Saturday, October 15, 2016

It's not a bother until...

Triumphant Victorious Reminders
Inspired by The Holy Spirit
Written by: Teresa Criswell

I am reminded today to remember it is not a bother to ask people for help, because personally many I know want to. What to really remember though is that the only time it's a "bother" is when we reach out and people can't help and we get offended and hurt. It becomes an unnecessary bother or splinter to our peace of mind and it just needs to stop, do you agree?

Here's what it may look like at times...perhaps we get offended and then suddenly we become haughty and prideful when we chose to help while others didn't. Or how about those moments when others helped when those you originally asked didn't and there were the intentional or subtle "rubs" directed at the ones who didn't help...but guess what we end up falling into? It's called the trap of manipulation and we even end up robbing those of who did help.

Today's reminder is to simply be grateful to GOD. Be grateful to GOD for those who did help and leave it at that and just keep on living. It's a reminder of what my friend says, "Give people a graceful way out..." - we cannot let the accuser whisper in our ears and accuse others of why they didn't help or saying, "Well you know who your true friends are when..." We have got to stop the madness.

Let's just say those who didn't help and what we're hearing in our heads of why they didn't is true, guess what? It's an opportunity to pray for them and especially pray to GOD for the ones who are to help and that we would also be ready to help others when it's our assignment to do so - and not take on those things that GOD never intended us to.

Just think, if our feelings still awaken our flesh or ego to be set up to get hurt yet again, then that means we haven't taken up our cross and truly followed Jesus. This is not a condemning reminder, it's a beautiful reminder so we don't fall into the trap of deceit. If the flesh is awakened - then we get to rejoice that we are finally realizing it's our flesh that needs to die. Think about it...this is not really about other people - if my actions are reacting off of someone else's actions, then I am allowing others to dictate how I live...and that is not why CHRIST JESUS ever gave HIS life for us to live that way - it was to overcome that kind of existence and live with abundant life as arrows that point to the Father God!

If we aren't careful - in those moments others are not willing or not able to help, what usually happens is we carelessly place the false sense of responsibility on others, get offended and needlessly burn bridges that we may need one day in the future. False expectations of people needs to stop - GOD Himself is waiting for us to seek and ask HIM as JESUS is THE WAY, THE TRUTH AND THE LIFE and we can't go to the FATHER without HIM.  The greatest realization of all is that GOD HIMSELF is ALWAYS willing, ready and able to help and HE also readies the hearts of those HE had intended for HIS particular assignment.

Today I deeply think, "What if I didn't ask GOD Who to ask and I ask someone who I think should or just know they're reliable - what if that person I asked was not supposed to take the assignment and we were used by the enemy to tempt them away from their destiny?" Deep thought yes - but it's a call to action to be mindful of GOD who is mindful of others - and let us be grateful and live a life of joy and enjoy people...this is the greatest way we can praise our GOD is living that way.

Think about this, we only get at the max 120 years on this earth - not one moment of those years is worth being wasted on needless offenses. Live life to the fullest for GOD's glory...just live this life because we can! If you and I are able to, then let's live and honor those who don't have the freedom to do so.

Remember it is our choice - no matter our past experiences, other peoples or anything else - we are the only ones who can choose how we live this life - let's choose the life of a "Triumphant Victorious" son and daughter of THE MOST HIGH GOD!

Scripture References:
Proverbs 16:18
Matthew 16:24-26
John 14:6
Philippians 4:5-15
Genesis 6:3

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

"Let's Talk" with Teresa

Triumphant Victorious Reminders
Inspired by Holy Spirit
Written by: Teresa Stevens Criswell

Isn't it incredible to realize how time seems to fly right through us?

Looking back on past blog entries, I am so glad I jotted this one down...simply click here to read all the way back to November 2009, almost 7 years ago...and then come back to check out my new YouTube channel - thank you for subscribing and sharing as I give you my word, my channel will improve every upload...thank you bearing with me in the journey!

As every upload improves and I now have my set somewhat complete; there will be a video uploaded at least once a week. Some will be funny, random posts and others will be things I share from my heart and The Word of God; my daughter and friends will also be involved as well.

Don't let your dreams die by giving up...keep pressing into The Father, Who is the Author of your faith - He will complete what He started because He knows all about the power of finishing well...Jesus said it best on the Cross of Calvary, "It is Finished", so let's make sure we allow Him to finish the great work He has started as He intentionally with great purpose created YOU for this very moment!

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Testing 1-2-3...

Triumphant Victorious Reminders
Inspired by Holy Spirit
Written by: Teresa Stevens Criswell

Have you ever tested your smoke alarm to see if it works? That test is to make sure just in the case the actual time comes  it will be in working order.

Thoughts this morning as I think of myself as an instrument of praise and faith. Well this instrument has malfunctioned a few times more than I had hoped. But instead of feeling defeated, I felt this joy arise - this joy in which the "test" of that moment exposed a weakness which alerted me to run to the Father whose strength is made perfect in my weakness.

Think about it...Faith is powerfully exposed in the midst of trials. When faith isn't exposed then we know that the  "diagnostic test" revealed we were operating in fear. When operating in fear we manipulate, attempt to control situations and even people. Yet I am beginning, yes I said beginning - beginning to learn that the trials and tests that come are only to make sure our faith is in The Faithful One and not ourselves or anyone else.

We are being perfected daily into the likeness of Christ as we continually go to the Word of God and allow Holy Spirit to instruct, guide and direct us on this adventure called life.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Will it matter?

Triumphant Victorious Reminders
Inspired by the Holy Spirit
Written by: Teresa Criswell

A great friend, who also has a blog, she posted the following question which was such a great reminder, "Will this trivial thing that I am upset about matter in 100 years?" 

