Where have all the Sabbaths gone?

24 hours of unhurried bliss…the Sabbath. As a long-time Sabbath breaker, I now look forward to our Sabbath rest more than any other day of the week. It reminds me of my childhood when our family would awaken on Sunday morning, eat a leisurely breakfast and then head to church. After the service there was always a “coffee hour” for relaxed and playful conversation. The Sunday afternoon meal time was generally reserved for family, as was the afternoon devoted to playing cards, watching football, taking naps and walks, and practicing hospitality. It was a rejuvenating time; I didn’t realize how good I had it until the past few years when our family returned once again to the discipline of Sabbath.
In the subsequent decades since growing up under my mom and dad’s roof, the Sabbath I once knew as a child got eaten up by activities such as homework, busy college days, ministry in the local church (not much Sabbath to speak of!), and years of breaking the Sabbath to fit in multiple responsibilities or a massive checklist of “to do’s.” All the while we were giving lip service to importance of the Sabbath but not the kind of respect it deserved…until a few close spiritual friends (prompted I’m convinced by the Spirit of God himself!) broke through with a challenge to set apart the day for rest, refreshment and renewal. The result: sun down Saturday to sun down Sunday devoted to Sabbath rest…a commitment we want to maintain the rest of our lives.
We aren’t legalists about the Sabbath, but we are indeed making it a priority both as a weekly discipline and as a lifestyle. It’s transformed our lives in more ways than we can count. I’m especially grateful for Mark Buchanan, the author of The Rest of God (my favorite book on Sabbath), who will be our special guest at LTi’s 7th Anniversary events next month. Will you join us and, more importantly, will you recommit to the priority of Sabbath rest for you and those you love?

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Steve Macchia

Founder & President

The Rev. Dr. Stephen A. Macchia is founder and president of Leadership Transformations, Inc. (LTI), a ministry serving the spiritual formation, discernment, and renewal of leaders and learners since 2003. For more than 20 years he has been the Director of the Pierce Center for Disciple-Building at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, where he also serves as an adjunct faculty member in the Doctor of Ministry Program. From 1989-2003 he was the president of Vision New England, the largest regional church renewal association in the country. Earlier in his ministry life, Steve was a member of the pastoral staff of Grace Chapel in Lexington, Massachusetts for 11 years. He is the author or co-author of 17 books, including The Discerning Life (Zondervan Reflective), and Crafting a Rule of Life, Becoming A Healthy Church (LTI), and Broken and Whole (IVP).  He and his wife Ruth live in the Boston (MA) area and are the proud parents of two married children and grandparents to three adorable grandchildren. Steve’s personal website is www.SteveMacchia.com.

My soul comes alive singing the great hymns of the church and enjoying the beauty of God’s creation. I’m in awe of God for fulfilling the dream for LTI that he birthed in my heart, for the team he has assembled, and the transformational impact experienced in the leaders and teams we serve.

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Mitzi Mak

Selah-West Faculty

Mitzi started her professional life as a high school social studies teacher. She and her husband Jerry then served cross-culturally for ten+ years, living abroad first in India and then Kurdistan, N. Iraq. In addition to being a Spiritual Director, she now serves as a Formation and Care pastor in her local church in Houston, TX. She has graduated from LTI’s Selah Spiritual Direction training as well as LTI’s Emmaus Formational Leadership Program.

Mitzi enjoys engaging conversation, reading fiction, doing jigsaw/crossword puzzles, ocean gazing and exploring the world with Jerry through food and travel.

God has two main callings in Mitzi’s life: to care for those who care for others and to be a guide in helping others have a healthy relationship with the Trinity – recognizing God’s loving presence and activity in their lives and how to faithfully respond.

Selah was a transformative experience for me – allowing the contemplative within to emerge and to beautifully co-exist with my extraverted personality.