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Q&A with Renewal Week Speaker: Tiana Spencer

Photo courtesy of Tiana Spencer from her personal website.

Renewal Week is a time dedicated to spiritual renewal and rest for Point Loma Nazarene University’s campus. During the week of Oct. 24 through Oct. 28, the chapel department organized events focused on recentering and invited Tiana Spencer, a teaching pastor at Fellowship Church, Monrovia, to be the Renewal Week speaker for the chapel services. As light worship music played in the background after a morning chapel service, Spencer spoke to The Point about practical ways to experience renewal. 

TP: How do you personally experience renewal in your daily life? 

Spencer: Meditation. I don’t know if I talked about this this week, but I practice joy. I have core memories where I felt both a deep joy and sense of God’s presence, and I sit daily, close my eyes and meditate on those moments. I re-experience God’s deep joy and his presence and his love for whatever that memory was. I mean, I just relive the whole thing. I do it every morning for however long I feel like and it just renews me. It reminds me of his love. 

TP: What advice would you give college students for experiencing renewal? Is this a practice that you would recommend? 

Spencer: Oh my God, yes please. In the right side of our mind is where we experience imagination, memories and experiences, and it’s where our identity is formed. It’s where our attachment is formed. Our attachment is formed to God and to people in the right side of our brain. As we begin to use our imagination in the right side of our mind and go back to experiences of love with God, it literally creates and re-establishes secure attachment with the Father and it just seals identity. 

Do it for five minutes, everyday, for 30 days straight and then start doing it every day after that. I tell my daughter all the time, “girl, I was in Maui with Jesus this morning.” Everybody should be doing this, especially if you struggle with identity. Go somewhere beautiful in your mind, and just be there, invite Jesus into that space and talk to him. If everyone did that, there’s renewal. 

TP: What is your prayer, or hope for students on this campus, and something that you would want them to remember in this time of life?

Spencer: My hope is the phrase, “everything else is sinking sand.” We so easily get distracted, but in the end, Jesus will be the only thing standing. My prayer is that he would become the obsession of their heart. That he would become, literally, the object of their fascination. That they would do whatever they have to do to pursue and get to know him so that they could begin to experience true transformation. That they would immerse themselves in meditation, silence, and solitude—all of the practices that have been there from forever ago that we have just abandoned because we’re so busy and so technology-minded. My prayer is that students would have the courage to pull away and just be with Jesus and watch him meet them. 

You can learn more about Spencer at her website https://tianaspencer.com/.

Written By: Sofie Fransen