It's a great awareness question, isn't it?  It's just another tool from the enemy to get our eyes off of WHO our mighty God is as we focus on self instead of the ONE who rescued "self"...

It leads me to our responses to people and situations and how they can effect those around us - and in those people who were effected will effect others...God's ability through us to see HIS power in the midst of what see in this natural realm is what gives people hope - it's HIS TRUTH that trumps our facts - whatever they are going through in this moment, HIS TRUTH of hope and grace is what must be declared as the final's in those moments that impart this fusion of
 love, joy and peace revealing the RIGHTEOUS GOD.

This made me think...if I am here to leave a legacy...whose legacy is it I want to leave behind?  My own?
Someone else's?
Or the One Who is the GREATEST LEGACY of all...Jesus Christ?

Just those questions alone cause great adjustment.

When I thought about those questions, it was incredibly freeing as there will be people in your life, in my life that may celebrate you in the midst of joyous moments along with the faults and failures - and then there are those who won't - but we cannot live our lives based on either of those scenarios - we've got to live this life because of THE ONE AND ONLY GOD WHO CAME TO GIVE US LIFE AND LIFE MORE ABUNDANTLY!

Today's triumphant and victorious reminder is that by the Holy Spirit's grace and power we are possessed by this incredible, supernatural ability to rest in HIM even while everything around us compels us to run from our Refuge and Strength!

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Simply in awe...

Triumphant Victorious Reminders
Inspired by Holy Spirit
Written by: Teresa Criswell

Opened the back door as the morning breath of the day filled me with awe.

This amazement led me like a conductor of an astounding orchestra to want to be in deep, holy trepedation of our MIGHTY God; this desire provoked by nature's declarations of the glory of GOD!

Coming back inside, I could hear my praise music by "Sons and Daughters" playing while even more wonder struck me. This striking wonderment led me to the couch as I grabbed my worn torn Bible and opened it up to find a simple yet profound scripture highlighted. It was that moment the Pharisees acted concerned that people were praising Jesus with highest praise when HE so wittingly replied, " "If they kept quiet, the stones along the road would praise ME!"

"If they kept quiet, the stones along the road would praise ME!"

That alone led me to say, "Whether I praise YOU LORD or not; nature itself will proclaim WHO you are. No way do I ever want nature to replace my voice - I want them to join me - to join us in the highest praise to our King!"

It makes me wonder when the earth trembles, is it because no one praises the KING and so the rocks below and above the surface cry out in praise to the KING of all kings?  Do you think that the trembling of the earth cries out for someone to praise HIS HOLY NAME?

In those moments I am about to "vent" or complain about someone or something, I will keep in mind of even the foundation of my home - will it record the praises of our God and King?  Not just in praise music, but in my everyday conversations.

God! Our hearts are yours; our mouths are yours; we are a set apart people; set apart to be seen as truly set apart. "Vessels of honor, set apart and useful for the Master prepared for EVERY good work."

Scripture References:
Psalm 19:1
Luke 19:40
Ephesians 4:29
II Timothy 2:20-21

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Gratefulness Timeline

Triumphant Victorious Reminders
Inspired by the Holy Spirit
Written by Teresa Criswell

"This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!"
~ II Corinthians 5:17 ~

It was July or August, 1986 I received my first pair of glasses, at age 11, about to enter the 6th grade (Almost 30 years ago to this moment).

August 10, 1998, my life would lead to change like I never imagined in which I married the man of my dreams.  The protector and provider and the hilarious man of my life.

March 27, 2000, my world, our world would forever change as we met our world changer; our bold, brave warrior Tristin Keelea (Pronounced Key-lee)

October 2002, My parents flew to Michigan as dad made a ring for each of his daughters - and wanted to personally give it to me and pray over me even while I was not walking with the Lord and then five months later that ring became a point of contact for something that would be for the marking of eternity...

March 6, 2003, EVERYTHING changed for eternity as I had a life changing encounter with God through the power of the Holy Spirit revealing Jesus as I awoke to His sweet, gentle touch which led me to the office where I sat with Him as I wrote for the first time in my journal that I had bought the day before - and that journal would become one of many that would express my praises to The King!

February 1, 2004, it was a life altering decision for a young boy, age 11, Tim's son Cody and my bonus son would add to our family of three to a family of four. It was challenging as I grew up even more so into the mother I needed to be for these two children, and it was an honor to raise this young man who is now been married for 5 years to the "daughter-in-love" of our dreams!

March 14, 2004, began writing my book, "God Is Enthralled by Your Beauty"

March 7, 2007, the book was finished

In 2007, God used a movie, "The Joy Luck Club" to cause me to fall in love with my beautiful Korean mom. Years prior as a little girl a lie had been sown into my mind that somehow she wasn't proud of me and even ashamed of me as I struggled in school with good grades and was the class clown - yet in reality, the truth was she and dad were the ones who cheered for me, taught me so much, prayed for me without ceasing and realizing all those times I was loved and celebrated the most by her and when she disciplined me, it wasn't because she wanted to, it was because she was trying her hardest to get the rebellion out of me so that I would live a life of honor, character and integrity so that I would not be shunned or looked at as foolish.  That movie made me cry out to God and ask Him to forgive me for all those times I dishonored her and my dad...and yet they still were for me - and from that moment our relationship has only blossomed, revealing the grace of God like only He can reveal! I'm still in awe...God used a movie in my relationship toward my beautiful mother...

So much has happened in between these moments and then yesterday, that moment I've been believing in God for...for many years...and in a moment it seemed like a "SUDDENLY":

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Too short for this?

