Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Insight

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



Have you noticed how the Lord is giving us insight as to how the enemy is at work? Well in that, God clearly shows us how He, Himself operates.

For instance, have you ever speculated, or assumed that someone has pulled away from you? I know I have in the past. However what is so awesome about the Lord is if we let Him, even if the pulling away is truly happening - the Lord is allowing us to see through the schemes of the enemy which is to bring division by getting offended and guess what happens? These schemes, if not recognized, will cause us to stop interceding on one another's behalf.

So how do we pray when we feel that, whether true or not? We pray - "God, cover my sister/brother...Whatever they're going through - thank you that you have them and hold them so very tightly - show me Lord how to reach out to them...show me how they need your love in this season. Lord, if their assignment with me is over in this season, bless them as they are now assigned elsewhere and may your Shalom presence saturate them."

This is a great, practical way to stay in unity - by being unified in God's Holy Spirit. These are the last days - we must stick close to one another, whether it be through just intercession or both physically and spiritually.

Let us be reminded, when tempted to pull away, we must be careful who we're being pulled into...God doesn't scatter - He unifies. You are His and He is yours! Peace be with you at all times!

Monday, July 6, 2015

From regret...

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



Recently, the thought of those who carry regret caused compassion to overwhelm my soul as the images I saw were likened to someone carrying a decaying carcass on their back. 

Do you constantly remind of yourself of your regretful past?  Whether it's in a passing comment or a thought, I liken it to heaping ashes of the dead upon your head. Do you want this ceremonial reminder to cease? 

With that said, have you heard the saying, "Don't forget where you came from?" Although I understand the point of this saying - let me explain what I have been awoken to...

Recently, I broke free from the lie that whispered, "If you're not reminded of what you've wrongfully done in the past, then you'll slip back into that lifestyle of sin again."  Here's how freedom annihilated me...it was in one moment - that specific moment I was rescued and delivered as the Breath of God caused me to realize that all along I was heeding to the whispers of the demonic.

As though it were a "suddenly", I awoke to divine understanding from the Holy Spirit's wooing.  His goodness allowing me to see Him shake off the sackcloth of lies and replace it with a beautiful garment of hope and praise.  This garment He gave me was to focus on Him which allows me to cast off the lies. Here it is, believing that the memory of my past is what saves me from going back.  If this becomes my principle of living a life of so-called freedom then I have forgotten Who has rescued me from myself. My focus was never to be on the shame but on The One Who delivered me from shame.

Have you lived in shame for long enough?  Are you finished with echoing the religious spirit's lie of justifying why you remain in the prison of deceit?  Then I urge you...call on the Freedom Fighter's name...His name is above every name and that is JESUS!  Watch regret turn to repentance - and let that turning back to The Father's heart allow you to praise Him right where you are.  He doesn't have an anniversary reminder of your sins - instead He "triumphantly and victoriously reminds" you of what you're becoming in Him, for He is the Author and Finisher of your faith...so let His story merge into yours so that you become the Hope of Glory in Christ Jesus. 

Let freedom begin...

Scripture references:
Psalm 38:4
Romans 8
Romans 2:4
Isaiah 61
Philippians 4
Hebrews 12:2

Saturday, June 20, 2015

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

Today, I get to honor my dad...



Dad, you are the definition of a true man. Your yes is yes and your no is no and most of the time - there's no such thing as a maybe - LOL.

Dad, we, your daughters, along with mom, agree wholeheartedly that you are a man of integrity, honor, character and truth. You love it when the truth wins out and when people's hearts come back to the Father God, you rejoice! Although a man of few words - the words you do speak have much weight as they're filled with nuggets of wisdom! Your motto is quite simple, "When God says "Go", sometimes man will most likely say, "No."

You taught us to never take someone's opinion of another human being and run with it...you also taught us to remember if we didn't hear it from the person - but only heard it from others it's just hearsay and you've reminded us of the Proverbs that says, "Every story sounds true until you set the record straight." Dad, there is so much more that you live and lead by great example!  Even as I write I'm reminded of making sure I don't live by what others say, but only by what God says.

I love you so much dad...you are one who allowed us to see major glimpses of God as one who loves us and how we can easily approach Him boldly to the throne of Grace. Happy Father's Day to our God for allowing us to have you dad as our first earthly hero.  Happy Father's Day, we love you!

Friday, May 29, 2015

Chocolate Silk Pie...

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

So yesterday we had two of my husband's friends come over for dinner. As we were getting ready for their arrival, my husband had gone outside to grill the steaks when across the room I spotted a half of a chocolate silk cream pie on the counter. Oh goodness, my adrenaline started pumping as I honed in on that pie and as though I was in a "chocolate" trance I went to the silverware drawer and grabbed me a big ol' fork, proceeded to pop the lid off the container and without even a thought started eating that thing as though I had never had chocolate before...ha! As I came to reality, my eyes widened as I was incredibly shocked to see the only thing left remaining was a half ring of pie crust, chocolate and a little evidence of whip cream...have you ever done that? Where you ate something so delicious and realized you ate more than you had planned?  So, I guess the little girl in me thought, "Just put it on the cake stand and no one will even notice..." (I can just hear my sweet  mom's voice in her Korean accent, "Aww Teresa, you no eat like that...you know better.")

