Presence with God

This month’s Silencio is entitled “Christmas Presence” and points to the hope-filled priorities of Advent, a season for focusing our hearts on waiting, watching, wondering and witnessing…

…So what is it about this time of year that births a sense of hope and anticipation in your heart and soul? Is it the large “to do” list, with trees to decorate, shopping to complete, and holday events to enjoy? Where does your desire for time alone with God fit within that list? It seems especially challenging to find the time to linger, pray and notice God during Advent and Christmas when we’re simply too busy checking off a long list of must do’s.

Let me suggest a few simple ideas to practice the presence of God: 1. Make corporate worship a priority and purpose to engage in your faith community’s expressions of joy and hope with an awareness of the empowering presence of God…and give him the thanks he deserves; 2. Choose a handful of times to set apart 20-30 minutes to simply be alone and quiet before the Lord, attending to his presence and power in the inner sanctuary of your soul – read a small portion of the Word aloud and linger with that passage prayerfully and reflectively; and 3. Take time to notice the beauty of God expressed in his creation, in the lives of those who surround you, in music that uplifts the inner spirit, and in the God-given gifts in this unique season of joy. Wait, watch, wonder and witness – with hope and joy in Jesus.

Behold the presence of God – believe he is everywhere present to comfort, counsel and care – belong to those who are full of faith this festive time of year – become aware of God’s love like never before.

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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.