The Discerning Life

40-Day Guide | The Discerning Life Episode 10

Host: Steve Macchia, Guest: Matt Scott

We need a common language and experience for how best to live a discerning life individually and collectively.” –Steve Macchia

 As we conclude season 17, we discuss The Appendices of The Discerning Life: An Invitation to Notice God in Everything. Inspired by Rueben Job, Steve’s kind, gracious, humble and loving mentor, this 40-day guide to spiritual discernment introduces the reader to a common language and experience of discernment. This is helpful for teams and small groups who are seeking to live a discerning life in community. Discovering this lifestyle from the biblical text and in the life of the historic Church is inspirational for those in that that pursuit today. The Lord purposefully makes himself known to his beloved, and then invites us to practice a preference for him daily. 

Join the conversation about spiritual discernment as a way of life at www.LeadershipTransformations.org and consider participation in our online and in-person program offerings. Additional LTI spiritual formation resources can be found at www.SpiritualFormationStore.com and www.ruleoflife.com and www.healthychurch.net.

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Radical Lifestyle | The Discerning Life Episode 09

Host: Steve Macchia, Guest: Matt Scott

My true home is in Christ’s heart and Christ’s home is my heart. That’s radical!” – Steve Macchia

Today’s episode focuses on chapter nine and the Epilogue of The Discerning Life: An Invitation to Notice God in Everything.  In this conversation we discuss the radical nature of the discerning life, a lifestyle marked by a transformed heart. With God as the Mastermind of the necessary renovations of our hearts and lives, we learn to trust him in all things. It’s important that we remain open to the work of God as we are molded and reshaped by the love of God. When we rest in God and trust him completely, we notice his work in our midst with greater clarity. Let’s say yes to the invitation to follow Jesus, and then discern his presence and power in all things.

Join the conversation about spiritual discernment as a way of life at www.LeadershipTransformations.org and consider participation in our online and in-person program offerings. Additional LTI spiritual formation resources can be found at www.SpiritualFormationStore.com and www.ruleoflife.com and www.healthychurch.net.

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Practical Process | The Discerning Life Episode 08

Host: Steve Macchia, Guest: Matt Scott

Asking ‘Why?’ is the hardest and most important question to consider in virtually every circumstance of life.” – Steve Macchia

In chapter eight of The Discerning Life: An Invitation to Notice God in Everything, today’s episode covers the very intentional and deliberative process of spiritual discernment for groups and individuals. Here we build on the foundation of a discerning life and enter into the phase of decision-making that grows from the radical lifestyle of practicing a preference for God. We begin with the importance of the question “Why?” which is the most important question to consider. From here we shift to identifying the most important question we are discerning together, which leads into the ten questions and phases for discernmentarians to consider.  

Join the conversation about spiritual discernment as a way of life at www.LeadershipTransformations.org and consider participation in our online and in-person program offerings. Additional LTI spiritual formation resources can be found at www.SpiritualFormationStore.com and www.ruleoflife.com and www.healthychurch.net.

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Intentional Focus | The Discerning Life Episode 07

Host: Steve Macchia, Guest: Matt Scott

The discerning life requires a radical and renewed change of heart and mind.” – Steve Macchia

Today we are diving into chapter seven of The Discerning Life: An Invitation to Notice God in Everything. We unpack the importance of shifting from a self-directed to a Spirit-empowered life, and the radical choices that implies. A renewed mind is a changed mind, transformed by the invitation to consider the various levels of soul care and its parallel to house care: chores, maintenance, emergencies, redecorating, upgrading, and renovating. To the very end, even on the cross, Jesus modeled for us a life of intentional focus on God’s way…grace and forgiveness. He thereby invites us to live in full submission to his priorities, practicing a preference for God.

Join the conversation about spiritual discernment as a way of life at www.LeadershipTransformations.org and consider participation in our online and in-person program offerings. Additional LTI spiritual formation resources can be found at www.SpiritualFormationStore.com and www.ruleoflife.com and www.healthychurch.net

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Contextual Empathy | The Discerning Life Episode 06

All spiritual discernment happens within a story-laced context.” – Steve Macchia

Chapter six of The Discerning Life: An Invitation to Notice God in Everything, is the topic of today’s conversation. Here we unpack the importance of understanding and appreciating the various contexts that have shaped our lives…as well as the lives of those we are called to love and serve in Jesus. The gift of empathy is the goal – walking in each other’s shoes and showing grace, mercy, kindness and love to those who are different from us. When we become respecters of various cultures, contexts, and story lines, we learn to embrace one another and live the abundant and discerning life. Our God-blessed pathway is always rich with empathy. 

Join the conversation about spiritual discernment as a way of life at www.LeadershipTransformations.org and consider participation in our online and in-person program offerings. Additional LTI spiritual formation resources can be found at www.SpiritualFormationStore.com and www.ruleoflife.com and www.healthychurch.net.