 

Well, upon our guests arrival, Trissy and I were getting ready to leave for a meeting - at this point I had forgotten about the pie incident. As we came back home a couple hours later, we were greeted by everyone when I spotted the same pie on the counter - but there was even more in the container than when I feasted on it just a couple hours earlier! Drawn to it yet again, I said out loud, "Wow! I love that pie!" And then I heard the laughter from the men as they reenacted what happened next, I was almost on the floor rolling in laughter!

Now you have to understand these men...they are MEN...warriors, manly and just like super heros...so they began to tell me what had happened. After they had eaten their steak dinners, my husband was so excited about this chocolate cream pie! The guys were excited too but kept visiting and about half hour later, my husband's friend reminded him, "Hey! Where's that pie?" So hubby said, "Oh yeah! Come on!" So they get up from the table and hubby opens the refrigerator when he says, "Hmmm...I can't find it...O wait! I bet Teresa put it in the cake plate", and as he walked over to the cake plate, his friend closely behind him - they spot none other than my plundered feat of the sad remains of a chocolate pie!!! Hubby quickly assesses and says, "Oh man! Well there's no putting this together" and his friend said, "What the heck happened?" And all my husband said was, "Well it looks like two little mice got in there and their names start with "T""! They busted out laughing and made a trip to the grocery store and that's how the pie "reappeared"!

So of course, I sadly admitted there was only one mouse and  it was all me in which they laughed even more.  Yet even in this real life scenario I was reminded of our amazing God - of course there are two ways to see this - but I'm going to speak from this victorious perspective...in those moments when we finally see intimacy with God is likened to feasting on a chocolate silk pie - we get to that place where we can't get enough of Him and the time spent with Him we can't believe how much time has passed - and when it looks like our day was "wasted" because of the time that got away in His presence - He redeems that time back in ways we could never imagine - and we end up getting more work done that matters to both Him and to us! The moral? Taste and see that the Lord is sooooo good as we will delight in Who He is - there's so much more of Him to be had - dig in!

Psalm 34:8, "Taste and see that the Lord is good. Oh the joys of those who take refuge in Him!"

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

The Mystery Revealed Through Us...

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



Praying the Word of God; in all of it's importance to do so - do we understand the magnitude of these prayers?

I have to ask myself, do I long for the constant awareness of His presence?
Have I fallen asleep to the awakening of His empowering grace?
Do I allow His supernatural power to invade in and through me to walk in Who He is with supernatural ability to be and do above and beyond my natural abilities? 

With that said, I think on Isaiah 11:2, which I am led to pray quite often: "May the Spirit of the Lord rest on us - The Spirit of Wisdom and Understanding, The Spirit of Counsel and Might, The Spirit of Knowledge and the Fear of the Lord." Yet today, I was compelled to continue reading on through verse 5.  Upon this reading, my eyes were opened to understanding - this prayer of The Spirit of the Lord to rest on me is to awaken me to understanding what the Spirit of the Lord desires to be through me, just as the Spirit of the Lord did through Jesus - it's not just to be smart and witty or know how to see, say and hear things more clearly - it's truly to be able to:

- Delight in obeying the Lord
- Never judge by appearance (Whether they look the part or not), false evidence, or hearsay.
- Defend the poor and the exploited.
- Rule against the wicked and destroy them with the breath of our mouth.
- Be clothed with fairness and truth

Today's Triumphant, Victorious Reminder is that in His presence is fullness of joy to be able to delight in obeying Him; to delight in never judging others by their appearance (Whether they "look" good or bad), false evidence or hearsay; to delight in defending the poor and the physically and spiritually exploited; with humility to rule against the wicked as we speak what The Spirit of God would speak through us, cutting sharper than any two edged sword - being able to see clearly between the soul realm and the spirit realm; and with delight be clothed with fairness and truth.

As we pray the Word of God, may we realize it's not just to possess "super" powers to look good or having the false mindset of "accessing" a "genie in a bottle"  - the purpose is to reveal the loving power of God to see people set free to be a part of releasing them from their prison cells and FINALLY seeing the glory of the Lord through us which gives others hope - for we have the honor to be ambassadors - representatives and agents of a beautiful mystery - and that mystery is simply this: we are the hope of Glory, and that is us revealing with our actions that Christ lives in us!

Scripture References:
Isaiah 11:2-5
Isaiah 61:1-3
Psalm 16:11
Colossians 1:27

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Fabrics...

