Known and Loved

I often remind leaders of the importance of cultivating their most central relationships, continually deepening their ties with those who “know you best and love you most.” When you know with certainty that you are loved and celebrated by those closest to you, then you have strength to sustain any winds that seek to blow you off course. When you are confident of faithful commitment that stands the test of time, then you receive courage to withstand any predators that come to tempt you, and shared wisdom to avoid any rocks that emerge to trip you up along the pathway of life.

However, there are far too many who exist daily without such support. They continually seek the approval or applause of others, but within their heart they may never discover how empty and shallow are such attempts. They want so much to be recognized and affirmed, they will do almost anything to garner basic life support and cure the relentless emptiness deep within. They don’t have those who know them well and love them in spite of themselves. As a result, they are left with full and busy lives, but not nearly as fulfilling as they desire.

This is the spectrum: those who know they are dearly loved on one end, and those who can’t imagine why anyone would know them as beloved on the other. Most of us are somewhere in between. Regardless of where we are on this continuum, we all long for the very same thing: to be known and loved.

During Lent we remember the temptations of Jesus and we experience our own. We recognize our rapidly escalating expectations for a hope beyond this life, and we wait longingly for Holy Week. In and through it all we are led into the security of one great truth that’s a stake in the ground by which no stronghold can conquer: Jesus Christ knows us best and loves us most. The love of the resurrected Jesus is our only sure repose during the days when we don’t feel loved or lovely whatsoever. Jesus knows us intimately, unconditionally, lavishly. In Him and through Him and by Him and because of Him we are known and loved.

Rest well dear friend in the reality of Christ’s redemptive love. No matter the heartache of your past or present circumstance, be assured of this one thing: Jesus loves you. On this one simple truth your life and mine is transformed.

As you craft your personal rule of life, remember always the fragrance of love and be held and sustained by the scent. Join the journey of building and growing healthy relationships at www.RuleOfLife.com

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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.