Triumphant Victorious Reminders
Inspired by the Holy Spirit
Written by: Teresa Criswell

For those who need pithy/short version:
GOD IS FOR YOU AND NOT AGAINST YOU! He has proven it by Holy Spirit Who is within you - more powerful than every evil combined!

Detailed version:
Holy Spirit whispers His rest and bids you to know that He has you, your family and if there are any "next steps" - as you walk in Him, the steps will be unveiled upon movement all the while trusting and your mind being still KNOWING HE IS GOD. Nothing is too difficult for Him. Nothing. You have more favor than you know what to do with - there is a "plenty" mindset replacing all "poverty" mindsets in Jesus name. Your declaration in life will be, "Is His arm too short for this?" And with laughter, you will rhetorically say, "NO WAY!" Simply declare the Pleading of the perfect Blood of Jesus over your (As our pastor Chris declares) faith, family, finances and future. Life in Christ is not a struggle - it's an adventure and I believe you're beginning to see that more and more. The struggle is around us - but we will not be touched by struggle - struggle will be touched by us because it is pulverized in Jesus mighty name and we are beginning to know the authority we have been given in Christ Jesus!

Do you know we sit in heavenly places in Christ Jesus? We see from His glorious perspective!

Scripture references:
Romans 8:31
Psalm 46:10
Psalm 119:105
Jeremiah 32:27
Genesis 8:14
Romans 12:1-2
Hebrews 9 & 10
Ephesians Chapters 1 & 3
Ephesians 2:6
John 10:10

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Behind The Scenes...

Triumphant Victorious Reminders
Inspired by the Holy Spirit
Written by: Teresa Criswell

"While I was partying and high on cocaine, I was browsing through my phone and would read Triumphant Victorious Reminders." - JJ (Sober for 3 years)

To hear the testimony of this man is like that from a movie - he is likened to a legend of sorts. As I spoke to him yesterday, he gave me permission to share what I was led to and as I look back at every moment, every twist and turn - God was wooing JJ back to Himself.

Then going further back and seeing this God who would utilize JJ's friend Jon from California, an unassuming man who was all about Jesus and for 25 years came alongside JJ. Jon being a true friend while he lived a life that was set apart with few words spoken and yet demonstrated the character and integrity of Christ.  For 25 years, no matter what JJ did - Jon was there for him - through thick and thin - the highs and lows - he would minister the love of Jesus.

Here's the incredible part about JJ's life - he was innately loyal, and some may have even considered him "loyal to a fault" - his girlfriend who soon became his wife over 20 years ago, she was promised by JJ that every week he would bring her fresh flowers - and he did.  He has hustled and gone to extremes to provide for his family, he enjoyed cooking for them, loving them and yet had these demons that pulled him into the life of the next big "deal". Yet, so many attributes within his character that were being used for the world's system - were truly gifts from the Father God that were to be utilized for the Kingdom of God so those in the world would be transformed from the kingdom of darkness into God's glorious light!

JJ had even been noticing my husband's transformation over the years - how he had noticeably been changing and was aware of the "before and after" in the way he responded to things when before my husband would have reacted like a mighty storm or even responded with selfish agendas - but he began to notice the rough edges of his life were being smoothed and polished, and this alone caused a fire to be lit within JJ's soul to want more. Then last week, the inevitable happened - JJ's long time friend Jon was somehow having to come to Louisiana from California for 6 weeks and then his stay was extended and they somehow found out about the "Broken Chains Freedom Men's Conference" in St. Amant, Louisiana - he went and his heart was pricked by the Father - and he experienced the overwhelming power and encounter of Jesus Christ - 

and in a moment went from being "sold out" to his own ways to being "sold out to Jesus"! 

Friday of last week I received word from JJ of how his life is no longer the same.  He realizes that this encounter with Jesus cleans him up from the inside out and his desires are changing without effort which reveals the grace of God that empowers him to rise above the old nature. Then I began to see the unfolding story of God's grace as JJ's innate character traits from loyalty to his ability to love people to staying connected with friends from years back and truly concerned for the well being of others - and then I realized who I was speaking to - all those years as JJ gathered people to party - it was his call that was being thwarted - it was God's call on his life to be a radical and to pastor people and provide hospitality which is being loosed now upon the earth.

So why do I share this?  I share this because the "Triumphant Victorious Reminder" is that God's Word does not return void. No matter what we see in the "right now" with people, when we share the love of God - God's love is relentless - God doesn't know what it is to give up - and so in His relentless love for the wayward and redeemed alike - seeds that are being planted and watered into different kinds of soil, God is behind the scenes in changing the conditions of the HEART'S soil in a seeming "suddenly" as the Word of God that was sown into the hearts of people are coming to life and increase comes to the Father in the form of redeemed sons and daughters!

To all those parents, siblings, friends, sons, daughters, co-workers, neighbors and leaders who have been believing for someone to know Jesus in a continual life giving way revealing freedom - don't give up - just keep your gaze and focus on the King of kings - don't be moved by the questions of this life that would cause us to unintentionally judge or question God or move us away from praising Him for Who He is - just stay in Him - especially in these times that reveal the enemy's mode of operation which is to kill, steal and destroy - focus on what Jesus came to give as so many are unknowingly depending on us to reveal this supernatural LIFE IN CHRIST - to give LIFE and LIFE MORE ABUNDANTLY - we get to be the revealers of this - but we must make a choice at every moment - let's continually choose Jesus - He is the Life Giver in the midst of death!

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

"...Cast The First Stone"

Triumphant Victorious Reminders
Inspired by the Holy Spirit
Written by: Teresa Criswell

Recorded in John 14, Jesus said, "I give you a new commandment, love others as I have loved you..."