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


 
 

"I have to have it!  Oh my goodness that outfit is a MUST! Where can I get it?"

Depending on who wears it and if they wear it well...for many in the fashion industry, their clothing is to inspire and if marketed well, it compels others to want it also.

So with that said, it caused me to think of what I've been called to clothe myself in...it's made with the finest fabrics, made by the Author of all designers who clothes the ones He has chosen to represent on the "red carpet" of this life to display His glory - as others look in awe - I must wear the rare fabrics of tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience.  This beautiful array of threads interwoven with gorgeous grace gives allowance to extend to others in their faults just as He has done for me and causing me to be aware of forgiving the people who I have allowed to offend me.  This beautiful garment reminds me of the great forgiveness of God in all the sins I have committed, and in that is great responsibility to be quick to forgive others as well with HIS forgiveness that is endless.  Yet even with all those beautiful fabrics, the most important piece of clothing to wear is LOVE - it is the rarest of all and it's the very one that brings all the other rare pieces to fit together so uniquely well as the garment falls into place binding me with others in Him in perfect harmony and reminding me to always be thankful to God for Who He is.

It's great to know what we need to do, but HOW?
It's simple, the "currency" of receiving this clothing is with a heart of gratefulness allowing the LOVE of GOD to rest on us - bringing us into intimacy with the Most Famous Designer of all times...and here's one of the keys, when we become aware of our ungrateful hearts, we no longer need to feel condemnation or shame, instead we can be thankful to Him that His Spirit made us aware of the ungratefulness and simply say, "Thank you Father for Jesus Who is revealed by the Holy Spirit who came to reveal the love of the Father." It's simple - when we mess up in the midst of hard times - He makes allowances for us to get back up in Him and reveal Him more and more - for He is Love!

Scripture Reference:
Colossians 3:12-17

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Have the things of God become a god?

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


What a reminder...to never let the "things" of God become my idol...

- The focus was never meant to be solely on the Ark of the Covenant...but THE ONE WHO took up residence within the Ark.
- The focus was never meant to be solely on the Cross but THE ONE WHO hung on that cross.
- The focus was never meant to be solely on the tomb but THE ONE WHO WAS RAISED OUT OF THE TOMB.
- The focus was never meant to be on prayer but THE ONE WHOM WE PRAY TO and WHO PRAYS TO HIS FATHER FOR US...THE GREATEST INTERCESSOR OF ALL.
- The focus was never meant to be about church but THE ONE WHO IS THE HEAD OF THE CHURCH and imitating HIM as we are the church.
- The focus was never meant to be on the gifts of the Spirit but THE HOLY SPIRIT WHO HAS GIVEN THE GIFTS.
- The focus was never meant to be solely on the Bible but THE ONE WHO IS REVEALED IN THE BIBLE.
- The focus was never meant to be solely on faith but THE ONE WHOM WE HAVE FAITH IN...AND THAT IS GOD.
- The focus was never meant to be solely on healing but THE ONE WHO IS THE HEALER.
- The focus was never meant to be on the enemy but on THE ONE WHO HAS DEFEATED the enemy!
- We stay fixed on JESUS...it's all about an incredible relationship with HIM...not an incredible system that occasionally refers to HIM.

Monday, April 20, 2015

Blame...

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


Let's just say you have a sneaky suspicion that your child is about to do something contrary to what you have taught them pertaining to what is right, just and godly - and upon that warning you talk to them and lovingly encourage them to do what is right - yet they continue on and they end up committing the wrongful deed and perhaps worst off - they even end up living in a lifestyle of sin - even after ALL the urgent pleas and fervent prayers.

So the question is - "Are you to blame?"

Of course not...right?

So in the same manner we must no longer blame God for things that others are influenced to do by the enemy rather than the Holy Spirit...let us remember that Jesus said it Himself, "The enemy has come to kill, steal and destroy BUT I have come to give life and life more abundantly!" I hear that scripture with such deep victory: "Teresa! The enemy has come to kill, steal and destroy but listen to Me...the enemies do not have the last word - even when you see evil happenings - do not let their actions convince you that they have the final say and here's WHY - because I have come, the Overcomer of death, hell and destruction for the purpose of bringing not just life but life of abundance that are without limits!"

Triumphantly and victoriously I am reminded today instead of blaming God and asking Him, "Why?" as if He is to blame for the awful things that happen because of the influence of the "god" of this world - let us instead  praise the Almighty, One True God and allow Him to blow us away with His supernatural goodness in the midst of the ruin and devastation of other people's choices influenced by darkness and let us reveal the Light of God by allowing our choices to reveal the influence of Life to pulverize the lies of, "It's over...it's too late...I'll never catch a break..." How exciting to know we are equipped to be MORE THAN OVERCOMERS IN CHRIST echoing His words of life revealing the Abundant Life Giving God by confessing, "They said this, but God what do you say about that?"

