Gary Barkalow

Curiosity in Calling

Curiosity in Calling

Much of our life is designed to be navigated by curiosity.  We certainly were curious when we were younger. For many of us, our curiosity was pushed aside by practicality and busyness, making mystery an annoyance rather than an adventure. Curiosity is such an important and informative thing.  Perhaps a more compelling word would be fascination.  We are to live fascinated by God, by his...

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When Your World Has Been Shaken By Betrayal

When Your World Has Been Shaken By Betrayal

Continuation of Sidelined by Betrayal (click here for Part 1) What do we do when we have been betrayed (or at least it feels like it) by a friend or a ministry – when our whole world has been shaken? Paul tells us, “See to it that you do not refuse Him who speaks…’Once more I will shake not only the earth but also the heavens.’ …the removing of what can be shaken—that is,...

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Sidelined by Betrayal

Sidelined by Betrayal

What causes us to become sidelined with our calling, with the life we were created to live that brings life to others?  Among the possible reasons, one that appears most frequent and devastating is betrayal – in friendship, in work, in church or ministry. Betrayal, or at least the sense of betrayal, wounds at the deepest level – trust.  It can diminish, if not destroy, our ability...

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Underestimating the Power of Our Lives

Underestimating the Power of Our Lives

The city of Los Angeles hosted the 1984 Summer Olympics. The world was watching what the entertainment capital of the world would do with the opening and closing ceremonies. During this time, I was running a gymnastics center in the L.A. area. The choreographers came to our gym asking if we had adult male gymnasts who could perform in the opening ceremonies. We had the gymnasts, and because of...

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To Dream Again

To Dream Again

For the past several years, I’ve hated being ask, “what are you doing these days?”. I experience a degree of dread when I feel the question coming. I’ve often wondered why? My life hasn’t fallen apart; everything is pretty much intact, though tough at times. I recently realized why that question causes me so much consternation. The answer came with the convergence...

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Ready to role up your sleeves and do this?

Ready to role up your sleeves and do this?

No matter how well put-together our life is, we still wonder if there is more: more purpose, more passion, and a more vibrant relationship with God. We wonder, “Does God speaks to someone like me? Does he give a significant purpose for someone like me?  Is there more?” The answer to these questions is, absolutely yes! As writers, speakers, and personal advisors, we have helped thousands of...

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A little help over here, please!

A little help over here, please!

I’ve noticed over the years how often we associate God’s involvement or anointing with something that is large in size, scope, budget and growth.  None of us would consciously admit this correlation, being aware of the stories of men and women of faith throughout the ages.  And, knowing that there has been many “successful” individuals, organizations and companies...

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Keep Exploring by Berry Simpson

Keep Exploring by Berry Simpson

As strange as it sounds, I don’t have a list of New Year’s Resolutions this year. It may be the first time in twenty years I haven’t published a list. Not because I’ve been so resolutely successful accomplishing all my past lists that I no longer have anything left to do, but because this is a landmark year for me and it’s put me to reflecting rather than goal setting. In 2016 I will...

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If Only or But Now

If Only or But Now

If you’re thinking about the calling on your life, then you’re thinking strategically. An essential part of the discovery process is looking back at your life strategically or analytically, in order to discovery clues about your calling through the things you’ve loved and the things you didn’t, the things that wounded you and their inherent messages, the people that came into...

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Your Life Matters

Your Life Matters

We (I) often wonder, Does my life matter? We look at the lives of others, usually those who are most visible because of their accomplishments, accolades, or accumulation, and seriously doubt if our life has or will matter. Leigh and I just watched It’s A Wonderful Life for the 30th time, at least.  One of the reasons this movie has endured for 68 years is that it speaks to this universal...

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When God hits the reset button

When God hits the reset button

We’ve all had the experience with our smart-phone, tablet or computer when it didn’t act like it was supposed to.  It stopped doing something it was designed to do or it started doing something that didn’t make sense. The remedy is usually to simply shut down and restart your device – to perform a RESET.  By doing this we force all the programs that are actively or passively...