This profound command leads me back to the woman who was caught in the very act of adultery. Think about it...caught in the very act itself - most likely naked and dragged in front of many judgemental onlookers - and Jesus seems to pause time as He silences the accusers with this beautifully incredible statement that 'til this day has never been forgotten over two thousand years later, "You who have no sin, cast the first stone!"

Just imagine, the scene for everyone in that moment had to be a life altering paradigm shift, shining light on the Kingdom Love of God which manifested upon the earth in that very moment like no one had ever seen or imagined...for the ONLY ONE who could have cast those very stones at her - He chose to cover her instead.

Meanwhile, I thought, "Wait! We know the only One who could have rightfully cast the first and only stone was Jesus...SUDDENLY I awakened to another TRUTH, there He was standing before all of them, THE GREATEST STONE of all - the FIRST STONE - THE FIRST AND THE LAST STOOD BEFORE THEM ALL - THE GREATEST ROCK OF ALL THE AGES, and yet JESUS, THE CornerSTONE was the ONLY One who could have CAST His judgement on her - and instead, the Cornerstone that the builders rejected, cast Himself OVER her; as her COVERING; her STRONGHOLD; not to hurt her; but to reveal God's goodness so He could then say, "You are forgiven, RISE UP AND GO and sin no more"!

The CORNERSTONE was displayed as He addressed the sin, YET empowered her with His goodness Who revealed the love of the Father and in that act of God's glorious love that was cast over her - she was led in a lifestyle of repentance, never turning back to her sin, instead following Jesus all the days of her life!

Are you like that woman who is so overwhelmed by His Love that you can't help but to love others with HIS LOVE you've freely received? I can't speak for anyone else, but for me this has awakened me even more to echo Him in all parts by being reliant on His refreshing, Holy Spirit!!! THIS is how revival in God being the display of His glory by HIS MIGHTY POWER, so others are revived back to not only life - but HIS ABUNDANT LIFE!

Friday, May 20, 2016

Breakthrough Not Brokenness

Triumphant Victorious Reminders
Inspired by the Holy Spirit
Written by: Teresa Criswell

Have you ever prayed to God about someone or something and it seemed things only got worse?

This is when I realized this is the beginning of a breakthrough not broken dreams.

For instance, have you ever bumped something really hard and the pain was intense, yet the first day there was only redness in the effected area?  Yet a few days later that area turned yellow, black and looked far worse than the first day of impact.  What looks discouraging and really bad is truly the body miraculously attempting to heal that area.  From the outside it looks really bad, yet from the inside there's healing taking place.

This Triumphant Victorious Reminder is to remind us to not grow weary as we must now allow the outward move us out of our place in speaking life over those that we were meant to ONLY see what God sees and declares.  This reminder is humbling as we may be in their life for that very moment when others "give up" we continue to "give in" to God on their behalf.

Some may need practical ways of "how" to live this out...

If you see someone in your life is spiraling out of control or rebellious...

Speaking over a man:
"You flourish in God like a well nurtured plant; you are strong and valiant - a mighty man of valor and rebellious against sin and your zeal is for God and you are controlled by the Holy Spirit knowing that you are an overcomer - for you are above and not beneath; you are the head and not the tail and the fear of the Lord rests on you as wisdom and understanding are revealed because you know your God! Whenever difficulty comes, JOY arises as you remember WHO has you as you are strengthened in the midst of battle.  I speak to your spirit man and call forth the REAL YOU to arise - you are God's and the ONLY assignment that can prosper on your life is God's, for He has the last word over your life.  You are His and He is yours in Jesus name!"

Speaking over a woman:
"You are as a graceful pillar carved to beautify a palace; you are as a lioness arising in the virtue of God and you are rebellious against sin and your zeal is for God as you are controlled and led by the Holy Spirit as you know your identity in God is as His daughter, revealing royalty in the midst of peasantry.  I speak to your spirit and call forth the REAL YOU to arise - you are God's an the ONLY assignment that can prosper on your life is God's, for He has the last word over your life.  You are above and not beneath; the head and not the tail - the fear of the Lord rests on you as wisdom and understanding are revealed because you know your God! Whenever difficulty does, JOY arises as you remember WHO has you as you are strengthened in the midst of battle.  For you are His and He is yours in Jesus name!"

Scripture references:
Psalm 144:12
Judges 6:12
Romans 8:37
Deuteronomy 28:13
Nehemiah 8:10
Song of Solomon 2:16

Perspective Shift

Triumphant Victorious Reminders 
Inspired by the Holy Spirit
Written by: Teresa Criswell

I apologize as the other day I was thankfully notified by a few of our readers that they only saw a blank screen...the reason is because the picture was not properly let me try this again...

Tactics of the enemy:

Hardship - to be seen as defeat and to only see how the enemy is attacking and how he is after you. In this mindset it causes us to fight from exhaustion and we even begin to declare, "What's the enemy going to do next?"

BUT...when we see from the perspective of what is already accomplished from God's perspective:

"Strategies of God":

Hardship - to be seen as VICTORY and the beginning of our breakthrough.  The mindset is seeing the Deliverance of God as we declare with authority and speak with effortless power, "I can't wait to see what God is about to do next!"

How are we seeing?
From beneath?
Or from above?

Shift perspective!

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Beauty in rejection?

Triumphant Victorious Reminders
Inspired by the Holy Spirit
Written by: Teresa Criswell

There's beauty in rejection? Oh yes! The beauty of rejection reveals the power of acceptance!

Just think of all the times we've been rejected - they were supposed to be seen as "God opportunities" for a new assignment on this adventurous journey called it easier said than done? Well of course! At first it is - but the whole point is we need to allow rejection to be the arrow that points to The Father Who longs to show us the Victory that is already ours - we just have to receive The Victory which is Who God is!!!