We want to blame God for something?
Let's "blame" Him for:
- making a way when there seems to be no way
- causing our crooked paths to be straight
- being the Creator of the endless heavens and the universe He has displayed
- sending His greatest gift to bring us back to Him
- giving us His Promised Holy Spirit to be able to walk in His Supernatural Love
- breathing continual Life into us in the midst of heinous and hopeless situations

The conclusion? Instead of blaming let's keep praising!


Scripture references:
John 10:10
James 1:17
Romans 5:13-15
Isaiah 45:2
John 3
Isaiah 11:2
Acts
Isaiah 61:1-3


Thursday, April 9, 2015

Looking back on my blog entry from December 31, 2009

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

Repost from December 31, 2009 entry...



"And when they had struck them with many blows, they threw them into prison charging the jailer to keep them safely. He, having receiving so strict a charge, put them into the inner prison (the dungeon) and fastened their feet in the stocks. But about midnight, as Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns of praise to God, and the [other] prisoners were listening to them, suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the very foundations of the prison were shaken; and at once all the doors were opened and everyone's shackles were unfastened."...
~ Acts 16 (Excerpt from Acts 16:23-26) ~

A fellow blogger wrote on his post, "...I sat, rather laid, much of today just in this coffin of depression, self-worthlessness, and soaking up the cloudy skies even though the sun was quite brilliant today."

Descriptive feelings so real with confusion. Are you familiar with such overwhelming feelings? Personally, I know these feelings all too well.

I distinctly remember a vivid moment a few months ago, being in this state of mind...darkness seemed to prevail all around. It was a subtle fog that slowly constricted my ability to function. I remember feeling as though a dark cloud was moving above and upon me about to grip me as I could hear the chains of hopelessness follow closely behind. SUDDENLY I heard a 'still small voice' in my 'spirit'...yet it seemed to be a SHOUT. I heard, "Praise ME now as though your life depends on it." I thought with great bewilderment, "WHAT?" "This is the last thing I 'feel' like doing...however as my husband says quite often, "I was dumb enough to listen and smart enough to try it."

Needless to say in this overwhelming feeling of great depression the few words proceeded out of my unwilling mouth...My mouth formed the words with great effort, "I praise You Lord! I praise You Lord! I praise You Lord!" This was said over and over again for a few minutes...it seemed much longer...yet, it was truly only a few minutes and then SUDDENLY it was as a RUSHING RIVER flowing literally out of my belly spilling forth out of my mouth. The words that were being declared were allowing the Holy Spirit on the inside of me to speak forth the awesome praises of Almighty God. The SUDDENLY moment literally dispelled the darkness. The SUDDENLY moment effects of praising God obliterated the 'coffin' of depression that I once laid in and resurrected from.

As I am reminded of the great weapon of praise unto Almighty God; I must sound the 'Trumpet of Triumph' making the beautiful sound of encouragement.

Today, at this very moment, whatever is facing you, praise the Almighty God for Who He is. You aren't going to feel like it. You aren't going to want to. Every part of who you are is going to want to 'kick and scream' and have no part of it. Your circumstances at this moment may be so overwhelming to even think about...however God wants to overwhelm you with His powerful Love, Mercy and Grace to get you through this.

God is the Lifter of Your Head. He is the Overwhelming Light that would melt the flesh off our physical bodies as His Glory is eternally beyond what we could ever imagine or dare try. Let us follow the praises of our 'forefathers' Paul and Silas unto Almighty God and see the chains of despair and depression be annihilated and obliterated in a suddenly moment.

If we're going to be overwhelmed today, let's be overwhelmed by Who God is. You are loved, as He has not left you nor has He forsaken you, NEVER, NEVER, NEVER!

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Paradigm Shift

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



How often have I prayed for Love, Joy, Patience, etc...?

Investigators, counselors, leaders in many industries are taught not to just ask questions, but to ask the "right" ones.

The same goes with prayer...am I praying to get answers?
Or am I praying to draw closer to The One Who is The Answer?
In this awareness I begin to pray differently - prayer becomes communion versus a list of requests and "Get out of jail" pleas.

So here's an example...I became aware of Galatians 5:22-23 in my constant need of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,  gentleness, and self-control...especially this past weekend.

A situation, actually a few situations of life this weekend caused stuff inside of me to come out that God so gently highlighted in hind sight. His gentleness surrounded me as He took me back to the scenes of different real life scenarios which allowed me to see my heart in sweet surrender.

The question that surfaced:
"Teresa, did your heart and actions reflect Me?"
And I was able to honestly answer - "No".

No matter what my surroundings were or what people I barely knew were doing or not doing, saying or not saying did not give me the right to say or behave with a poor attitude reflecting actions of plain ol' peasantry.