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Communal Hospitality | The Discerning Life Episode 05

Host: Steve Macchia, Guest: Matt Scott

Practicing biblical hospitality is first and foremost toward the lost, the least, the lonely, and the left behind.” – Steve Macchia

Chapter five of The Discerning Life: An Invitation to Notice God in Everything, is the topic of today’s conversation. In this conversation we explore the meaning of biblical hospitality, and how Jesus invites us to become receivable to all who cross our path. We acknowledge that our preparation is one of the greatest signs of love, not only in the external ways we are hospitable, but more importantly, in our gracious hearts. Imagine if our churches were known for being an hospitable place, where grace was our primary offering. As Jesus welcomed all, so shall we.

Join the conversation about spiritual discernment as a way of life at www.LeadershipTransformations.org and consider participation in our online and in-person program offerings. Additional LTI spiritual formation resources can be found at www.SpiritualFormationStore.com and www.ruleoflife.com and www.healthychurch.net

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Relational Presence | The Discerning Life Episode 04

Host: Steve Macchia, Guest: Matt Scott

The discerning life is relational and based primarily in a listening presence.” –Steve Macchia

Chapter four of The Discerning Life: An Invitation to Notice God in Everything, is the topic of today’s conversation. A discerning life is best fulfilled in the presence of one another, as we offer grace upon grace to each of our relationships. It’s important to recognize the power of listening and learn to love and honor one another in spite of our quirks and idiosyncrasies, our gifts and abilities, our backgrounds and ethnicities. When we are fully present, we are expressing our desire to be both with and for one another, as was embodied perfectly in Jesus.

Join the conversation about spiritual discernment as a way of life at www.LeadershipTransformations.org and consider participation in our online and in-person program offerings. Additional LTI spiritual formation resources can be found at www.SpiritualFormationStore.com and www.ruleoflife.com and www.healthychurch.net

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Prayerful Listening | The Discerning Life Episode 03

Host: Steve Macchia, Guest: Matt Scott

Unless I learn how to live a contemplative life, I will continue to live a manipulative life.” – Steve Macchia

Chapter three of The Discerning Life: An Invitation to Notice God in Everything, is the topic of today’s conversation. Here we unpack the importance of listening to God prayerfully, expectantly, and faithfully. We discover a life of obedient surrender to God by first and foremost listening to his still small voice, in the Scriptures, in our prayer closets, and in our spiritual practices. Listening is the essence of the discerning life, and unless we practice this all-important attribute our spiritual sensibilities will be dulled in the daily pursuits of our lives. 

Join the conversation about spiritual discernment as a way of life at www.LeadershipTransformations.org and consider participation in our online and in-person program offerings. Additional LTI spiritual formation resources can be found at www.SpiritualFormationStore.com and www.ruleoflife.com and www.healthychurch.net

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Biblical Attentiveness | The Discerning Life Episode 02

Host: Steve Macchia, Guest: Matt Scott

Pay attention to God who takes great delight in you, rejoices over you with a song, and has an extravagant affection for you.” –Steve Macchia

The Scriptures are replete with examples of how God made himself known to his beloved children. Sometimes through a burning bush, or a dream, or an angel, or even a donkey. When he wants to make himself known he does so in creative, life-giving ways. So, what’s our response and how will we offer him our full attention in return? In today’s episode Steve and Matt explore the importance of our attentiveness, so that we listen, receive, and follow after God with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength. This is the road to the abundant life in Christ.

Join the conversation about spiritual discernment as a way of life at www.LeadershipTransformations.org and consider participation in our online and in-person program offerings. Additional LTI spiritual formation resources can be found at www.SpiritualFormationStore.com and www.ruleoflife.com and www.healthychurch.net

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What is Spiritual Discernment? | The Discerning Life Episode 01

Host: Steve Macchia, Guest: Matt Scott

Look what social media has done to our ‘notice me’ inclinations today and how that self-centeredness keeps us from preferring God instead.” – Steve Macchia

Welcome to all who are joining us as members of the Reading Retreat for The Discerning Life.  (If you still want to join the online, author-guided, self-paced retreat, go to www.stevemacchia.com for all the details).  Spiritual discernment is “practicing a preference for God” and one that we can learn how to live on a daily basis. How do we posture ourselves to prefer God and guide others to do likewise? That’s what we need to learn and it only happens by a practiced discipline and choice of the heart.  Perceiving and noticing God in the daily, routine places of our lives prepares us for times when we need to discern his particular will.  

Join the conversation about spiritual discernment as a way of life at www.LeadershipTransformations.org and consider participation in our online and in-person program offerings. Additional LTI spiritual formation resources can be found at www.SpiritualFormationStore.com and www.ruleoflife.com and www.healthychurch.net

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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.