The "why" to not focusing on rejection is because it's an opportunity to "sow" more good seed and bless those who rejected us and that's how we release them - and thank God we had them on our journey - as we can thank God we learned what to do and what not to do. And as we bless them - God is honored more than anything - I don't want to just think this way because it's a jab at the enemy - I want to do it because it honors God...

Through the twist and turns, the gains and losses, from rejection to acceptance, from health to sickness, from seeds to harvest, from friends to enemies and so much more - I am learning I must choose how I see this life...if I see from the realm of eternity - I see as a "divergent" as even "this" is not reality - and by God's grace He empowers me to rise above self and reveal Him...the things of this life no longer have to touch me or even bother me because of WHO my Hope must be in - but if I live from a place of this temporal realm; life will seem like it's "us against the world"; most things will be seen as a struggle and I will continuously see from a place of lack...perspective with God is the only way - we need this perspective as though our lives depend on it!

Let's pursue God like we've never pursued a person or opportunity before...
Scripture references:
James 1:2-3
Luke 6:27-38
John 10:10
Ecclesiastes 3

Reference to "Divergent" is from the movie, "Divergent"

Saturday, April 30, 2016


Triumphant Victorious Reminders
Inspired by the Holy Spirit
Written by: Teresa Criswell

As the Holy Spirit flowed, I was learning even more as a mouthpiece of His message of faith through last night's Girlfriends 2016 Women Conference in Belton.  One of the many reminders while speaking and sharing my testimony of waywardness to redemption, was in regards to how my incredible parents prayed prayers of faith for over a decade over me, even in the times when they didn't know if I was dead or alive. The reminder that came forth was when we pray by faith, it doesn't mean we don't recognize the "facts". Think about it, my parents knew the painful, hard hitting facts. They wept and were distraught especially when they heard what people were saying about my lifestyle - but PRAISE GOD, my parents even in those moments did not allow those "facts" to replace God's TRUTH in changing how they prayed. They continued God's declarations of faith; they echoed His Truth and perhaps the faith declarations; the echoing Word of Truth spoken went something like this, "Teresa is a daughter of The King, she is as a graceful pillar carved to beautify a palace - she will gather women together and share of the goodness of God. She is no longer wayward but now redeemed as she will live and declare the works of the Lord..."

Oh how our prayers of faith in the midst of trying circumstances are unshakeable even while we may shake with everything in us - yet even still - if and when we focus Who our faith must be in, we begin to get excited again in Him as we remember WHO IS FOR US - more so than who is against us.

As I think upon that evening, it was so sweet as my mom came to surprise me as I was invited to be the guest speaker for this beautiful women's conference - and upon that moment, receiving the microphone, and going up to the platform - it was divinely incredible to watch my mom get to see the prayers of her and dad's faith unfold right before her I shared God's testimony of my story - I witnessed her at many times closing her eyes and sensing she was even in that moment interceding for me as I declared the testimony of God's character and faithfulness.

I am reminded of a glimpse of God's victorious mindset...If you've been stolen from in any way - whether the financial realm; or perhaps life ending in death; to health being compromised with sickness and disease; from marriage being severed by separation or divorce; from anticipation of giving birth to the suddenly news of a miscarriage; or longing for your wayward son or daughter to come home; in the midst of mourning; God has equipped us with HIS victory by His grace that allows us to rise above the ashes even while tears stream down our face and in His strength proclaim with HIS WORD, "Oh no! The enemy won't get the satisfaction that he stole from me - instead I now sow/give that moment back to You Father as a seed; I release those people and moments to You as I KNOW YOU Father take every evil thing and turn it around for YOUR GLORY and I will partner with YOU Lord as I know I will receive a 30, 60, 100 fold return in Jesus name to share the greatness of YOU LORD yet again; for I will not be kept quiet even as I wait - FOR MY HOPE IS IN YOU LORD and in this hope that I have in You, my strength shall be renewed - I WILL run and not be weary; I WILL walk and not faint (Isaiah 40:31)!"

Scripture References:
Psalm 144:12
Proverbs 18:21
Romans 4:17
Psalm 45:10-13
Book of Hosea
Isaiah 60 and 61
Romans 8:31
Matthew 13
Isaiah 40:31

Monday, April 25, 2016

Prayers of Faith...

Triumphant Victorious Reminders
Inspired by the Holy Spirit
Written by: Teresa Criswell

"Without faith it is impossible to please God."
~ Hebrews 11:6 ~

Have you ever been in awe of a child's imagination?  The world of colors and wild adventure - no boxes, just open skies, open atmosphere...creativity revealed in pictures, words, movements, songs and so much more.

(Photo, courtesy of my sister, Mary Kay McCall)

Imagination geared to The God of PURE imaginations is one of the tools to walk by faith in HIM!

Here's an example of what I mean by this.  I have to believe my parents did this over me as they believed in God, no matter what I did - they believed God more so than what they saw me doing. I truly believe this is how they prayed for me...may this bring encouragement and may your soul be refreshed as it aligned with the spirit of who God intended you to be - for your spouse to be - your children - your friends - your acquaintances - those you pray for:

This is a glimpse of what "prayers of faith" look like and what we get to declare over our sons/daughters - when the naysayers ask or people we know who care, yet pray what they "see" instead of what God intended - this is how we get to speak...for the sons and daughters are depending on our prayers of faith, not the prayers of frustration or prayers that curse them with a woeing doom...instead it's prayers that reveal the fear of the Lord that cause our prayers to line up with The way Jesus prays to The Father.
Example of the prayers of faith that I believe my parents prayed while I was astray...
Friend/Acquaintance: How is Teresa?
Can you imagine if my parents responded: We are so glad you asked as I'm not going to share what is going on in the present moment as this too shall pass - however we will tell you who our Teresa really is - 
Teresa is a woman after God's heart, she is doing the purposes of God as she binds up the broken hearted, she comforts those who mourn and she's proclaiming liberty to the captives and declaring that the prisoners WILL BE set free! If you could see her, she is as a graceful pillar carved to beautify a palace and her mind is so renewed with the understanding of Who God is that she is walking out the unfolding beauty of her knowing of who she is IN HIM! Instead of searching who she is - she is searching after Jesus and now knows who she really is as she knows she doesn't belong to herself, she belongs to God and God alone!