Later, as I reflected back on the weekend  I said to my husband, "Babe, looking back I know I needed to stir up patience in those situations." And my husband also reflecting - with a pause - he also agreed. Yet moments later the Holy Spirit whispered, "Daughter, it was not patience that needed to be stirred"...then there was a pause to awaken insight in me...the Holy Spirit continued, "Patience is not what needed to be stirred...it is ALWAYS My Love THAT must stir you - Teresa, the only way My Unfailing, Faithful, Endless Love can be stirred within you is when I am the One stirring you within the moments of intimacy. From that place in Me is where the Evidence of My Presence permeates your heart as I Am Perfect Love. From the place within Me is when loving compassion arises and when My royalty overrides and stirs within you - stirring out every tendency of peasantry. Do you see Daughter? Teresa Ann, Grace Empowered Reaper of the Harvest. You are Mine - will you let Me have all of you, so ALL of ME can overwhelm you to overwhelm  them with Myself? You don't need to pray these prayers for more evidence of Me whether it be love that is needed, or joy or patience...You just need to be AWARE that I Am here - I Am within you - I possess even your mortal body...I Am...Now will you let Me flow through you?

Teresa, I urge you..,no longer praise, worship or pray in The Spirit because you need My tools to get you through...Teresa...praise, worship and pray in The Spirit because You want Me as I Am The One Who gets you through - those "tools" are Me! Watch and be aware of what happens...You will see Me and as you draw closer to Me you end up resting in My heart where revelation and understanding automatically come at warp speeds.

Remember daughter..."The Fruit" of The Spirit is none other than "The Evidence" of My Spirit stirring within you. The Evidence is Me Who is Endless love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,  gentleness, and self-control and The Evidence declares you belong to Me!"

Triumphant Victorious Reminder in Scripture:
"But what happens when we live God’s way? He brings gifts into our lives, much the same way that fruit appears in an orchard—things like affection for others, exuberance about life, serenity. We develop a willingness to stick with things, a sense of compassion in the heart, and a conviction that a basic holiness permeates things and people. We find ourselves involved in loyal commitments, not needing to force our way in life, able to marshal and direct our energies wisely.
Legalism is helpless in bringing this about; it only gets in the way."
~ Galatians 5:22-23 ~ The Message

Friday, March 20, 2015

"Squirrel!"

Triumphant Victorious Reminders
Inspired by the Holy Spirit
Written by: Teresa Stevens Criswell
 
"...But you belong to God, my dear children. You have won a victory over those people, because the Spirit who lives in you is greater than the spirit who lives in the world..."
I John 4
 
God is wowing me at every turn.  My heart has been pricked by the King...

I am still overwhelmed with the last part of God's "Question and Answer" time from yesterday, regarding HIS VAST, ENDLESS LOVE...this is what is still incredibly fresh in my spirit: "Teresa let Me pray through you...The purpose of prayer is so you align yourself with Me and then this is when prayer becomes a weapon of My heavenly exploits as you exploit Me...Be my sign and wonder to those who least deserve it...even while yet sinners, allow the sign and wonder of the Father be revealed..."  
 
It's amazing how God can even utilize our animals to minister to us...how?  Well, this is what the Lord did this morning...He utilized my dog Jack as a beautiful reminder of how I  must look to God for everything. Just as our dog relies on us his master for his everything...so I must do the same.
 
 
Jack lays by me when I sleep, and yet no matter how tired he is, Jack rises up and follows me around.  Even now he lays by my feet...It is as though I can hear the Spirit calling, whispering...
 
"Teresa, this is what I long for so you don't fall into the deceptive traps...when I say, "Let Me lead you...what does My leading look like?  My leading causes you to FOLLOW ME; look up at Me daughter.  Teresa, those moments when Jack no longer focuses on you, what is the cause?  And I knew the answer immediately...the number one focus "stealer" for our dog are those darn squirrels.
 
 
It was as though the Lord was saying with a smile as He was giving me an illustration, "Teresa, let me remind you that the "squirrels" of this life are intended to steal your focus from Me...it's one thing for them to catch your eye but it's another thing for you to allow the "squirrels of this life" to catch your focus and consume you.  As the squirrel is working hard to hide it's "nuts", remember the very thing he hides is the very tool to drive you "nuts".  The squirrels are just used as a tool against you so you forget my great goodness in the midst of this fallen world. Remember moment by moment that I live through you to remind the fallen world that I reign!
 
 

Thursday, March 19, 2015

You want revival?

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



My heart pounds with a new beat - unknowingly I had a "heart of stone" and it has been replaced so lovingly by the Holy Spirit with a "heart of flesh" - today on March 19, 2015 I got another heart transplant from The Father's heart.

You may be asking, "What happened?"  My only answer is, "Subtle happenings of self that unknowingly ruled my heart instead of God's strategies."

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

"Be" and then we'll properly and joyfully do...

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



Intimacy with the Father by His Spirit Who reveals Jesus Christ causes us to hear the Voice of Freedom calling us out by name, declaring: "religion" is about uniformity and "looking" the part; whereas "relationship" with Me your God is about UNITY in My Spirit Who lovingly sets you apart!

