The Discerning Leader podcast is for Christian leaders who are interested in discovering the joy of “practicing a preference for God” in all aspects of their personal lives and relationships, their leadership and service to others.

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In The Lingering Light | Discerning God in Seasons of Suffering Episode 02

Host: Steve Macchia, Guest: Cynthia Fantasia

Remember that the present loss doesn’t override the richness of the past. We had 45 years of amazing memories and 3 years of sickness and suffering.” – Cynthia Fantasia 

In the Lingering Light, written by our guest Cynthia Fantasia, provides courage and hope for the Alzheimer caregiver. After a delightful 45 years of marriage and family life, everything changed with Bob Fantasia’s Alzheimer’s. Were it not for a community of friends and family members coming alongside Cynthia, life would have been dark and foreboding. Ambiguous grief – the loss of someone who is still alive but in a different state of mind – can be debilitating. But, a strong faith, deeply forged in community, unleashes the sustaining presence and power of God.  

Join the conversation about spiritual discernment as a way of life at and consider participation in our online and in-person program offerings. Additional LTI spiritual formation resources can be found at and and

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Steve Macchia

Steve Macchia (Podcast Host)
Founder and President of Leadership Transformations
Steve is the author of Becoming a Healthy ChurchBecoming a Healthy DiscipleBroken and WholeCrafting a Rule of Life and several other titles. Steve has over 40 years in ministry and two postgraduate degrees from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary.

Cynthia Fantasia

Cynthia Fantasia  (Episodes 1-3 Guest)
Board Member
Ordained in 2007, Cyntha received her Doctor of Ministry degree from Gordon Conwell Theological Seminary and served for 24 years as Pastor of Service and Women at Grace Chapel, Lexington MA. She is a member of the Board of Elders at Grace Chapel and a contributing author in Mothers Have Angel Wings by Carol Kent and 30 Ways to Embrace Life by Lucinda McDowell. Cynthia is the author of “In The Lingering Light: Courage and Hope for the Alzheimer’s Caregiver” (NavPress, July 2019) chronicling her and her late husband’s journey through Alzheimer’s Disease.

Ted Wueste (Episodes 4-5 Guest)
Senior Selah Faculty and Associate for Supervision & Nurture
Ted has served in ministry for almost 30 years, with 22 of those years in pastoral ministry. He has served at a church he planted and pastored for 10 years as both an associate and senior pastor. Ted earned Master degrees of Divinity and Sacred Theology as well as a Doctor of Ministry in Leadership. He has also received training in Spiritual Direction from New Way Ministries and Selah. 

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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.

Detailed Biography
Articles by Stephen Macchia
Author Website
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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.