Packing for Lent

Often considered a journey, the season of Lent is a time of preparation for Holy Week when we revisit once again the passion of Christ. We’ve been down that road many years already, but once more we’re invited to a 40 day journey with the destination of the cross and the open tomb before us. It’ important that we travel in community, so we don’t miss the signposts along the way that keep pointing us to Christ and his suffering, death and resurrection in all of our behalf.

Like we do when we prepare for a journey, a bag needs to be prepared and packed. What should we consider bringing along for the journey of Lent? Many options abound, but a few are most worthy of our consideration: self-examination and repentance; prayer and fasting; reading and meditating on God’s Word.

We open ourselves to godly self-examination and repent of that which stands in the way of our attentiveness and obedience. We pray and fast so that our hearts remain in alignment with the voice of God and the incredible sacrifice offered in our behalf. We read and meditate on the Holy Bible as the map and compass for the days ahead…all the details right there at our fingertips.

So, how will you pack for Lent 2011? This Wednesday we step forward into this significant season for Christians worldwide so it’s best to begin planning today. None of us want to miss the poignancy of the journey yet before us. Pack up and join hands as brothers and sisters – let’s walk together into this faith-enriching time of year.

“Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me” Psalm 51: 10.

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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.