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“Get up and win that race!”

“Get up and win that race!”

As I was listening to a friend’s story to help him find the vein of gold that runs through his life, I remembered a poem that a mentor gave me years ago.  I thought that God had brought this to my memory for my friend’s sake, but I later discovered it was also for me.  Maybe, primarily for me. Because it has been so meaningful to me over the years, I want to share it with you....

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Fighting Your Way Through

Fighting Your Way Through

Many years ago Brent Curtis, (friend, counselor, author of The Sacred Romance) told me that sometimes we are not motived to seek help, healing, rescue or change despite the pain we are in until we realize the pain it’s causing others. Sometimes the unhealthy, dark, depressed, isolated or resigned place that we occasionally find ourselves in can feel “at home,” familiar, deserved,...

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10 Seconds To Justify My Existence

10 Seconds To Justify My Existence

When I’ve thought about the result or fruit of my labor, it’s been in terms of my effect on a situation or cause (external realities). But lately, I’ve realized that there is another sphere that experiences the effect of my labor – my heart, my internal life (internal realities). Work, labor, toil, effort is not an option in this life. There are problems to solve, relationships to...

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I’ve Been Put On The Shelf

I’ve Been Put On The Shelf

I received these honest and relatable thoughts from two different individuals a day apart. “I feel heavy, depressed and weighed down at work. The only thing I’m interested in is spirituality, God and anything to do with God, I devour books on God, but I can’t see my vein of gold in all of this. Do you have any suggestions, anything I should be doing to get to the core of what...

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“What you’re doing won’t amount to anything” ???

“What you’re doing won’t amount to anything” ???

By Dan Ainsworth, Wilderness Preacher Study this picture and you’ll see that is not a limb growing out of this tree, but it is an entirely different tree growing in a most difficult situation. Both trees are very old. The net fencing at the bottom of the tree was put there during my papaw’s time of farming. The barbed wire fencing has been nailed onto the tree over several decades. The top...

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Maturity is not the absence of struggle

Maturity is not the absence of struggle

Last October (2014) one of Gary Barkalow’s sessions at the Base Camp Gathering was on Becoming Steady. Here is a 7 minute abridged video of his talk. Key points covered in this video: “The glory of the young is their strength; the gray hair of experience is the splendor of the old.” Prov. 20:29 NLT We often feel lost in-between the “glory of the young” and the...

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Feeling Good About Feeling Bad

Feeling Good About Feeling Bad

A courageous friend of mine wrote this “confession” on FaceBook and asked for feedback: “I’ve tried to discover my calling or purpose or dream or whatever for decades and have failed miserably. It is nearly impossible for me to dream or look positively toward the future. I’m ….. years old and …. and …… yep I’ve got every excuse in the book and a...

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3 Essentials in 90 Seconds about How to Find Your Calling

3 Essentials in 90 Seconds about How to Find Your Calling

If I had just 90 seconds to help you find your calling, this is what I’d say: 1. Understand your context There is always a context, a setting, a story. We misunderstand situations, others, our own life when we simply look at a moment without understanding the context, the Greater Story that is going on. There is always more going on than meets the eye. Part of the Greater Story is about our...

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Are you shrinking?

Are you shrinking?

Have you ever caught yourself slouching – standing or sitting smaller than you actually are?  I do quite often now-a-days.  I’m occasionally alerted to my poor posture when I see a picture that somebody’s taken of me in a casual, unaware moment. When I force myself to straighten up I feel taller, lighter, stronger and more vibrant. I’m guessing that right now...

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How to Live with Peril & Prospect

How to Live with Peril & Prospect

Several years ago I helped a good friend with his pheasant hunt retreat in South Dakota.  Each morning and afternoon we would walk through the fields, 26-men wide, with loaded shotguns in hand and dogs scouring the tall grass and cornstalks in front of us.  We would stop occasionally to shore up the line. One particular time as I looked to my right and left it dawned on me that what we were...

