Awakening a Keen Observer

Sunday, December 31, 2006

Happy New Year

This will be the Longest New Years Day I've ever had as we are crossing the dateline in the middle. We have a long flight but it should be good. We are glad that we have had this time together as a family. With my sister in law needing all our prayer and support in the coming time we know that we will need our relationships strengthened.

So every time I wish someone a happy new year or hear it from a stranger I am reminded that truly we live in a time when we are one as a world. It is not even today is yesterday.... ok brain boggles

Be well and may this New year be one that sets you on the path that leads you to the surest peace and joy
God abides
Bobbie Giltz McGarey

Saturday, December 30, 2006


We walked down the path at the Home for children
they were orphans now claimed
and in the dust in the road we left our mark
shoes that leave imprints of brands, a check here a special soul mark there, all these ways we leave an image...

what kind of image do we leave on the rest of the world? Would that we would leave one of peace and love and generousity in our mercy for one another.
God bless you this new year 2007

God abides from day to day and year to year

Bobbie McGarey

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Christmas from here

Happy Christmas is how we wish one another the blessings of the season from North India. We are so blessed to be here with the children and they all are so pleased to see us as visitors mean that they are not forgotten.

And that is part of Christmas right? Remembering that we are not forgotten but called by name and honored as God's own... the Children in the Children's home recieved the greatest gifts, peanuts, a paper pad, pencil, a sweet and ...oh Right LOVE... but even more they give love and would give you their Gift if they thought you would recieve it.

How truly blessed we are to know that we as Christians whereever we are are not alone. God abides
We are all richly blessed.
God abide with you in the new year.
bobbie giltz mcgarey
@2006 New Delhi, India

Saturday, December 16, 2006

What? Me Worry?

A fictional character, Alfred E. Newman, was known for this exclamation. It seems like it applies to a lot of things in this world even now.
What amazed me was to read that the mudflow that we'd seen on East Java this July was still pumping out 120,000 cubic meters of hot, smelly mud...EVERY DAY. And they don't know how to stop it. They have tried everything they know so far but have been unsuccessful. It is scary for them as villages are losing the battles here and there with the mud. They have built ways to keep it back but natural rains etc have caused it to bubble over the dikes. Mud... hot mud.

There have been so many relocated and without jobs because factories where the folks worked are also be-mudded. What in the world do you do to cope with such disaster?

There are good folks working with them trying to get them to safety. It is a struggle on all fronts. The company who opened this hole is trying to make amends with a soap Opera that tells the real life story of a mud-refugee. My goodness how can that make sense?

But we often feel like these people have a life that is simple and the mud didn't take so many things. However, the things they did take no doubt were important to them.

Friends, what can you do to help someone who is stuck in the mud? Pray for the agencies trying to support them, pray for the churches in the area, pray for the church leaders. Pray for an open heart and open mind.

Thanks be to God!

God abides
Bobbie Giltz McGarey

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Present Presence

Muhammad Yunus the 2006 Nobel Peace prize winner said in his speech:
"A human being is born into this world fully equipped not only to take care of him or herself, but also to contribute to enlarging the well being of the world as a whole. Some get the chance to explore their potential to some degree, but many others never get any opportunity, during their lifetime, to unwrap the wonderful gift they were born with. They die unexplored and the world remains deprived of their creativity, and their contribution." (you can read his whole talk at

During this time of year when we think about presents and giving we find that there are certain things we just can't buy. But there are important presents we can give. This we are reminded about in the quote from Muhammad Yunus. He is the founder of the Grameen Bank, a bank that loans money to the poor and this allows these folks to live to their greatest potential.

But this present that he talks about, this wonderful gift, is one living into their fullest potential. A challenge for all of us. We are challenged to find the best in us that there can be and then to live into that potential. Our age doesn't really matter. What does matter --is that we live and give our best to the world around the people around us... to everyone we meet... and we have that opportunity to do so daily. We have an opportunity to be a witness to the Goodness of the world. The 'other' may be there but the Good will win out when we continue to live into that Goodness and share it. That means being kind and honest and gentle with ourselves and with one another. It means that we rage only against injustice and we talk first and keep talking until troubles are worked through. It means that we live our lives sharing our bounty with joy and it means that we lead the world around us and offer those around the joy we know. We are challenged to hold up our part of the world with Hope.

We can be a present presence in a world that is seemingly filled with chaos. But if we say that chaos reigns and believe it we then leave no room in our hearts and lives for HOPE and hope is what we are given in abundance in our seeing the grace and meryc of God. We live into the sure and certain knowledge of God's love for us. And the way we learn that is by giving, not receiving

Friends, what is the best you can give... well why not do it? the world will be better for you and your great gift of your best self.

God abides
Bobbie Giltz McGarey

Saturday, December 09, 2006


We aren't very good here about waiting. There is always a next thing that has to happen and when we stop, even at a long traffic light, we often become impatient because it is important that we get to that next place.
What if we would stop and wait? What if we would wait with patience being present to the moment we are in? What would that look like in our lives?
Perhaps it wouldn't change the whole world. Perhaps it wouldn't even change what we do. But just perhaps it would change how we do what we do...
What if we waited until God's good time?
Christmas is a time to wait. I remember, however, sneaking around with my cousin to find the presents hidden here and there in our grandmother's house. One year I told her I didn't want to see it. I wanted to wait till it was time. Then it would be an even more wonderful surprise. And it was.

Waiting is also being present with and for someone. We wait with friends as they get news. We wait with family as they experience trouble. We can't fix everything but we can wait.

"God abides still"
God waits
until we turn
and say that we are ready.
In God's good time
we will rejoice.

