About Me

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I have discovered that walking a very narrow path leads to broad places of peace, contentment, and provision. I work as a freelance consultant in the areas of cultural heritage, public history and museums, From 2009-2016, I was the executive director of the Bolduc House Museum in Ste. Genevieve, Missouri, (now called New France - the OTHER Colonial America, an eighteenth century French colonial historic site and National Historic Landmark.) My PhD research for the University of Leicester (United Kingdom) is in the Department of Museum Studies and looks at the interpretation of diversity at the American Historic House Museum. I also developed and facilitate an inspirational program for Christian grandparents, Gathering Grandparents.

Friday, June 02, 2017

What's Next?

This week marks the beginning of a new season in my life. I have finished writing the PhD dissertation. Thanks to Ron McDaniel, it will be ready to formally submit in August and to defend by November. My St. Louis house has been sold as of yesterday morning, at a significant loss, but to the person the Lord showed me was to be the next owner several years ago before he and his family became my tenants. I finished writing an orientation exhibit for the museum in Ste. Genevieve that will keep as priorities the kingdom values  that I instilled in the site while I was the director: honor, redemption & restoration, transformation and wisdom. The "finishing season" that the Lord had me in for the past 3+ years is over. To Him be the glory.

So what's next?

Since November I have been developing a program called Gathering Grandparents - see the page on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/Grandparentsgathering). It is a grassroots program (inspired by Ellen Boehm) that takes about 3 hours during which grandparents are better positioned to pray effectively for their grandchildren. Between now and when I have successfully defended the PhD dissertation, I believe that I will be traveling a lot, facilitating Grandparents Gatherings around the country and perhaps in some other countries. I am actively seeking to schedule Grandparents Gatherings between now and October so if you feel to host one, please let's talk about when and where it should be.

This interval will also be given to advancing the sale of the books I have written and continue to write. Obviously, it will be good to have the books available as I speak and do the Grandparents Gatherings. It is time to grow my own audience. Pastor's Ex-Wife, Called to Write? Don't Know How?, and Strategic Prayer Guide are each available now in paperback and in digital form for the Kindle on Amazon.com. I am proud of them all. They are all quite different. I'm working on two other books - Faith Wise, Faith Ways and, a book of poems - By Still Water - now. In addition, I plan to compile a new edition of the Eye Can Too! Read series as a single volume with a paperback edition as well. I have some other projects - fiction and nonfiction started. So let's watch how this happens. Or, as Josiah Cullen (Josiah's Fire by Tahni Cullen) says, "Picture it done."

Friday, February 03, 2017

Called to Write? Don't Know How? by Lesley Barker - New book launching!

DIGITAL_BOOK_THUMBNAIL (116×184)It seems that God is assigning people to write books who have no writing experience. Perhaps this is because these people have been given spiritual understanding that the rest of us need now. Several people have approached me, recently, for advice with the statement, "God has called me to write a book but I don't know how." At first I envied the assignments, going to God in person to ask why He was telling other people to write books but not telling me which books to work on, called, as I have been for many years, to write. (Even in second grade, if asked what I wanted to be when I grew up, I would have said I wanted to be a writer.) So, as is normal with God, He answered - the Scriptural answer would be: "Dummy, you have not (a book writing assignment) because you have not asked for one before now." Oh. And then He further answered, as He often does, with a picture. I saw myself pulling a scroll out of something I know to be mine to handle and presenting it to the woman who, most recently, asked me to help her. It became a short but practical booklet that explains the book-writing process using the three phases that Dorothy Sayers juxtaposed with the members of the Christian Trinity: "the book as thought", "the book as written", and "the book as read". The booklet is meant to be used during the writing process. It does not prescribe specific details about how to do anything. Rather, it goes step by step through the process, identifying the decisions and choices that need to be made and it includes frequent "Pauses to Pray and Reflect" so that the whole experience becomes a collaboration with that holiest muse, the Holy Spirit, Himself. Get it for your kindle e-reader here: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01N7Y81H5. And, please, if you know anyone who is called to write a book but does not know how to do it, share this resource with them! Thanks.

By Lesley Barker

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

New project

Before Thanksgiving I should be finished writing the first draft of a booklet to help people who feel called by God to write a specific book for a specific audience, now, but who have no experience writing. I plan for it to be between 30 and 50 pages and to be an e-book self-published on the Amazon kindle platform before Christmas. I am writing it in a colloquial format designed to be a dialog between myself, the reader and God. To achieve this I am punctuating the book with frequent pauses for prayer and reflection. If the booklet is successful, people who read it will make the kinds of decisions regarding the topic, audience, purpose, format and structure of the book that will produce encouragement, confidence and the staying power they need to get their book written. It will also provide tips about the craft of writing, revising, editing, proofreading as well as about producing and disseminating the finished book to the readers.

Are you such a person, called to write a book but don't know how? Do you know people who are called to write a specific book? I would like to build an audience for this book that can give it a boost when it launches so I am setting a goal to identify 100 people who will buy a copy within the first week that it is available. If you know people who have been called to write a book but don't know how to do it, please consider telling them about this project. Watch this blog or the Lesley Pendleton Barker Facebook PAGE for details about when the book launches on Amazon.

This booklet will be a great a resource to frame and accompany a unique workshop or retreat for new writers who have been called to write. If you would be interested in hosting or attending this kind of writing workshop or retreat, please let me know.