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Never Disqualified from God’s Guidance

Never Disqualified from God’s Guidance

Several years ago I took my wife to Sonoma, California for our 30th wedding anniversary to celebrate the beauty of our marriage in the beauty of wine-country. It seemed very fitting since Jesus’ first miracle of turning water into extraordinary wine was His demonstration that He could turn what is ordinary into something extraordinary and intoxicating. (John 2) We flew into the San Francisco...

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Fires of Sorrow

Fires of Sorrow

Thinking about my own life and recent conversations, I realize that the older we get and the more of our life we can observe, the more regret or sorrow we may experience. For some, this sorrow develops into renewed desire and resolve. For others, this regret often develops into despair and resignation. Most people try to mute sorrow’s voice, concerning certain aspects of their lives, with...

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How To Discover Your Cause

How To Discover Your Cause

There is something we love to offer; some particular, powerful way that we see, hear and/or perceive.  When we are aware and clear on what we have to offer (our glory: brilliance, strength, beauty, splendor, abundance) we can be far more discerning as to what opportunities we are to take or what tasks we need to release.  We know how God has gifted us and whether our glory is needed in a...

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Going in Circles, but Spiraling Upwards

Going in Circles, but Spiraling Upwards

Over the years I have had individuals tell me, with a degree of embarrassment, that they still aren’t sure what their calling is or if they are in the right place. I find that the older a person is, the more honest and perceptive they are about their heart and life…and the more shame they feel about their uncertainty. Permit me to shed some light on our collective experiences. Everybody...

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9 Ideas That Will Get You Unstuck

9 Ideas That Will Get You Unstuck

Over the years I have met many gifted, aware, devoted people who felt lost, stuck or paralyzed in the pursuit of their calling. Then, of course, I have my own paralysis. Every story and conversation about this issue has caused me to ask “why”. We have all acted out of what we have believed (be it falsehood or truth) or what we have owned about ourselves at a deep heart level.  So, here are...

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Our Opposing Realities

Our Opposing Realities

It’s amazing and frustrating how opposing realities can exist simultaneously – and this tension can often create a great deal of confusion. As I have observed and thought about this reality, I find that these tensions are both inevitable and necessary. Here’s my short list. Aggressive and Waiting We must not call an unwillingness to move – waiting on God. Nor should we design...

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You’d Be Surprised

You’d Be Surprised

Every once in a while I run across a line that halts me in my tracks (or sometimes my ruts) with a sense of “I’m speaking to you, Gary”.  This was one of those thoughts: You have to be brave with your life so that others can be brave with theirs.”  Brene Brown It’s very easy and usual for us to be sloppy and shielded with our life because it’s our life and it...

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Living Out Loud

Living Out Loud

“If you ask me what I came to do in this world, I, an artist, will answer you: I am here to live out loud.” ― Émile Zola (French writer) Several years ago, at another point of bewilderment (mystery) about my life and calling, I asked God for specific understanding about what I was to do. Instead of hearing a list of to-dos, I heard, “Live like an artist.”  Once again, God...

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Strenuously Pursue, Don’t Dabble

Strenuously Pursue, Don’t Dabble

We are currently in the middle of the Sochi Winter Olympics. As I’ve been watching these Olympic Games, I’ve thought about the strength that these athletes possess. Olympians display a specific strength that they’ve developed and honed for a particular event. As we hear their back-stories, we realize how precisely they’ve trained over a long period of time. Where I went with these...

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Does Your Exceptionalness Make You Lonely?

Does Your Exceptionalness Make You Lonely?

The thing that makes you exceptional, if you are at all, is inevitably that which must also make you lonely.” from the Broadway play, A Raisin In The Sun I heard this quote on a Christian radio talk show recently with the host asking listeners if they thought this was true. Caller after caller agreed with this idea, sharing their stories of loneliness. Aloneness IS a big deal. As I’ve...