Oh, if you could see her, you would be moved to tears as she gathers the women together to see God and go to Him as little children who know they can trust Him with all their hearts and with everything they have! She has this new way of thinking like Christ as every diagnosis of this fallen world has disappeared and the diagnosis of God is being revealed in her very life - it's amazing how she is now addicted to God and pursues Him with a passion that causes others to want to come to God! The Holy Spirit arrested her spirit and now her soul is lined up with His plans and purposes and she wears this crown of beauty and drips with this oil of joy that has a fragrance you can't stop smelling and she has this new wardrobe of praise and her ONLY STRONGHOLD now is her Everlasting Father as He is her future and her hope - the events of her life do not hold her hope and future - instead it is God who does and now her every moments and events reveal Who truly is her hope and future!! Oh my! We are looking forward to you meeting our daughter as you have already met her two beautiful sisters!

And in this faith declaration as this I BELIEVE HAD TO HAVE BEEN somewhat declared over me - no matter what they "saw" in the natural, dad and mom were not moved by me and how I was behaving, instead they saw God's glory in my life and that's what they held onto and declared and as we do this - watch what others will see as we begin to pray like this...each of us will see with the "God compassion" and even when we speak to the daughters who are not lining with the destiny of God "yet" - we can say, just as I remember my dad saying things like, "Teresa, this is the REAL YOU..." - and this will one day cause our children, our spouse, our friends, our family members to walk out of sin and shame and into the very ONE Who delivers them out of selfish desires and into Himself who is selfless.

Tears stream even now as this past Friday (Passover) at Daughters of The King, God so sweetly reminded me of where I was without my awareness of Him all those years ago and in this He reminded me of who prayed in faith over me and how to pass it along to the ones who need to hope in our God.

I just know this is a small glimpse of God's heart and Kingdom perspective of how to pray over the ones who are wayward as God does not call them "wayward" but "found, redeemed and reconciled to Himself" and this moment of remembrance caused me to have a more softened heart.  

Yesterday while in our corporate, family gathering at REACH Church, as Pastor Chris Gilkey spoke to never give up and I also remembered as pastor spoke that My Jesus, my Champion declared life over me when many others saw me as rebellious, hopeless and an aimless wanderer - this series that pastor is teaching has brought me to a new place of remembering - remembrance of the goodness of God is so key, isn't it? 

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

40 Years Ago...

Triumphant Victorious Reminders
Inspired by the Holy Spirit
Written by: Teresa Criswell

Persistence. Perseverance. Tenacity. Never give up.

It was in 1976, on a Tuesday evening yet another knock on the door. It was like clock work. Every Tuesday night for a couple weeks, Ray and his counterpart were on their Tuesday evening "visitation" route as a particular couple's home was part of their route every week for the last few weeks.

Of course, on the other end, the couple knew who it was as they had a routine drill of their own. Whenever the couple heard the knock on the door, they would slowly get on the ground, crawl on all fours to make the outsiders think no one was home.  The only problem? Ray knew they were home because one, their car was in the driveway and two, he could hear the floors creaking as they tried to quietly move away from the front room.  If I remember the story correctly, Ray would knock on the door, hear the creaking sounds and then say something like, "Gerard! I know you're in is the day of Salvation." I laugh as I love this man's persistence - it was like the Holy Spirit through Ray compelled him to not give up because of the calling on their lives and even the lives of those who were not born yet.

After a few visits of no one answering the door...this particular evening, after Ray's persistent attempts to see another person come to Jesus, Gerard finally opened the door to his home along with his wife Nan and their two year old little girl.  That very day changed the course of this family's future. Not only did Gerard open the door to his physical home - but he opened up the door of his heart to Jesus. From that moment, Gerard and Nan went on to have two more little girls...they taught their three daughters about this God who loved them so much that He sent His willing Son to die for them so that they could live a life with God.  This incredible couple brought these young ladies up in the Lord as Ray had been their pastor for a number of years. These young women remember being brought up with beautiful families that did life together, broke bread together and fellowshipped often - they remember all the gatherings - the fellowships - the going out to eat at Godfather's Pizza and then years later God would lead Gerard and Nan out into the unknown - yet so known by God.

Through all the ups and downs - the challenges of life and even their oldest daughter who would stray away from all that she knew, including this God that seemed so far away as she was more in awe of the world than in awe of the One Who loved the world - even in this, it led this beautiful family to trust God more - they became a family that stood united - no matter who walked away, they would stay faithful to this amazing God Who seemed to pause the world that evening in 1976 just for them. It was as though they could never forgot and could't turn their back on God just because their oldest daughter did.  They prayed for her, they loved her from afar, not knowing if she was still alive as months would go by before they ever heard from her.

Who is this family that I speak of?  It's my see, in 1976, our lives changed forever because a man who was touched forever by God had to share this touch with others. God's love is persistent - His love is unchanging and His love never gives up!

I am so grateful to God for Ray Pew, whom I still refer to as "Pastor Pew" - he will forever have a place in my never know who you'll get to introduce to Jesus - you never know the lives that will be forever changed...but just know this - God's heart is for the lost and broken - He doesn't give up and His love is what must be received so we can freely give to others from this boundless love that is far more reaching than we can ever imagine!

