Abundant Accessibility

On Friday, November 11, 2011, LTi is hosting an event at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary entitled “Re-Ignited: Kindling Your Inner Fire for God” with special guest speaker Chris Webb (and yours truly). In anticipation of that event I am focusing my weekly blogs on the topic, “What are the winds that blow toward your soul and seek to extinguish your inner flame for God?”

Part five: technology – abundantly accessible today. The plethora of technological distractions available to 21st Century Christ followers is a far cry from the simple rebuke that Jesus once gave to Martha for being distracted by a handful of household chores, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and upset about many things” (Luke 10:41).

What Jesus was concerned about with Martha was in sharp contrast to the one thing that mattered most to her sister Mary…to sit at the feet of Jesus and pursue a richer intimacy with the Savior, “listening carefully to what he said” (Luke 10:39).  Technology is by far one of the greatest hindrances to that “one thing” today.

Does technology have a grip on your soul? In an average day, how much do you depend on your iPhone or Blackberry, iPad or Tablet (and their respective apps), laptop, video games, cell phone, gps, texting, tweeting, Facebook (just to name a few)?  If you were to add up the numbers of hours you are spending in front of a screen or monitor, in what ways is that negatively impacting the quality time you are spending with God, loved ones, and those with whom you serve?

For all the good that technology offers (and there are plenty of positive impacts), we need to be cautious of the potential for excess. Monitoring and minimizing our use of technology, maintaining healthy moderation, is a discipline worth pursuing. It’s not that we must eliminate it completely, but instead insure that it’s not becoming an idol of our heart. Those who struggle with technology addictions of many kinds (i.e. excessive connections to Facebook,  unhealthy attachment to pornography, or continually feeding habitual workaholism) are often in bondage and earnestly desirous of being set free.  This is not an easy habit to break, to say the least.

Kindling your inner fire for God on a daily basis will include taking regular Sabbath rests from the constant stimulation offered by technology. Just because it’s easily accessible to you doesn’t mean you need to say yes every time. Choose instead the abundant life of Christ and the ‘one thing’ that matters most: listening carefully to the loving whispers of heaven into the deepest recesses of your soul.

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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.