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2 Essentials to Walk Out Your Calling

2 Essentials to Walk Out Your Calling

There is much growing up that we need to do and much that God is up to in our journey of discovering, developing and delivering our calling. This week, as I was praying for myself and for a friend, God spoke two words: courage and humility. I’ve been wondering why those two words. Courage and humility seems particularly critical in the days that we are living in and seem intrinsically linked...

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You Know Something We Don’t

You Know Something We Don’t

Blessed are your eyes, because they see; and your ears, because they hear.” This is what Jesus said to his disciples, the ones who knew, believed and followed Him, and this is what He says to you.  This verse speaks to us an immensely core and powerful truth.  It is in this arena of “seeing” and “hearing” that most of us get side-lined and therefore do not see our calling and our...

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The Never Ending Dream of Home

The Never Ending Dream of Home

Guest blog by Jeff Andrechyn. This is the busiest time of the year at US Airways where we capitalize on the unassailable human desire to return home; and nothing activates this homing beacon we all carry better than the holidays. We fly college students, young families with their little ones, and soldiers home. They will risk being hurled into the atmosphere in a thin metal tube surrounded by...

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Canyon Lesson video-blog

Canyon Lesson video-blog

Last week, when I needed to momentarily get away from the swirl of my thoughts and activities, I explored an open-space area near me.  I was out of earshot of my email, calendar, texts and to-do list hoping to encounter beauty and silence.  What I encountered was God’s voice in an unexpected way. This 2 minute video, titled Canyon Lesson, brings you into what I saw, thought and...

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An Uninvited, Unannounced, Frequent Guest

An Uninvited, Unannounced, Frequent Guest

I had an uninvited guest stay with me for several days last week. His visits are frequent and unannounced. His presence is initially disturbing and eventually pleasant. This guest’s name is Unsettledness and his presence stirs these desires: I don’t want to dabble my life away. I want to finish my life swinging for the fence. I want to be on a mission that’s significant and that...

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Short Line or Long Line?

Short Line or Long Line?

A friend shared a quote that both intrigued and inspired me. The greatest good you can do for another is not just to share your riches, but to reveal his own.” Benjamin Disraeli It’s far easier to share our riches of understanding, experience and resources than it is to help another discover who they really are and what God has already given them.  We can only help someone in this deeper...

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Where We All Get Stuck

Where We All Get Stuck

John Wooden said, “Don’t let what you cannot do interfere with what you can do.” This is such a profound and helpful piece of advise.  So often we won’t explore, try or offer because of something we “can’t do”.  We say things like: I can’t get my church to endorse me. I can’t get certified in this field. I can’t afford to build my own...

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Thorn Bush or Vine?

Thorn Bush or Vine?

Does it feel like each week is an opportunity for God to uncover the “good stored up in your heart” or to reveal the disappointment you have been and will be? I’m sure we have all frequently felt the latter and occasionally felt the former. Jesus’ words in Luke 6:43-45 should be very hopeful and encouraging as followers of Jesus Christ, but for many of us they can bring a sense of...

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Detangling Your Thoughts About Your Calling

Detangling Your Thoughts About Your Calling

(The Blog-On-Video is at the bottom of this page) It seems so hard to “nail down” what our calling is and what we should do. A short while back, I attended a Branding conference put on by Free Agent Academy, of which I’m one of their professors.  I was there as an attendee, not a presenter.  The Branding professor asked us to write out a very brief description (elevator speech) for our...

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We Can, We Must

We Can, We Must

(The blog-on-video is at the bottom of the page.) It’s amazing how encouraging and comforting hearing the phrase “me too” can be. I’ve had the opportunity to say “me too” many times over the past year as friends have told me of their fear, weariness and discouragement concerning their work, their calling and their future. I use to think that the fear and...

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This May Be Your On-Ramp

This May Be Your On-Ramp

(This blog on video is at the bottom of this page) So often my heart goes to “God, do something – show me what you want me to do, open a door, make a way.” Then there is silence and stillness…seemingly. Holding on to the truth that God does guide, counsel, provide and create, I wonder if I miss His answers and interventions. After all, God said, “I will instruct you and teach...