Freedom calls us out by name and declares:
UNITY in CHRIST is NOT about being unified in a common idea, interest, event or cause. Instead, UNITY IN CHRIST is about being UNIFIED IN My HOLY SPIRIT which allows you to be of ONE vision - and that is MY CAUSE!

Freedom calls us out by name and declares: I called you out to BE a "mighty exploit" of My Love, enjoying Me and realizing I Am Empowering Grace through you to become what I need to do through you for others to see Who I Am!

Freedom calls us out by name and declares: BE a doer of The Word allowing the Word to intimately operate through you with demonstrative power; without criticism, frustration or judgement but to reveal the goodness of God that leads mankind to true, no turning back repentance.

Scripture References:
Ephesians 4:3
Daniel 11:32
James 1
Romans 2:4


Friday, March 6, 2015

How Will I Respond?

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

"Your unfailing love, O LORD, is as vast as the heavens; your faithfulness reaches beyond the clouds."
~ Psalm 36:5 ~


I will truly not know how I will respond/react/overreact to situations, circumstances or hateful, cynical, mean-spirited, miserable people. Yet, in the meantime - I long to respond to them, especially those who have messed up with this celebratory measure of mercy and kindness that was and is continually extended to me by the SUPERNATURAL, OVERWHELMING LOVE WHO IS GOD.


GOD WHO IS LOVE doesn't compromise with sin, but doesn't condemn the sinner -
GOD WHO IS LOVE is patient in the midst of impatient people -
GOD WHO IS LOVE  is overflowing with compassion when looking into the eyes of the  hater.

Transparency is what I live by and in that I've made so many mistakes and many INTENTIONAL choices that were straight up sinful. While I am learning at quicker speeds than before - there are others that many of us frustratingly see continuing on with the same lifestyle of insanity (Which used to be me) - yet even in our obedience it still does not make me more powerful or more wonderful - just an honored vessel who is so loved by the King of kings, partnering up with HIM who is TRUTH - and there is more to partner with in HIM moment by moment for the rest of our lives and on into eternity as the Holy Spirit longs to continually equip us with HIS ENDLESS, CAPTIVATING LOVE.

In all of this, I am triumphantly and victoriously reminded of God's unconditional, immeasurable, endless love that is eternally far higher and above my insulting measurements of conditional, limited aspects of what I "think" is love. His love is incredibly and powerfully based on Who He is, while much of my "so called", shallow love has been based on how others tend to make me feel.

Do you hear the mighty waves of God's heart pounding the ocean floor?  It's as though I can hear creation declare, "Now is the time - "for such a time as this", to go where many will not dare venture into and that is diving into the deep reservoirs of God's nature so we will never again find the surface of what was once familiar - but finally drowning in HIM so that others finally run to us for safety not realizing they really run to GOD.  For GOD is their REFUGE AND SAFETY because we have shown them HIS GREAT, VAST, EXTRAORDINARY LOVE!

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

I want to be...

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

 
 
"What does the Lord require?  To love mercy, to do justly and to walk humbly before our God."
~ Micah 6:8 ~

I want to be a "better" person...be a "better" wife...be a "better" mom...Be a "better" this or that.

Yet, what's the key? 
Read more books?
Do more?
Or perhaps if I jump twice, turn around on one leg, hop on one foot and do it over again?  No, of course not... although there are good resources in teachings, conferences, meetings, and so forth - the key is SIMPLE YET PROFOUND - I just get to be in Him and be aware that He is in me. As mentioned in time past - this knowing is a mystery of awe and wonder. 

But how do I get to this place? By drawing near to God - getting intimate with Him and I will learn what He loves and then learn from the Holy Spirit, the Holy Refreshing Wind to love what He loves.

Does this mean I have to hide myself in my prayer closet for hours on end?  No...now sometimes there are moments where God will have us set aside time, but most of the time it's in our every moment "moments".  It's simply put in Micah 6:8, "...To love mercy, to do justly and walk humbly before our God." In this beautiful principle, whatever role I'm operating in - this lifestyle of abundant living will manifest! The key is to remember this: to love Mercy is to love the God Who IS Mercy.  To Do Justly is to be in Him Who is Justice and in those things you can't help but walk humbly before this extraordinary, incredibly powerful GOD!

So I ask myself, before approaching my husband, son, daughter or others, how does God deal with me when I've messed up? Does he yell, "I told you so you idiot! Quit your crying! Why do I even deal with you?!"  ABSOLUTELY NOT! Instead, our Gracious, loving God lifts my head and gently corrects me with showing me how to do it better the next opportunity that arises.  His correction includes beautiful teaching.  For instance, "Teresa, did you learn from this?  Good.  Now let Me arise in you so all that can come forth is praises of Who I Am."  

