Happy Christmas To All!

Happy Christmas to all!

Christmas day is traditionally known as the beginning of “the twelve days of Christmas” concluding on January 6, which is called Epiphany. During the 12 days of Christmas, we join the chorus of Christ followers in commemoration of those who so faithfully loved Jesus the Messiah.

On December 26 we remember Saint Stephen, who was one of the early Church’s first deacons and a forerunner of expressing the love of Christ through generosity to the poor. On this day we give leftovers to the poor, as described in the popular Christmas carol, “Good King Wenceslas.” Stephen was also the first martyr, giving witness to the love of Christ by the sacrifice of his own life.

On December 27 we remember St. John the Evangelist, the one who gave witness to the Incarnation through his profound gospel message, “The Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us” (John 1:14). On the 28th of December we recall the children who were murdered spitefully by Herod in the feast of the Holy Innocents, dying so unjustly and at such an early age.  In their suffering we are awakened to the myriad ways human suffering has occurred in our broken world and throughout history. In their suffering we renew our hope in the coming of Christ to relieve suffering and grant mercy to those in need.

Finally, on January 6 the season of Christmas comes to an end…with the oft-forgotten festival of Epiphany. On this day we primarily commemorate the visit of the Magi with their gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh; we also celebrate the baptism of Jesus; and, we remember his first miracle of turning water into wine. The season of Advent has ushered in the celebrations of Christmastide, which comes to a glorious conclusion at Epiphany.

From there we turn our attention to the life and teachings of Jesus. We recommit ourselves once more to faithful living and loving and learning. We acknowledge the Incarnation of Jesus, we celebrate his coming into this world and into our hearts, and we lean fully into what it means to live fully committed to his teachings as ones who are lovingly redeemed and continuously transformed.

In Jesus the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us…we behold his glory and we proclaim it to a lost and needy world. Thanks be to God!

Happy Christmastide to you and yours – may you…Behold the fulfilled promises of Almighty God ~ Believe the Gospel proclamation of Good News in the incarnate Jesus ~ Belong to those who anticipate the coming Messiah with joyful celebration ~ Become a faithful disciple who waits, watches, and wonders with Spirit-filled anticipation once more!

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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.