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Beyond Our Dreams, Not Our Desires

Beyond Our Dreams, Not Our Desires

I had a chance to get an update on a friend’s story early this summer. (It was at our new It’s Your Time Weekend). I was struck by the interaction of God in his life. I was both inspired and enlightened by it. Michael Williams came to one my first Calling Intensive events about eight years ago. During a small group time, he shared various pictures that captured his heart (from the Picture...

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1 Week “Ask & Seek” Challenge

1 Week “Ask & Seek” Challenge

“I not aware of any God-given desires or passions written on my heart. If I did, I don’t think I’d know what to do with them. What do I do?” Several weeks ago, I did a live Q&A discussion with the Online Calling Course class on chapter 7 of It’s Your Call – Awakening Your Desires. Several people asked this question in various forms. Though I offer various...

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“Noble Simplicity & Quiet Grandeur”

“Noble Simplicity & Quiet Grandeur”

I’ve been intrigued by the phrase “noble simplicity and quiet grandeur” which was used by the German art historian Johann Jachim Winckelmann describing the Greek aesthetic.  (I don’t want to sound like something I’m not – an intellectual and a broad-reader.  I ran across this expression on the Internet as I was researching the word “noble”.) To live a life of “noble...

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Seasons of Shaking

Seasons of Shaking

At one particular moment in my life, not long ago, I asked God what He doing in my life.  He brought to me Heb. 12:27 – not necessarily a verse I wanted to hear.  I was hoping for something like “Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your Master’s happiness!” (Matt. 25:23)  What God said...

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Answering the Two Big Questions

Answering the Two Big Questions

There is something we love to offer; some particular, powerful way that we see, hear and/or perceive.  When we are aware and clear on what we have to offer (our glory: brilliance, strength, beauty, splendor, abundance) we can be far more discerning as to what opportunities we are to take or what tasks we need to release.  We know how God has gifted us and whether our glory is needed in a...

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4 Calling Observations & Lessons

4 Calling Observations & Lessons

I have the fun and privilege of talking to many people each week by phone, email, chat and in person at Base Camp, retreats, on radio interviews, podcasts and over a cup of coffee. Each person’s story is fascinating and their questions both profound and common.  So, from recent conversations, let me offer a few thoughts that may be helpful. Adjust with the seasons.  Life continually...

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A Dangerous But Necessary Road

A Dangerous But Necessary Road

I recently overheard a conversation between two men.  One said, “The strong rule the weak.  That’s how your God made the world.”  The other responded, “God makes us strong only for a while, so that we can help each other.”  To which the first man responded, “My God makes me strong so I can live my life.” This conversation was in a movie I re-watched called First Knight, the...

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Some Orienting Thoughts

Some Orienting Thoughts

God brought you into this world with something that is weighty, beautiful, strong, brilliant because it is needed. After all, you are His image bearer. Your best days, your most glorious moments are when you are living and offering who you really are. After all, you have been, and are being, set free. Of all the things you could be or do, this one effect that God has created you to have is...

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Will you have an encore call? Yes!

Will you have an encore call?  Yes!

By Mark E. Haskins It was true, he was in his late sixties, or maybe even his early seventies, and he was retiring. There were no outward clues as to his age except for the gray hair (still full and thick), the wrinkles of one accustomed to the outdoors, and as one friend noted, the barnacles that had latched on over the years. He could hold his own during the week day with colleagues much...

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Revisiting the Question

Revisiting the Question

Over the years I have had individuals tell me, with a degree of embarrassment, that they still aren’t sure what their calling is or if they are in the right place.  I find that the older a person is, the more honest and perceptive they are about their heart and life…and the more shame they feel about their uncertainty.  Permit me to shed some light on our collective experiences. Everybody...

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What’s Important in this Moment?

What’s Important in this Moment?

I’ve been asking God these days to help me to distinguish between great and small events – for my morning as well as for my life. With all that is going around me and all that is going on within me, this feels like an important question.  It was Winston Churchill who said, “When a man cannot distinguish a great from a small event, he is of no use.” Is catching up on my...