God abide with you
Bobbie Giltz McGarey

Friday, December 08, 2006


My daughter found a poem I wrote in 1970. You haven't changed the way you write, she said. We found a picture of me as a baby/young child. You haven't changed the way you look, she said.
But when I look in the mirror I see my mother's face and my daddy's eyes. I do look like them. I see her smile and her way. On occasion, more frequently than I expect, I clear my throat or laugh or place my hand as she did. I hear my daddy's voice and his humor in my own.
Have I changed in these years or have I just grown into myself? What is destiny anyway? Was there a plan that I just followed or did I venture into places unknown or unexpected?

My Daddy wrote me a letter in 1970 when I moved to Arizona. In part he said that I was taking them on this adventure to a new place. And I still think at times that they are with me in the daily adventure/venture of my life.
Have I changed? perhaps yes...perhaps no.

God abides
Bobbie Giltz McGarey


tenderly comes
the Christmas season
packed with activity like decorations in the hall
we look to the time to bring joy and peace
to bring joy and peace to all

tenderly come
the memories still sleeping
deep in our hearts from seasons gone by
family and friends bring us smiles in the memories
presents hidden in memories of childhood
as clear as that day as clear as this year

tenderly packing
the memories of this year
making a place for new ones that are sweet
making more room in the heart that is Christmas
for the One whose birth we celebrate

God abide
Bobbie Giltz McGarey

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Christmas music

While shopping the other day I was amazed at how the carols, the tradtional tunes of Christmas, can be changed to be haunting and annoying in ways I never imagined. Some were jazzed up others slooooooowed down and others just changing the key and the way it is sung....added up to almost nightmare sounds.
There seem to be certain times and places to hear such music. Sometimes it is appropriate and other times it is out of place. I think we need to help some of these businesses figure out what works for us and what doesn't.
Christmas carols are for me sacred music not background for shopping. The song "Have yourself a merry little Christmas" or "I'll be home for Christmas" are also overdone and ones that make me melancholy not ready to buy something at super special prices.

Let's have the music of the season bring us into reverence.

God abides
Bobbie Giltz McGarey

Tuesday, December 05, 2006


Once in a car on the way home from a college party one of the men in the car, not the driver, began to sing a very, uh well, shall I say unsober version of a song called Feelings.
I don't remember the song. I just remember that we all were laughing so hard the driver had to pull over in laughter. It was wonderful. And then as we thought about the fact that we were laughing heartly at his 'feelings' we paused and then he started singing again and we started laughing again.

Laughing that deep kind of belly laugh that comes all to rarely now it seems. There are so many things in the world that we acknowledge as being part of our life that it is difficult for us to laugh without feeling guilty. But laughter is a gift and it is something that we that we are required to do for health. Perhaps no more importantly required to do whne we are unwell and seeking health. Amazing really... that the human can both laugh and cry sometimes simultaneously.

We laugh until we cry -- and sometimes cry until we laugh. But most of all we want to know the release of joy into the world. Into the world that brings us most to tears. We sing and we pray and we laugh.

Sometimes we laugh when we pray. Those moments in church where we are to be the most composed and something tickles us and we just almost pop trying not to laugh. There is nothing sweeter than that feeling really. That feeling of onrushing joy that comes and overtakes us no matter our desire to hold on.. phhhphhh sometimes it bursts out and we can then do nothing at all.

There are times too when we feel like laughing when we feel like crying. Or crying into a laugher. Because the honest holding of the truth in laughter over pain is real and measurable.

My father said something at his father's wake that was just funny and I felt so badly about laughing I began to cry. My aunt thought I was just so very moved. The good thing was that I didn't have to explain. My Daddy had just said something funny. I think it tickled him. He would often in his later years laugh and cry at the same time. So seemingly overcome with laughter that he could do nothing else but cry as well as laugh. What a delight to know that this would come to us... as friends often did on Sunday afternoons to play and skate and eat and then enjoy a play their son and i had put together...on skates...

Friends in Christ, we are indeed held in loving hands. Let us get good rest, let us pray for all those whom we have named knowing you know our hearts and the words we dare not utter but which you hear as you are always listening to our hearts.
God aibdes. And in this we will place all our prayer and all our joy and all the reality of what is and the deeepest longing in our hearts.

May God abide with you. Let's count to the dday when we can be the most successful.

God abide with you.
Bobbie Giltz McGarey

Monday, December 04, 2006

The Maples Swing

The tiny house had maple trees lining the lot.
They stood high and straight
My Daddy threw a rope to the high limb
and made me a wonderful swing.
It was like no other.
It's arc was sweet and long
and you went far back and then far forward without even having to stretch your
feet or tuck them under and throw them up to get a good 'pump'.

You could swing for a long time
on one good push.
It was amazing and relaxing and I still feel the wind.

My balance has changed since then
I don't know if i could go on a swing
without getting dizzy
in my
i can feel
the power

God abides
Bobbie Giltz McGarey

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Other Side/ Far Side

When my daughter and I watched the moon rise in India on Christmas 10 years ago we realized we had seen Christmas come about 12 hours before It would come to our home in the USA. We however celebrated in the same way...
We were on the other side. It seemed at one point so far away. But then we realized, as Esther had said to me, You just need a smaller globe.
And that is what we have these days...smaller world linked by email and cell phones...and hopefully making us closer to those people on the other side who like us look up to the stars and the same moom and are warmed by the same sun and whose feet are standing on the same globe as we do. We are all reminded to hold up our piece of the sky.

Tom Freedman has written a book called the World is Flat. His theory is that this comes mostly from the fact that we are connected by economies and concerns from everywhere. What happens to a child anywhere on the earth is something that happens to one of our own. We all are together in every way.

The connections on this flat earth are amazing and we should stand in awe of our ability to communicate with others wherever they are.

So, reach out to another and we'll all reach around the world with a pattern of love and hope and peace.

God abides
Bobbie Giltz McGarey