What happened to Gerard and Nan's daughter?  Well, that daughter is me...and there's a line that my middle sister would say on a consistent basis whenever she spoke to me...before we would hang up the phone she would say, "Teresa, remember you can take a million steps away from God...but take one step back and He is right there."

Well, in 1993 Teresa walked away from all that she knew - and almost 10 years later, in October 2002 her mom and dad flew to see her and her family to deliver a ring that her dad designed just for her as he did for her other two sisters.  As her dad gave her the ring, he said, "Whenever you see this ring, say a prayer for mom and dad." Of course, didn't dad know better?  He knew she didn't pray...and yet 5 months later, on March 6, 2003, their daughter would surrender her all to Jesus and never turn back as later she realized that the ring was a prophetic point of contact to say, "Welcome home daughter...welcome home!"

Be persistent with God's persistence...His persistence is moved by His eternal love that is unchanging and the only thing impossible to God is to give up - He doesn't know how - He is faithful even when we are not!

Bless you today and if you are a family member or friend who hasn't given up yet on a loved one to to be saved and forever changed - don't give up now, instead remember this promise that Paul reminded the jailer from Acts 16..."You and your household shall be saved!" Don't be moved by their mess ups - just be moved by the message God has in the midst of their mess.  As my sister would say, "Teresa, you're living out your testimony!" And wow...she wasn't kidding!

Monday, April 11, 2016


Triumphant Victorious Reminders
Inspired by the Holy Spirit
Written by: Teresa Criswell

Based on the goodness of God and His wisdom - God has reminded me in my mess ups the reason we are called to "confess our sins one to another" - it is to remain in unity with the Holy Spirit of God - and when we do this, we know it comes with a call to pray for one another and even have the ability to pray for one another's healing (James 5:16).

Notice, it does NOT say, "confess OTHER people's sins to one another" because that is called, Gossip and it brings division amongst one another.

What does division actually do? It dismembers; cuts off limbs; mutilates...this is what happens in the spirit when we get caught up in division of any sort  - we end up taking the "ax of the enemy" and dismembering and mutilating others.

This picture in and of itself is alarming and will help us to not fall prey to the schemes of the enemy - his scheme is to get us to stand on his side of the courtroom to accuse others because he knows the great law of sowing and reaping and he would love nothing more than for us to reap havoc in our own lives because our point of view on others was not God's. Yet, just know this - the enemy will even make us feel as though we are in the right so we feel better about our "self-righteous" stand - oh! But this is when we can say, "He got to us too late because I know what God says..."

Let each of us be watchful and if someone begins to gossip about someone's marriage, divorce, addictions, wayward children or other personal matters, immediately stop it as you cover them as well as the one they are about to talk about - covering them with the mercy of God as God's grace empowers you to stand in Truth. Remember, the person who is about to gossip may not know it is gossip, as they may be new in The Lord and truly concerned for the individual's well being...that is where we get to come in and offer a teaching opportunity - and here is a way on "how" to do that...

"I need to interject as my spirit is not at ease with where our conversation is going. I so understand your concern, and I have been where you are - yet I have learned that God's concerns must trump our own as I am reminded of what God's Word says in Ephesians 4:29, "Do not let corrupt or foul communication come out of our mouths - only that which is good to the use of edifying and encouraging so that the result brings grace to those who hear it."

I know I need this reminder on a daily basis - the enemy does not care if we are new or seasoned in the Lord - many times he will use situations that would draw a "convicting opinion" out of us which will only help his cause because we can easily justify why we have "the right" to accuse them.

Here's another reminder that trumps that "self righteous" thinking from Luke 6:27-38, "Jesus said, "If you're willing to listen then love your enemies..." Jesus continued by saying HOW to love them - "Bless those that hurt you, pray for those that use you and bless those who persecute you."

This is humanly impossible - but with the reminder of God's Love we have freely received - when that reminder takes place- it's like this "lid" comes off and His love runs freely through us - His grace empowers us to do above and beyond what we could ever do on our own. Isn't He amazing? He has equipped us! Yes He has!

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Do We Add To The Chaos Or Do We Bring Peace?

Triumphant Victorious Reminders
Inspired by the Holy Spirit
Written by: Teresa Stevens Criswell

When you walk into a you add negative insight to an already difficult situation? Or do you provide an atmosphere of hope? A safe place for others to thrive?

As we ponder those personal questions - here's how to activate God's faith, hope and aware of God's character - how He is immovable and unchanging - no matter pop culture or circumstances or even other people's annoyances or shortcomings - just because we recognize those things does not mean we were ever meant to focus on them.  

This is a Triumphant Victorious Reminder that God is not moved by our ever changing moments of despair or joy - nor is He moved by our current status - He is not even "fickled out" by our upbringing or lack thereof - nor is He moved by whether you worked hard all your life or if you are just plain lazy...He is compelled by Himself because He is faithful and is the God of integrity and character and in this He has purposed to infuse His character and integrity  into our being so we may exercise His ability through our lives to receive the mandate to spread the Gospel of the Good News with not just our words but with our lives, displaying the Kingdom of God which is Righteousness, Peace and Joy!

Let's go...let's go in His peace - the Shalom of God that causes nothing to be broken or missing in Jesus name! What about those moments when we see things broken and missing?  We have the opportunity to change from mere sight to vision by doing something - and that "something" is utilizing our faith in God that "calls those things that be not as though they already are..." - now that's the life in Him we get to live with victory to spread hope and joy into others!

Scripture references:
Psalm 91
Micah 6:8
Galatians 6:9
Romans 4:17

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Note To My Soul...