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On the Edge of Scared or Bored?

On the Edge of Scared or Bored?

“Radical dreams make us radically dependent. When we are engaged in what God has called us to do, every part of our spiritual life comes alive. There’s a reason to grow, we have a compelling reason to pray, to stay in close contact with our Leader and Guide when we walk unfamiliar, threatening paths. There’s a strong drive for fellowship, allies, and friends, close at hand because what God...

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Divinely Assisted

Divinely Assisted

“Ok, the idea that I possess a glory, splendor, strength, brilliance that is extraordinary seems a little farfetched.  It’s not my personal experience.  I think my effect is pretty small.  I can only do the best with what I’ve got and that ain’t much.” I’ve heard this thought many times – within myself and from others.  The truth is that if it was YOU ALONE that might be true,...

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Leaning & the Power of Our Life

Leaning & the Power of Our Life

A week or so ago, while in a worship time giving my life to God as I was lead by the songs, God spoke something I was not expecting.  It was in the context of what I was giving to God – my thoughts, words and presence, my calling.  He said, “Gary, you can’t wing it.”  I knew exactly what He was referring to.  I had been living at a pretty fast pace, from phone call to meeting to...

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What’s your Why?

What’s your Why?

“For this I have been born, and for this I have come into the world.” Jesus “I’m bored with my life” and “I’m afraid to make a change.”  I hear these two thoughts almost daily in conversations with others and I’ve uttered them more than a few times myself.  Apathy and anxiety.  Seemingly opposites and yet we can somehow live with both. ...

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Replenishing & Reorienting for the New Year

Replenishing & Reorienting for the New Year

I don’t know about you, but Christmas is always a little hard on my soul. I love having family around, watching Christmas movies, great meals, getting presents for my wife and kids that I KNOW they will love. But spiritually and emotionally, at a deep level, I am usually very depleted. It could be the busyness of the “season”, simply the end of a full-on year of life, battle...

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Clarity in Motion

Clarity in Motion

It’s amazing how we can think too little or too much. We can think about a desire or idea to the point of it’s suffocation or we can move on it without letting it fully form – to it’s demise. God has given us these two pieces of counsel: “Desire without knowledge is not good – how much more will hasty feet miss the way!” Proverbs 19:2 NIV “Do what...

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You Are Not Alone

You Are Not Alone

 “In the presence of eternity, the mountains are as transient as the clouds.” – Robert Green Ingersoll   You’re not the only one who gets discouraged.  I do. You’re not the only one who works too hard and too long knowing the striving may not be coming from a noble place.  I do. You’re not the only one who stares at a list of things that have to get done or...

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Night Vision

Night Vision

It feels like night vision is required when looking into our own life or the life of another. We can make out the shape of some things that seem to be significant in the discovery of who we are, but they remain fairly dim and undefined or can disappear altogether. I remember several late evenings (actually early mornings) getting up and walking into the kitchen to get a pain reliever for a...

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“Creativity is just connecting things”

“Creativity is just connecting things”

I’m guessing that you know that Steve Jobs, founder of Apple, died yesterday – October 6, 2011.  Here is a man who much of the world was aware of…for good reasons. It’s often fascinating and beneficial to see how a person like this thinks. Here is a quote that stand out to me. “Creativity is just connecting things. When you ask creative people how they did...

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Cold Front or Season Change?

Cold Front or Season Change?

It seems like clarity and perspective often comes to me in the morning as I’m in the shower. I don’t know if it’s the power of quite, warmth and water or that my mind has not yet become cluttered with the day’s demands or that God is preparing me for the day. A few showers ago, I was thinking about my state of being. I was aching, tired, somewhat lethargic and discouraged. This...

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Stirred Up

Stirred Up

“So the Lord stirred up the spirit of Zerubbabel…and Joshua…and all the remnant of the people.” (Haggai 1:14) As I read this passage in the book of Haggai my heart said within me, “I want my spirit to be stirred by God.” There are few worse moments than those times when my alarm goes off early in the morning and I lay in bed not quite able to fully wake up.  It’s in those...