Something I have learned in the praise is it's not about praising Him because God needs it...it's as though I can hear His voice, "Teresa, you praise Me because I Am Worthy.  Daughter, you praise Me as this is My Divine Strategy to rescue you out of the pit of condemnation and despair.  I Am complete, I lack nothing, for I Am Abundant Life.  I Am Overflow.  I Am More Than Enough.  You have made progress my daughter in Me.  Now listen daughter, this is vital, you are not to measure progress by how another one of my children are living - progress in Me is not meant to be measured - instead progress is meant to be aware of My grace that empowers you to reveal Me more and more until evidence of you disappears and all that remains is evidence of Me.  Teresa, I long to be revealed through you as the "I Am" to the hurt, the ones who are in misery and overwhelmed by anxiety.  I Am to be revealed through you - just abandon yourself to Me and let me operate through you - it will be effortless if you give in.  NO longer attempt to pay penance for something you can never pay off...I paid your debt in full - now receive the pardon and "PARDON ME" AS I OPERATE THROUGH YOU."

Triumphant Victorious Reminders of the greatness of God leads us to a lifestyle of no longer turning back on Him - but forever following Him.  As the song says, "The Cross before me, the world behind me...no turning back, no turning back."  Whenever I hear that song I think of our brothers and sisters throughout the uttermost parts of the world who are being led to be slaughtered and this is the theme of their beating hearts..."I have decided to follow Jesus...No turning back...no turning back..." I weep as it must be because of the reminders that beat within their heart, echoing within their ears, pulsating through their veins of God's crazy, radical love that nothing, absolutely nothing could duplicate this kind of divine, endless love - absolutely nothing - not even the temptation to deny Him to live a little while longer...



Monday, February 23, 2015

Creation waits eagerly...for what?

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

"For the anxious longing of creation waits eagerly for the revealing of the sons of God."
~ Romans 8:19 ~



Have you felt the sting of rejection? How about offense? What IF we looked at these two things never the same? Would that be nice or what?

 Of course it may sound like "delusion" is talking here, but from the depths of TRUTH, although "rejection" is a word to describe someone not wanting to be with someone or around them; I now look at it as just that...a word to describe.  Yet there is so much more.

For instance as a few years back, the Holy Spirit reminded me with a question, "Have you been focusing on WHO has accepted you or on the ones who rejected you?" The same goes with the sad ugliness of abandonment, yet shifting focus and celebrating WHO adopted us.  Easier said than lived out?  Yes - but only on the conditions of not relying on the Holy Spirit of God WHO lives within me.

Just that mystery alone of GOD's SPIRIT living within us when accepting HIM WHO IS SALVATION, BLOWS ME AWAY - the God of heaven and earth has chosen to reside in me - what the heck???? Ha -  this alone causes joy to stir from within!

The theme being resounded from heaven is God's UNSTOPPABLE LOVE. From our pastor emphatically teaching this to other messages being echoed in the earth for such a time as this! There are many unfolding revelations just in Romans 8:19 alone - but wait until you hear this revelation that has wrecked me for Kingdom good:

"...And I live my life knowing that every day is another chance to manifest God and ALL creation is groaning for you to do the same...When I'm at the airport and someone freaks out on me, "Get out of my face"..."O dude you're groaning."

I see it that way. 

Others see it as rejection - I don't see it as rejection, I believe rejection is demonic. 

I believe the only one that is rejected is the devil...period. I believe he's cut off, he's a withering branch, there is no hope in him, and he wants to reproduce his mindset in me and make me think that I'm rejected.  If I realize that I've been ACCEPTED in the Beloved and God's the ONE that gave me my acceptance there's absolutely no one on the planet that can take away what they never gave me.  I cannot be rejected...I love you and LOVE (Who is God) never fails.  But I don't love you for you to love me back because that fails. If I love you for you to love me back that means I only love you for what I can get from you, from the praise I might get from you, from the thanks I might get from you and Jesus doesn't love us like this.  God doesn't say, "I love you - NOW SAY IT!!!!" But we grow up that way, we're trained that way, boyfriends/girlfriends, we're taught our whole life - it's selfish.  It's demonic strategy to get us messed up in the area of love.  God so loved the world He gave.  Why do Christians love?  Because He gave..." - Todd White


The Triumphant Victorious Reminder is to remember moment by moment, our daily motive must be from the unfailing perspective of "God so loved the world He gave" and so must we. 

Here's the full teaching via YouTube:

Friday, February 20, 2015

Be possessed...

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



"But you are not controlled by your sinful nature. You are controlled by the Spirit if you have the Spirit of God living in you."
~ Romans 8:9 ~

To speak to a lovely lady this evening and hear the gratefulness to God that she is alive another day leads me to echo her grateful attitude...So today I rejoice in the "testimony of God" that I'm alive!

Yet wait! This grateful declaration leads me to ask myself, "But I'm alive to do what? To do what I want? What I will? What I've boastfully planned?!"