Triumphant Victorious Reminders
Inspired by the Holy Spirit
Written by: Teresa Criswell

Note to my soul:

Teresa, when you are reminded of the obedient, submitted sacrifice of your Jesus - even Him knowing all that you would do against God and others; He willingly took every torturing, tormenting whip to where tissue and muscles were torn to shreds - the tormenting pain of being stretched across the remains of a tree to be nailed, and when He was thirsty they mockingly "refreshed" Him with something equivalent to vinegar...from there Jesus uttered the Words, "Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do!" If that wasn't enough, He even musters the strength to speak to the thief on the cross to declare that he has been forgiven and today, he would see him in paradise.

Yet even beyond that, He placed on Himself every kind of sin, sorrow, grief, infirmity, sickness and disease upon Himself to where His own Father had to turn His head and then Jesus cries out, "Father, why have You forsaken Me?" He did that for you Teresa...He did that for you...He did it for the worst of the worst and He did it for the best of the best - from there He declared, "it is finished!" And it truly looked like it looked like it was finished for Jesus and it looked like death, hell and the grave won - yet 3 glorious days later - Jesus resurrected out of His tomb with God's resurrecting power - so powerful that right after Jesus died, the earth shook and the graves of the saints opened up and they resurrected and waited in the cemetery until Jesus by God's power resurrected Him and those who were once dead were now alive and they even began appearing before many people! Teresa -  Oh my God - this Jesus you get to know - He is the MOST INCREDIBLE HERO - He tops Samson's greatest feat against the Philistines! 

Teresa, you know Jesus - you've said that He rescued you - Teresa, He didn't die to such extremes so you could remain hanging onto every hurt, offense, grief, bitterness, and nasty thinking and still get to declare you have been saved by Jesus - He did it so you wouldn't have to pay the debt - He paid the price - no wonder why people say, "If they don't pay for it they won't value it as much..." Teresa, today, moment by moment, reconsider the value of none other than Jesus RESURRECTION DAY...Teresa, you must work out your Salvation daily - MOMENT BY MOMENT WITH FEAR AND TREMBLING...


Scripture references:
Matthew 27
Matthew 27:45-65

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Thoughts Foretelling Your Future?

Triumphant Victorious Reminders
Inspired by the Holy Spirit
Written by: Teresa Criswell

"All the days of the desponding and afflicted are made evil [by anxious thoughts and forebodings], but he who has a glad heart has a continual feast [regardless of circumstances]."
- Proverbs 15:15, Amplified (AMP)

In other words...
When we get a feeling that bad things will happen and then become controlled by our anxious thoughts, we by default begin to "foretell" our future which becomes bleak - we become unhappy, in low spirit, dejected and altogether losing confidence resulting in being troubled, burdened and distressed and then wonder why evil seems to be surrounding us. Yet those who have grateful hearts toward God have thoughts to praise Him and enjoy a continual feast, no matter the circumstances. both cases the circumstances are the same - they are not good - yet it is about perspective in the midst of the hardships and difficulties.

Hope in God keeps us strengthened with God's supernatural love, revealing His peace and joy that are incomprehensible; overflowing with effortless celebration in the spirit knowing Who has accepted us as we know our confidence is in Him and Him alone...

We can no longer allow our thoughts to foretell our future...we must take our thoughts captive and bring them to the ONE WHO has our future!
Scripture References:
Nehemiah 8:10
Galatians 5
Isaiah 49:16

Friday, February 12, 2016

Yes you...

Triumphant Victorious Reminders
Inspired by the Holy Spirit
Written by: Teresa Stevens Criswell

Chosen. Worthy. Highly valued. Masterpiece.

Yes...I'm writing to you...will you believe The Father God?
Have you been in fear long enough?
Fear of "What will they think"?
Fear of loss?
Fear of gain so I don't lose again?
Fear of stepping out and into the unknown?
Fear of "What if no one says, 'Hi'""?
Fear of "What if no one shows up?"
Fear of "What if they reject me?"
Fear of...

Are you done with the fears that speculate, assume and accuse impending doom?

You may be right...
- they may think you're crazy or even roll their eyes 
- you may experience loss and you may even gain to lose it all again...
- you may even experience being overlooked and
- no one may even show up and
- you might even get rejected...

BUT guess what?

Are you done with allowing others to STOP you from your destiny in the Father? Did you even think that there may be a group of "cheerleaders" that God sends down your path that says..."It's worth it...keep pressing on and in The One Who says, "You are worthy and highly valued for you are My masterpiece and one day the full picture will be revealed and I want you to see how you were a part in the countless lives who chose to believe Me..."

Chosen one...take the enemy's weapons that were meant to destroy you - and allow the Holy Spirit, The Great Helper and Teacher to teach you how to use them to propel you into places you never dreamed or imagined in HIM...

Here's the lesson...if anyone causes you to feel overlooked or insignificant in life, bless them and thank God for the opportunity to now be intentional in recognizing others - seeing them beyond the surface and watch them soar...allowing God to turn those sorrows into a lifestyle of soaring like an eagle...
Scripture References:
"Perfect love casts out all fear." 
- I John 4:18, NLT

"All the days of the desponding and afflicted are 
made evil [by anxious thoughts and forebodings], 
but he who has a glad heart has a continual feast 
[regardless of circumstances]." 
- Proverbs 15:15, AMP
"For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created 
us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good 
things he planned for us long ago." 
- Ephesians 2:10, NLT
"...To all who mourn in Israel,
he will give a crown of beauty for ashes,
a joyous blessing instead of mourning,
festive praise instead of despair.
In their righteousness, they will be like great oaks
that the lord has planted for his own glory..."
- Isaiah 61, NLT