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« VideoBlog - STRIVING vs. ACTION | Main | Interview with Gary Barkalow on discovering your calling »

Podcast-Discovering your calling -- Guest Gary Barkalow talks with Jim

How do we move beyond the personality inventories and spiritual gifts test that often leave us unsatisfied and still looking for our calling?

Gary Barkalow spent seven years on the men's leadership and speaking team with Ransomed Heart Ministries when God called him to launch full-time into helping others discover their place in the Story. 

Gary's teaching on calling is the best and most helpful I've found.  You can learn more about Gary at his website:  www.thenobleheart.com.

You can also listen to this podcast on iTunes.

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Reader Comments (9)

Hey Jim,

I had intended to listen to about 20 minutes of the Podcast and then I couldn't turn it off! I really liked it. One of the things that you and Gary discussed that I felt was compelling was the idea of "diminishement"...This is a big one! I liked his singing analogy and how people can become diminished and discouraged in this way. There have been times when I have encoutered people who tried to pursue something they feel is their "calling" who were not what I considered appropriate in that calling and thought maybe I was the same way. I thought that I was one of the only people who encountered that. Gary really does have a lot to share.

In my thinking, of course I don't know his situation----- his moving from a men's ministry to his new ministry is so important because women who need his teaching maybe would find him accessible in his "assignment" as solely a men's leader.

Also, you all mentioned the pressure of men to have some wham-bang title to describe their work at dinner parties and such. Women have the same pressure too. So you guys are not alone there.

I like how he mentioned women a lot in his interview too. For the most part, callings and great things in churches are understood to be men's business and women are expected to demur and stand in the backgroud.

I did check out his website... It's lovely, but I found he does what a lot of ministries do which is to segregate teachings between men and women. And the women's ministry blub was a lot of flowery language speaking to queens, princesses and the like which doesn't speak to me at all. As one of my best friends says, stuff like that makes me want to "vomit in my own mouth".... I'm sure he has a good heart and is well-intentioned on that point. Even though I am a very feminine woman, I would run from that kind of thing.

But this is coming from a woman who picked up "Wild at Heart" thinking it was about anyone...and related to it even though it was intended for men. :0) Women and men are so much more alike than any of us know.

Great job Jim, and thank you for introducing us to Gary's thoughts! He's great!


March 10, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMeredith

Hey Meredith -- glad you enjoyed the podcast. I do think that Gary's "Glory of Your Life" series speaks to women as well as men. In most of his events, he's talking to the men (his wife has events for women, as you know), but his teaching would be helpful for both.

He has agreed to do a full podcast series (seven more) around the themes of his full teaching on calling. It's good stuff.

March 10, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJim Robbins


I'm so glad he's doing more podcasts! I will definitely listen! I bet Gary and his wife are amazing!

On another subject, I really wish that there were some women's ministry that spoke to me....It seems like it is a popular theme to go off on the fairy tale, princess thing so much now... I'd like something that speaks to me than down at me. For example as much as I liked some Ransomed Heart stuff...I related more to that rugged outdoor adventure stuff...I don't agre with RH that women just want to be swept up in some adventure of another's making...Sometimes we *are* the adventure and bring the adventure often, too!

As feminine as I am, I just can't relate to the fairy princess thing at all...

But back to Gary, I'm glad his teachings are accessible to women, too. I think it will be like striking gold.


March 10, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMeredith

Hey Meredith -- I've heard other women mention the same thing: that they don't relate to the fairytale princess thing either. What is it about that imagery that doesn't gel? What is a more appropriate imagery for you that works?

March 11, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJim Robbins

Hey Jim,

Thanks for asking....uh... It's the whole imagery thing that doesn't work. Even though I am an exceptionally visual woman...a lot of women are not so much. One point of difference I'm willing to concede in the genders is that men are WAY more visual than women. Men might need imagery a lot more than we do. We seriously need to be bottom-lined. We don't have time for fluff. When I pick up stuff for women, I have to get through the superfluous flowery wording to get to the meat. Our lives are so freaking busy.

If it were a thing of imagery, I don't think there's one kind of imagery that would work for all women...just like with men. Not all men are alike. Even though I am super feminine and like shopping and those fun pursuits...When someone uses fantasy stuff, I feel like I'm being spoken down to. In my mind right or wrong the message I get from the author is, "You probably sit at home all day reading romance novels and watching soaps and don't deal in reality so let me talk to you in a way you get."

The major thing women need is help with their esteem...and fairy princess stories aren't going to do it. We are baraged by images of air-brushed models and told by the media we aren't doing enough and are often so busy we can't think or have time for ourselves. And as you know, I used to be a model. And I'm single, and if I'm struggling with a ton of stuff on my to-do list----I can only imagine how it will be after I am married. As you know being single poses a lot of challenges too. It's just me taking care of me and no one else has my back except God. Women really want to be recognized for our strength and hard work and what we're trying to bring to the world.

I don't know if that helps. I appreciate your asking.

Meredith :0)

March 11, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMeredith

Hey Meredith -- thanks for fleshing that out a bit. I think it would be really interesting to raise this issue on the GNH forum and see what kind of responses you get from women. It would also help me as I right the "nobility" section of my upcoming book! (If you're comfortable with raising that question, would you mind posting it?) If not, no problem.

March 11, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJim Robbins

Yeah sure Jim,

I would be happy to do that. I'm no shrinking violet, as you know. :0)

Though I want to make sure I ask exactly the right question because I want you to get the specific feedback for your book. If it's no trouble, could you e-mail me with a question that is what you are thinking of? I'm not sure if we want to talk about the imagery concept or what we need ... And I am a tad blunt so your finesse in crafting a question might be very helpful.

Meredith :0)

March 11, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMeredith

Meredith, thanks for sharing what you did. I read "Waking the Dead" and absolutely loved it so I was eager to read "Captivating" too. Well, I absolutely couldn't relate. It was a borrowed book so I returned it to the owner without finishing it.

I was later given a copy so I decided to try it a second time and again I couldn't finish it. Like you, I thought it was condescending and I felt like I was being talked down to.

I hope you'll post the question on the Facebook page because I'd like to know how other women have reacted to this teaching .

Jim, I haven't checked out Gary's website yet but I loved this podcast. I'm so glad that he'll be doing more podcasts with you. You're a great interviewer and I think this is a very important message that the church needs to hear. Thanks for doing it.

March 26, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAida

Thanks, Aida -- I'm looking forward to doing the full series with Gary. We'll do the first one at the end of April, as our schedules don't mesh until then. I'll post when their coming.

March 27, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJim Robbins

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