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God will make you one of His specialist

God will make you one of His specialist

Years ago, I ran across this statement from Oswald Chambers – “Soak continually in the one great truth of which you have had a vision; take it to bed with you, sleep with it, rise up in the morning with it. Continually bring your imagination into captivity to it and slowly and surely as the months and years go by, God will make you one of His specialists in that particular truth.” This...

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Discovering the Glory of ‘Late Bloomers’

Discovering the Glory of ‘Late Bloomers’

My friend, Mark Wager, wrote this blog.  I loved it and I think you will also.  You can find his other blogs at Love God, Love People, Live Free. ——————– I’m reading a book published a few years ago, “What the Dog Saw”, by Malcolm Gladwell.  I love these quirky books about what makes people and society tick.  So, as I’m reading a chapter in...

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Make As Many Things Inevitable As Possible

Make As Many Things Inevitable As Possible

  Oswald Chambers wrote, “If the Spirit of God has stirred you, make as many things inevitable as possible, let the consequences be what they will.” When God puts a desire in our heart (as opposed to the desires of the flesh – Gal. 5:19) we must make it as inevitable as possible.  Scripture says, “For it is God who is producing in you both the desire and the ability to do what...

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The Butterfly Effect

The Butterfly Effect

Adapted from The Butterfly Effect: How Your Life Matters by Andy Andrews This book excerpt was recently sent to me.  I had to get this to you ASAP.  It’s that good! —————————————————————————————- The Butterfly...

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Going Further Than You Thought Possible

Going Further Than You Thought Possible

Written by Jeff Andrechyn There is a fascinating new book out called To Kingdom Come, by Robert Mrazek, about the epic saga of survival in the air war over Germany durning the second world war. Prior to the invasion of Normandy we sent B-17’s (Flying Fortress) deep into Germany to bomb their factories and cripple their ability to make war. Daylight precision bombing left these aircraft...

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Observations & Lessons

Observations & Lessons

I have the fun and privilege of talking to many people each week by phone, email, chat and in person at Base Camp, retreats, on radio interviews, podcasts and over a cup of coffee. Each person’s story is fascinating and their questions both profound and common. So, from recent conversations, let me offer a few thoughts that may be helpful. Adjust with the seasons. Life continually changes...

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The Unseen Wake of Your Life

The Unseen Wake of Your Life

Blog by Jeff Andrechyn, introduction by Gary Barkalow. It is really hard for us to believe that there is a significant weightiness to our life. It’s hard because of all that has come against our glory; criticism, doubt, disregard, failure and ridicule. But it’s also hard to see the effect of our life because it is often invisible to the ‘natural’ eye and not immediate...

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Replenishing & Reorienting for 2011

Replenishing & Reorienting for 2011

I don’t know about you, but Christmas is always a little hard on my soul. I love having family around, watching Christmas movies, great meals, getting presents for my wife and kids that I KNOW they will love. But spiritually and emotionally, at a deep level, I am usually very depleted. It could be the busyness of the “season”, simply the end of a full-on year of life, battle...

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Conquest & Courage Amidst the Relentless Assault On Our Life

Conquest & Courage Amidst the Relentless Assault On Our Life

A friend last week explained to me how Judo works. The key in Judo, he said, is to use the enemy’s force—his strength, balance and momentum—against him. So when the opponent lunges in a kick or steps into a punch, you merely move aside and pull. And the momentum of the opponent—aided by the tiniest of pulls—throws him off balance. You redirect their strategy to bring their defeat. You...

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Recollecting Our Self

Recollecting Our Self

The last several days my heart has been out-of-sorts.  I have found myself easily upset, driven to constant busyness and shrouded by doubt concerning life, God and myself. Trying to find relief from this soul-influenza, which seems to hit hardest between Thanksgiving and New Years, I got busy working on “the things I need to get done.”  Instead of finding gradual relief; I became more...

