Remembering Stone #10: The Indwelling Christ

Remembering Stone #10: The Indwelling Christ

“Go down, Jan.”

My mentor-friend Donna would say this to me, time after time. “Jan, you are in your head. Go down”

My problem was that instead of actually feeling my negative emotions, I would do “commentary” on them and the situations that provoked them. Donna was trying to help me actually feel my emotions. You see, for years in “evangelicalism” I came to believe that anything negative was “sin” — negative feelings, negative thoughts, negative desires, etc. etc.

What a lie from the pit!

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(Revised!) Remembering Stone #9: a branch in the VINE

(Revised!) Remembering Stone #9: a branch in the VINE

So Jesus and I started from scratch together . . .

Many years have passed. The Lord has had me on a journey into freedom and joy in him. It has definitely not been all smooth sailing, but in those early days He used a little book, Abide in Christ by Andrew Murray, to transform my Christian walk.

I’m just a branch, that’s all I ever have to be!

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Remembering Stone #8: No More "He Loves Me ... He Loves Me Not"

Remembering Stone #8: No More "He Loves Me ... He Loves Me Not"

No more God loves me, God loves me not.
No more “spiritual breathing” to be filled with the Spirit.
No more daily, “in detail” confession of sin (and even stuff that wasn’t sin but just negative thoughts and emotions) in order to get daily forgiveness and be “in fellowship.”
No more scrutinizing every jot and tittle of my behavior so that God will hear my prayers.

NO MORE! No more … no more!

I threw it all out — my grade-school catechism memorization at St Matthews; my Religion award …

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Remembering Stone #7: The Smile that Destroyed my Religion and More

Remembering Stone #7: The Smile that Destroyed my Religion and More

If you have been following along with my spiritual journey thus far, you may recall my “aha moment” when I heard the gospel clearly preached by those fellow students at the University of Arizona back in the late 1960’s (Stone #4). It wasn’t that I hadn’t known or believed the truth of the Gospel: that I was a sinner and that Jesus died to pay for my sin. I knew, believed, and wholeheartedly embraced it all! I even theoretically knew and “believed” that God loved me and everyone else in the world. The surprising thought of that gospel preached to me in Tucson through those lovely students was that the good news was …

ALL a free gift, not earned by works but received by grace through faith!

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Remembering Stone #6: The Dark Night of My Soul

Remembering Stone #6: The Dark Night of My Soul

You search the Scriptures … {they] point to me! Yet you refuse to come to me to receive this life.

the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.

You would think that after having had such amazing teachers and mentors at Moody Bible Institute and after receiving such a storehouse of Biblical and spiritual knowledge there (Remembering Stone #5), the Christian life would have been a breeze for me … joy-filled and exciting!

And it was exciting and joy-filled … for awhile. Let me tell you about it.

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Remembering Stone #5: The Sovereign God

Remembering Stone #5: The Sovereign God

Beginnings and endings, starts and finishes, twists and turns and even turn-arounds. That’s life, isn’t it? And that was true for me in those two years at the University of Arizona. Lots of twists and turns:

  • East Coast to the desert Southwest

  • Roman Catholic to Evangelical Protestant ( the entire time a true believer; a Christian no matter the church)

  • Student nun (“novice”) to a single college student, and eventually engaged to be married

Each of these changes have produced multiple stories. But since these “stones” (as my brother Conrad calls them) are describing my spiritual journey, I will stay focused. Back to Tucson and the University of Arizona …

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Remembering Stone #4: The Gospel of Grace

Remembering Stone #4: The Gospel of Grace

God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God. …

 It is so amazing how the twists and turns of life are used by the Spirit of God to direct us according to His path. This is exactly what happened as I left the convent and went back home to Edison, New Jersey at the age of 21. And this is where I pick up my story …

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Remembering Stone #3: The Holy Scriptures

Remembering Stone #3: The Holy Scriptures

Oh, how I love your instructions! I think about them all day long. Psalm 119:97 NIV

I had grown up with the belief that the best thing to do for God was to become a nun and dedicate my life to serving Him. In fact, my mom raised us kids believing we should all become nuns or priests. It wasn’t until later in life that I realized that some of her zeal in “encouraging” us in that direction was very likely a result of her difficult marriage to my dad who “abused” alcohol more and more as the years went by.

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Remembering Stone #1: The Will of God

Remembering Stone #1:  The Will of God

may he equip you with all you need for doing his will….
My story begins on the East Coast in the city of Newark, New Jersey. Janet Gale Renner (me) was born to Conrad Charles Renner and Jeanette Agnes Galuszka at St. Michael’s Hospital on June 16th, 1947. 

Born just after the end of WWII, this firstborn girl of eventually seven spent the first five and a half years in Newark. There I attended a half -year of kindergarten before our family moved to Tucson, Arizona because of my dad’s health.

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Remembering Stones: Reflections on a Life Being Lived

Remembering Stones: Reflections on a Life Being Lived

Live while you are alive.  (Patch Adams)

Each of us has a life … the life we were given.  We didn’t choose our life.  But I guess the issue is,  “Are we living while we are alive?” Or, are we waiting till “things settle down,” or, “we lose ____# pounds,” or, “the kids grow up,” or ????,  or ????, or ????.

“Things settling down” was always my trap in my early years of adulthood. But things don’t ever settle down, do they? Not for long anyway. They just change. And then the cycle begins again, and so then we never really embrace the life that is ours. So this is what I eventually realized: I need to …

live the life I have, not the one I wish I had.

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