Steve Macchia Blog

ANOTHER YEAR IS DAWNING

ANOTHER YEAR IS DAWNING

In just a few days, 2018 will become a distant memory, overshadowed by the commencement of a New Year filled with promise and possibility. The ball will drop in Times Square and we will sing of the goodness and grace of our lives with God and in community with one another. Don’t forget to thank God for the myriad blessings of the past year as you consecrate the days ahead with prayerful anticipation and joy.

At LTI, when we are together in small groups, we often focus our attention on two items most specifically: the state of our souls and our personal rule of life. The dawning of a new year is an ideal time to reflect on both. How is it with your soul today? – was a question John Wesley frequently asked of his disciples. This inquiry opens us up to consider the quality of our walk with God currently as well as descriptions of what we long for in our hunger and thirst for more of God.

Our personal rule of life is much more comprehensive, including both the rhythms and relationships that God invites us to humbly fulfill for Christ’s glory. If you’ve never considered the various elements of your own rule of life, perhaps the new year is the ideal time to write it out. Take a look at Crafting a Rule of Life (IVP) and our corresponding website, ruleoflife.com for more ideas. A rule of life will help you live more intentionally in ways that God desires for you.

As you consider the state of your soul and your personal rule of life, the following hymn by Frances Havergal (1853), filled with wonderfully prayerful reflections, can perhaps be your guide.

Happy new year!

Another year is dawning;
Dear Father, let it be,
In working or in waiting,
Another year with Thee;
Another year of progress,
Another year of praise,
Another year of proving
Thy presence all the days.

Another year of mercies,
Of faithfulness and grace;
Another year of gladness
In the shining of Thy face;
Another year of leaning
Upon Thy loving breast;
Another year of trusting
Of quiet, happy rest.

Another year of service,
Of witness for Thy love;
Another year of training
For holier work above.
Another year is dawning;
Dear Father, let it be,
On earth or else in heaven,
Another year for Thee.

Start your new year by crafting your own Rule of Life! | There’s still time to give your end of year gift!



O COME, O COME EMMANUEL

O COME, O COME EMMANUEL

The season of Advent is filled with hope for the coming of Jesus, our promised Messiah. We wait with longing and anticipation for the day when we sing of his miraculous Incarnation – God coming to earth in the form of a baby, conceived by the Holy Spirit, born to a virgin, and to be with us in human form. Joy to the world, the Lord has come!

As we round the corner toward Christmas, we thank God for his many undeserved gifts, including love, joy, peace, salvation and hope. The gifts of God for his beloved children outnumber the stars in the sky and the sand on the shoreline: impossible to count. In response, our hearts are filled to overflowing with gratitude to God.

2018 has been rich with bountiful blessings and unconditional gifts from the hand of a generously loving God. Leadership Transformations celebrated our 15th anniversary this past year with the theme of “soul hospitality” for leaders and teams. Everywhere I go I hear stories of lives transformed by the time leaders have shared at Selah, Emmaus, the Pierce Center (Gordon-Conwell Seminary), on soul care retreats, in one-on-one spiritual direction, and who are in churches strengthened by their leaders who came to us for spiritual formation resources.

As we await the coming of Jesus at Christmas, we also look forward to his coming again in glory. In the meantime, we hold hands and stick together, upholding the Great Commandment of loving God with heart, soul, mind, and strength, and the second commandment, loving our neighbors as ourselves. From that posture, we can indeed reach the world with the life-transforming gospel of Jesus. May it be so, dear Jesus, lover of our souls.

Check out other LTI Advent resources here.