Back to the Basics

It’s fall. That time of year when we put our bathing suits away and pull out our brief cases instead. It’s back to work. Back to school. Back to the routine. Back to the basics.

I recently started a new journal. It’s my third this calendar year. I normally don’t journal this much, but it’s been an incredibly full year so far with lots to process in prayer. Before I begin a new journal I scan the previous one. It was such fun to recount the events of the past handful of months. Wow, God has been very good.

But, as I open a new journal, and after I fill up the first few pages with notes that capture my overall spiritual priorities, I’m struck once more by some of the extra sheets that get transferred to the back of the journal and travel with me into this new season. One of the sheets: my personal rule of life.

I wrote a book about rule of life; it’s called Crafting A Rule of Life. We developed an interactive website for the book, known as As I transfer my personal rule of life into the back of my new journal, I’m reminded of what I believe to be true about my life with God. I love my rule of life. It kind of “defines me” and “directs me” and “protects me” – you might say it “basics me.”

Why? Because my rule of life is what takes me back to the basics. When the complexities of life pull me all different directions, my rule of life keeps me grounded. More solid. More connected. More God-focused. More others-sensitive. More self-aware. More of who God made me to be.

Is it time for you to get back to the basics? Do you know what and who and when and where and why you are who you are in the sight and purposes and childhood of God? Let me invite you to consider hopping off the treadmill of the over-the-edge, sometimes out-of-control, activity-of-life and into a more grounded, focused, and intentional way of being…more like the person God made you to be.

Back to the basics. It’s worked for millennia. It can work for you too.


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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

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.