think about and write about often. Because it means being with and beside and involved in and part of Jesus' love in the world. Because when Jesus abidees with us and we weith him it is a joy beyond measure. Just becausee.
We abide with God iin this amazing love and we are transformed by it. So if we are transformed, we want the world to seem different. We want the world to BE different. We want even more for the world to be transformed as well because we want life to be good for everyone.
The Pope, John Paul II, transformed the world in so many ways. He changed Poland and the world because communism ended by his action. No bomb, no gun, nothing violent, love and determination that people should be free. We should learn form this. Let us be changed by the love of God all around us.

Trust undersand and abide.
Deep sigh
we have work to do.
Thanks Be to God
God Abide

Bobbie Gitlz McGarey

Tuesday, April 05, 2005


At the Beginning of the HBO film about Rwanda and the horrible fighting and genocide was this quote

in the end we will not remember the harsh words of our enemies
But the silence of our firends.

When have we kept silent when we should have spoken. Perhaps often we say that we should be silent and not talked, But what we realize is that there are times, and Jesus teaches us to do this, there are times when we need to speak on behalf of others. We have to know that we, who are powerful and with voice, need to speak out for those who have no voice. Who are not heard because they don't know how to speak to power.

Speaking Truth to power is something we are given the responsibility to do. We have to speak to the powers that hold over others their 'right' 2over the rights of others. I think that is a test of what is good or not good, if it is ever a form of Power Over then it is not what God teaches us to do. We are to care for one another and to love one another and recognize we are all equal in God's eyes.

Silence will speak against us as much as words.

Silence will speak about our apathy and our fear and our lack of courage.

Be courageous, speak speak for those who have no voices.

God abide
There's work to be done.
Bobbie Giltz McGarey
@ 2005

Beautiful Sunset

I was driving home tonight and the sun went behind a cloud and kept it from shining straight in my eyes. It helped. Then later as I kept on I looked west and the sun had come out through the clouds making those surrounding the sun bright pink and blue. Then it set a second time.
It was beautiful.
I wished I could have stopped and watched it but the traffic kept me from getting to watch it set.

Don't you think that we should have time for sunsets? Time for things to settle out. To end the day. A friend of mine would have his class say goodnight to the day by tracing the horizon wherever they were and then do the same in the morning. Putting ourselves in the middle of the earth. Putting ourselves as a part of creation. Being part of the creation we live our lives more centered and joyful more grounded and alive.

Live your life tracing your place in the middle of the world.
This is where you are.
God has put you HERE.

God abide
Bobbie Giltz McGarey

Monday, April 04, 2005


The dawn comes, the sun rises the world turns, and all continues. When you are in the middle of sadness it is diffiicult some times to understand how this could be. We have friends whose Father is waiting to make the transition to new life and somehow the life force in him is so strong he can't quite let go, and it comes in God's good time. The family waits by his side, 'midwives' into this new life. labor, long, and moving at it's own pace.

Family still grieves over the loss of dear ones in India. People whose lives changed the lives of so many others by living God's call to be servants. So many memories of their time with me less than three days total but a HUGE influence on my life. And I've shared it with so many others.

A famous national one has also died and his passing is surrounded with pomp and ritual. Not for him but to unify others who followed him. It is awesome to see the world focused on a faithful person, wheter I have always agreed with him or not.
TV allows the world to kneel together. Would that we not just say he was a man of peace, but live that all of us.

Dawn comes, the birds sing and life goes on.

God in your good time let your light shine on all people with your love.
God abide

Saturday, April 02, 2005


I got word today that both Uncle KM John and Aunt Dorcas in India died the 30th of march and the 1st of april. They are a huge loss to the world we know.
You may not have met them. They changed, saved, countless lives with their love, and with their blessing. They shared the good news of God's love for us in Chrsit with incredible faithfulness all through their lives. They are two of Christ's children now enfolded in his loving healing arms. They weren't old. They were in their 60's and 70's if I can figure it right, They lived in Varanasi and later with their son Matthew in Kotagiri. Their son Ben runs the church of Varanasi, (Benares) now. But the testimony of their lives will live long beyond them.
They knew God's love for them in Jesus. Dorcas, found by workers and raised by Aunt Belle and Grandma Taylor, a Graduate of Sterling College in Kansas, USA, and always a witness for Jesus.
The last I saw her she was so delicate and wonderful. The time before she sat in the yard by her church and people came to her to ask her wisdom and guidence for their lives. I felt as if I sat in the presence of Deborah the Judge, for her wisdom often called the people to continued and even stronger faithfulness to the Gospel and to Jesus. Her life touched my in so many ways.
Deep breath.
And joyous knowledge that her suffering is over, she took care of 'DAD" as long as she needed. and then moved on herself.
Thanks be to God for her sons, and their children, Ben and Susan and Matthew.... and all
God abide
Bobbie Giltz McGarey

Friday, April 01, 2005


"i believe that I shall see the Goodness of God in the land of the living. Wait, for God. be patient... Wait"

There was a sweet little lady in the nursing home in Utah where we would hold services once a month who said..."I've got a question for you....Did GDD FORGET ME?"
It must have felt that way to her because so many of her friends were gone. Her husband and two of her children. She thought maybe God forgot.
We assured and re assured her that God knew her by name and would call her home as she said God would do, in God's good time.
A friend told me the other day about a man who had been in the room across from her husband who kept crying out, for hours, "God come bring your chariot and take me home!" over and overe and over. Finally a kindly but astute and obviously faithful nurse said to him, "Darlin' Don't you iknow God's a busy person and he'll come and get you as soon as God can." She said it with authority. He settled down, and God came about two hours later.

We wait, but we wait in the sure and certain knowledge of God's incredible love for us.
Thanks be to God

God abide
There's work to be done!

Bobbie Giltz McGarey


I had a friend whose young son would talk about flying. He was sure he could. He asked me if I could fly? I told him that I always thought I could. He said, "HOW?" how did I fly? I said that i flew sitting up on a carpet. He said he flew out like he was swimming or diving. We enjoyed our conversation.
There are times however when things go well for us in such a manner that we feel like we are flying. Like all obstacles have melted away. That they are no longer real. they are an image.
how do we do this?
How do we fly at will, when we want to?

We look to others to help us fly, to 'give us wings'. But those things, those loosened fetters has to come from us...then God will give us the ability to Get to whereever we need most to be.
Flying up to reach our loved ones...
moving fast.
no feet on the ground.

I'm flying...way up hingh in the sky...i'm flying...thanks peter pan!
God abides
Bobbie Gitlz McGarey