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The Inevitable & Necessary Tensions of Life

The Inevitable & Necessary Tensions of Life

It’s amazing and frustrating how opposing realities can exist simultaneously – and this tension can often create a great deal of confusion. As I have observed and thought about this reality, I find that these tensions are both inevitable and necessary. Here’s my short list. Aggressive and Waiting We must not call an unwillingness to – move waiting on God. Nor should we...

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Why I seek out Sages

Why I seek out Sages

This is a very insightful blog written my my friend, Jack Lynady (jacklynady.com). We live in a culture high on analysis, but low on interpretation. Analysis is like when you dissected a cat in high school anatomy class. Sure you may have learned more details about the gastrointestinal tract of a feline, but by the end of the class does what you have left even remotely resemble the essence of a...

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You’re Not The Only One

You’re Not The Only One

In the presence of eternity, the mountains are as transient as the clouds.” – Robert Green Ingersoll You’re not the only one who gets discouraged.  I do. You’re not the only one who works too hard and too long knowing the striving may not be coming from a noble place.  I do. You’re not the only one who stares at a list of things that have to get done or else...

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Go With What You Know

Go With What You Know

Over the years I have met many gifted, aware, devoted people who felt lost, stuck or paralyzed in the pursuit of their calling. Then, of course, I have my own paralysis. Every story and conversation about this issue has caused me to ask “why”. We have all acted out of what we have believed (be it falsehood or truth) or what we have owned about ourselves at a deep heart level. So, I have...

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Eking Out a Living in the Midst of a Breathtaking Setting

Eking Out a Living in the Midst of a Breathtaking Setting

I have been re-reading the book, Discipling Nations: The Power to Transform Cultures, by Darrow Miller.  I first ran across this book a little more than ten years ago and was captured by the simple yet comprehensive why Miller explained the differences and effects of worldviews.  This is a great book to help in our becoming “rooted” as Jesus mentions in the parable of the seed and the...

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Trust That God Knows What He Is After

Trust That God Knows What He Is After

The world sets the agenda for the professional man; God sets the agenda of the spiritual man.” John Piper I want to share a remarkable story that involved a friend of mine, John Moorhead. I invited John to attend a Calling Intensive in Colorado this past month.  Though he wanted to come, he was unable because he was taking a friend to a Wild at Heart retreat that same weekend.  At the last...

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This Is That For Which He Was Made

This Is That For Which He Was Made

“There is a chamber in God Himself, into which none can enter but the one, the individual, the peculiar man, – out of which chamber that man has to bring revelation and strength for his brethren.  This is that for which he was made – to reveal the secret things of the Father.”  George MacDonald, Unspoken Sermons What an amazing way to look at our life and calling – our being with God...

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Wearing Out Our Soul by Attrition

Wearing Out Our Soul by Attrition

I open my personal journal to you, my expeditions and explanations with God, this morning. I was reading an excerpt from C. S. Lewis’, The Screwtape Letters.  In this selection, senior devil Screwtape is instructing junior devil Wormwood how to defeat followers of God. “The long, dull monotonous years of middle-aged prosperity or middle-aged adversity are excellent campaigning weather. ...

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What Then Is Genius?

What Then Is Genius?

God continues to speak to me about how we are to live like an artist.  This morning I read this excerpt from The Pursuit of God by A. W. Tozer.  These words ad depth and color to the quote I concluded with in my last eLetter:  “Art is a collaboration between God and the artist…” –  André Gide. The Pursuit of God, by A. W. Tozer – The Speaking Voice, Chapter 6 When God spoke out of...

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Live Like an Artist

Live Like an Artist

Several years ago, I awoke in the middle of the night worried by the uncertainties in my life… Am I doing what I’m supposed to do? Am I where I’m supposed to be? Am I doing life the right way? Are my motives right?  I decided to go into another room so I could pray out loud and journal my thoughts with God.  After forty minutes of mumbling and stumbling my way into the issues of my heart,...

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