Monday, March 28, 2016

Planning and Writing Targets

I just published (last week) the second of what I think will be a long series of short devotional e-books based on hymns and carols. This one is based on the hymn, Beautiful Savior. It took longer than I expected to write because I discovered that I needed to meditate and ponder before I could actually write. It's interesting to have set aside time intentionally to write my dissertation and to attempt to create a body of self-published work for the Kindle. I have my dissertation outlined and a goal to write a chapter every two weeks - that gets a working draft written by the end of August. The planning and citation stages of writing the dissertation chapters leaves creative room to write other things - at least that's the idea. Now to see if I hit the target more times than I miss.

Friday, February 26, 2016

Birthday Musings - Seventh Decade

Seven, shabbat in Hebrew, time for rest. Something I know very little about through personal experience. How does one rest without becoming restless? I am determined to find out. The beginning of this seventh decade of my life finds me relocated and set aside to help establish a Christian retreat center, Eden Haus Retreat, that is devoted to worship and prayer. This is a perfect resting place for me and a quiet haven for me to finish my PhD dissertation. I plan to finish many other writing projects while I am resting here, as well. So far today I have unloaded a trailer of wood for the wood stove we use to heat the retreat house, made pancakes and bacon, talked to the cat, booked a retreat for a weekend in April, not succeeded in downloading a much needed printer driver, watched six geese take off from the pond, seen multiple red cardinals and purple finches at the bird feeder, and drunk three cups of coffee. That is in addition to letting the music from the chapel waft over my thirsty soul like some fragrant incense.... I promised an essay connecting hermeneutic theory to my research project within two weeks to my PhD supervisor yesterday and over the weekend, I plan to continue working on the next meditation on hymns and carols - "Beautiful Savior" and to give some thought to a book project that intrigues me about the mystical aspects of my walk with God that I am calling "Fresh Wonder" - but it is supposed to be warmer and sunny tomorrow so this may be postponed a day or two.... Shabbat Shalom

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Birthday Musings - Sixth Decade

My youngest son went off to college and I moved to Ste. Genevieve, the first town in Missouri, where for the next more than six years I served as the executive director of the Bolduc House Museum, an 18th century French colonial historic site. My role was to "make this place sustainable for the next 50 years." So I turned over the tables and looked under the rugs and wrote exhibits and led a transformation from a traditional historic house museum to New France, the OTHER Colonial America with double the campus - paid in full, enough money in the bank to transition a former bank building to the gate and contextual museum, with gains in the mailing list, and the donor list, and a majority of grants requested funded. A job well done.

At the same time I started a PhD in Museum Studies through the University of Leicester in England (think Richard III). This has been a desire since my early twenties and I am thrilled to be most of the way through it now even though I do not have a clear goal for where it leads.

Three years into this process the years of juggling multiple balls at the same time took its toll and for the first time resilience failed and I began to experience a degree of burn out that was unprecedented.

Prayer being my default mode of living, I appealed to the Most High for His will and way through the narrow place and found myself repositioned beside still waters at a Christian Retreat Center in rural Missouri that you can find on FaceBook - Eden Haus Retreat.

At the end of the sixth decade that I have walked this earth, I resigned my position at the museum, moved to Eden Haus (a place of new beginnings) to help make this place thrive for its intended vision for His glory - it is the headquarters and retreat center of Glorious Praise World Outreach. There I have the unusual combination of autonomy and community, a place to finish my doctoral dissertation and to write the books that are in my heart and that I also hope will become a passive income for my later years but God has always been the One who gives my daily bread and my daily income and He who has ever been faithful to me will not change.

Friday, February 19, 2016

Birthday Musings - Fifth Decade

During the fifth decade everything changed. I acknowledged that there was a mismatch between my situation and my potential. Thanks to a very involved friend who promised and then kept the promise to "walk with me through the pain" that I did not even know I was experiencing, I made it through a very narrow path in what felt like a jungle, passing the yellow eyes burning hungrily at me in the dark and through some invisible but impermeable barrier to a resting place, a beach if you will. A place to wait and allow a retooling of my emotions and mind-sets, a place to raise the children, now as a single mother, with a new definition of what is normal, and to find surprising doors in places where there should have been no doors. I taught music (not one music class on any transcript after ninth grade!) in the St. Louis Public Schools. Have you read my novel, Pastor's Ex-Wife? That story includes lots of anecdotes taken from this experience.  I obtained a master's degree in teaching and realized that my old goal of earning a PhD was still very alive in my want-to. I started writing grants and doing strategic planning consultation for smaller, newer, transitioning and often faith-based nonprofit organizations. I compiled John F. Barker's collection of H-O Scale model trains that illustrates the history of rail in St. Louis from 1900 to 1990 and then I negotiated its acceptance as part of the collection of the St. Louis Mercantile Library. I wrote the book, St. Louis Gateway Rail - the 1970's based on John's photographs of trains on the tracks in St. Louis from which he customized his models. It was published and is for sale by Arcadia. I continued a daily, hourly pursuit of the Most High by pushing into deeper intimacy with Jesus Christ, working in prayer mostly. I started a chapter of Aglow International in south St. Louis City and we conducted a weekly Bible study and prayer outreach from the Living Waters Laundromat off of Spring St. west of Grand and Itaska. I wrote a guidebook for praying tourists who visited St. Louis. The kids graduated and started leaving home with confidence and success in their future.