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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Christmas Eve | Discerning God in Advent and Christmastide Episode 03

Discerning God in Advent and Christmastide

Host: Steve Macchia, Guest: Anna Friedrich

I love Christmas because, with the resurrection in view, its obscure beginning and its incredible beauty strengthens my trust in God.” –Anna Friedrich

Shifting from Advent into Christmas is seamless when considered in the light of the full Christian story. For four weeks our hearts have been inclined toward waiting, watching, and wondering once more. In Christmas, our yearnings and longings are fulfilled in the joyful coming of the long-awaited Messiah Jesus. From the perspective of a wife, mom, artist, and poet, Anna Friedrich refreshes us with her musings about our stirred-up emotions, our anxious longings, and the joy of being welcomed again into the depth and beauty of the glorious Incarnation. 

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

Other Episodes in This Season:

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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.

Brother Curtis Almquist (Season Sixteen, Episode 1&2 Guest)
Priest of Society of St. John the Evangelist
Br. Curtis Almquist is an Episcopal/Anglican priest of the Society of St. John the Evangelist for more than 35 years and lives at SSJE’s monastery in Cambridge, Mass. He works with leaders from a wide spectrum of professional disciplines, helping them listen and respond to God’s amazing gift of life.

Anna A. Friedrich (Season Sixteen, Episode 3 Guest)
Teacher, Poet, and Artist
Anna A. Friedrich is a teacher, poet, artist, and avid thrifter who lives in downtown Boston with her husband and two teenage sons. She grew up in southern Virginia, met her husband, Dave, while traveling abroad, and spent eight years serving at L’Abri Fellowship in Switzerland and in the U.S.. The biggest surprises of her life so far have been 1) deciding to homeschool her children for nearly a decade, 2) finding out how much she loves to preach, 3) bonding with her family’s German Shepherd, Fiona.

Susan Currie (Season Sixteen Guest, Episodes 4&5 Guest)
Director of Selah & Minister of Spiritual Formation
Susan serves as the Director of Leadership Transformation Inc’s Selah Certificate Training Program in Spiritual Direction. Over the past 30 years, she has offered retreat leadership and formation ministry to various church and parachurch bodies. Susan also serves as Affiliated Clergy with All Saints’ Anglican Cathedral in Amesbury, MA. 

Rick Anderson (Season Sixteen, Episode 4 Guest)
Executive Vice President
Rick has a passion for spiritual formation, spiritual direction and leadership development. He has completed the Selah Certificate Program in Spiritual Direction, as well as New Way Ministries’ School of Spiritual Direction and the Advanced School, both taught by Dr. Larry Crabb. Prior to LTI, Rick served as the COO of the Christian Writers Guild and the Director of Finance & Operations at Trinity Law School. He currently serves as a board member for Peregrine Ministries and Beyond Survival.

Jeremy Stefano

Jeremy Stefano (Season Sixteen, Episode 4 Guest)
Director of Emmaus & Minister of Spiritual Formation
Jeremy offers spiritual direction, leads retreats, teaches classes in spiritual formation and serves as the director of the Emmaus: Spiritual Leadership Community. The heartbeat of Jeremy’s calling is to encourage Christian leaders in the cultivation of their relationship with God. He has served churches as a local pastor, interim pastor and as a visiting Bible teacher in Southern Africa and North America. 

Matt Scott (Season Sixteen, Episode 4 Guest)
Creative Director of Leadership Transformations & Minister of Spiritual Formation
With 15 years of local church experience, Matt has served various churches in the area of worship and arts, community life, shepherding, and pastoral ministry. A graduate of Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary (MDiv) and the University of Mobile (Worship Leadership and Music Performance), Matt has a heart to shepherd people through songwriting, worship leadership, and pastoral care. He and his wife, Kristen, live in Bluffton, South Carolina with their two children, Emerson and Ashton.

Dave Currie (Season Sixteen , Episode 5 Guest)
Vice-President of Cohort-Based Education, Dean of the Doctor of Ministry Program, and Professor of Pastoral Theology at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary
Dave serves on the faculty at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary as Vice-President of Cohort-Based Education, the Dean of the Doctor of Ministry Program, and as a Professor of Pastoral Theology. His wife is Susan, LTI’s Director of Selah. They are both ordained in the Anglican Church of North America and have three married adult children.

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Steve Macchia

Founder & President

Steve is a graduate of Northwestern College (IA) and Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary (M.Div. and D.Min.). His prior ministry includes serving on the pastoral staff at Grace Chapel (Lexington, MA) and as president of Vision New England. Since July 1, 2003 Steve has served as founder and president of Leadership Transformations, director of the Pierce Center for Disciple-Building, and adjunct faculty in the Doctor of Ministry department at Gordon-Conwell. He is the author of sixteen books, including The Discerning Life (Zondervan Reflective),  Baker bestseller Becoming a Healthy Church, and Crafting a Rule of Life (IVP). He lives in the Boston area with his wife Ruth and is the proud father of two grown children, Rebekah and Nathan, daughter in-love Ashley, and papa to his beloved granddaughter, Brenna Lynn. “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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