After speaking to this woman I had to ask myself the daunting question, "Do I really get it?"

Which led me to ask, "Has the monotony of everyday living in this incredible country gotten me so lukewarm that I actually think this life is about the "checklist" I've created for today? And even gone as far as deceiving myself into thinking if it doesn't go "my way" I'm being "attacked by the enemy"?!?!

Or when I 'slap' the slogan on my mediocre plans by saying, "Thank you God - You bless it and protect it."

Really?!?!?!

I'm in a place of wanting to shake myself by yelling, "Come on Teresa!!! Your fellow brothers and sisters in Christ from around the world are being beheaded and horrifically tortured and killed and all you can be concerned with is your measly "checklist" and the childish offenses that have no weight in comparison to eternity?!?! Teresa!! Your complaints of what must get done and who you've struggled with - while others only wish they had "my kind of struggles" - what's going on here?"

I'm seeing the core issue - it's coming to a place where I have to ask myself, "Why am I not allowing the Holy Spirit to possess me to leave no trace of me?"

Of course I have heard of demonic possessions in which people are no longer recognized while possessed by a spirit or spirits - so where in "my world" have I allowed hindrances to not surrender and be possessed by the Holy Spirit of Almighty God? Why is this kind of Holy  possession not taking place? It's not the Lord withholding from me. Why is He not allowed in my life in every realm? Would I be able to take a stand for my Jesus? Am I even able to do it now in smaller ways? Is my life revealing Him? Is it causing a shift and change so rambunctiously miraculous that the God of heaven and earth can't help but be revealed?!! When will I no longer hold back and experience a place where the onlookers curse out of amazement and knees are bowing to a Holy God as He has every person written, carved and tattooed  on His heart of eternal, vast, endless love?

I must start now for the cause of Christ and for those who would rather deny themselves the right to live than ever deny Christ in word or deed.

I'm thankful to be alive. I'm thankful to be equipped in the small tests while the enemy is ramping up his evil hate over those who are so possessed by the Holy Spirit that the only evidence of them is their mortal bodies.

Changing perspective - how? To truly see selfish agendas as just that and setting my sights on the beautiful face of Almighty God to which selfishness can no longer exist because the very EXISTENCE of God  annihilates, consumes, pulverizes and obliterates to nothingness!

With all that said, I'm triumphantly and victoriously reminded to be possessed...to be possessed by The One Who knows my name and empowers me with His grace to reveal Him!

Monday, February 16, 2015

In the midst of my past...

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



I have a testimony - a testimony of God in the midst of me. After reading please focus on what He did - I only make mention of the struggle so you can see the LOVING REDEEMER in the midst of it all - focusing on The One Who is at constant work within me...So yesterday (Sunday) I allowed the lies of the enemy to accept "depression" and didn't go to assemble myself or my daughter with believers at our local body called REACH. I was so upset because I had NO reason to be depressed - NONE. Yet in the midst of it a beautiful lady who had text me that morning knew what I was going through and was praying with and for me.

Well then this morning a prayer request came through my phone via text which caused me to run to Truth. As I brought the request to God - it led me even closer to the One Who is TRUTH as I "heard" while The Holy Spirit wrote through me,

"Teresa, you must continue to pray, "It is written prayers" - just as My Son Jesus fought Satan in the wilderness - so you must. Your own prayers of logic and fear do not move heaven and earth - but My Truth SATURATED in PERFECT LOVE does!! Pray in the spirit and this brings you to realize and know My Spirit is within and surrounding you - praying in the Holy Spirit causes Me - The Breakthrough God - to intervene on behalf of you and others for ME to be revealed! This is how you break free from unknowingly being in agreement with the lies."

I thought, "In agreement with lies????" I don't agree with lies. And then I "heard", "When you don't take the thoughts of the enemy captive and bring them to the obedience of Jesus Christ - you have automatically agreed with deception of the  demonic." And then The Holy Spirit led me to His Truth in I Corinthians 1:20, "For all of God’s promises have been fulfilled in Christ with a resounding “Yes!” And through Christ, our “Amen” (which means “Yes”) ascends to God for his glory." So when I forsake God's promises because I believe my past of failure is more powerful than God Who is Redeemer - then I say, "Amen" to Satan! As I realized this I yelled, "Oh no! No more! This will not happen!!!" I sit here as tears flow from within as I love our beautiful God as I'm overwhelmed by All He is and what He has freed me from!!!!

So today I was reminded of something else, I learned - when lies say "this" - then I MUST DECLARE God's Truth of Who He is in my life.

So even more now when I begin to hear the lie it is CRUCIAL that I speak Truth - and Jesus must intentionally be echoed out of my every being as this causes the weapon of JOY to penetrate and obliterate the lies so now I have no fear of the past to come into my future because of Truth Who is Jesus - THE ONE WHO rescued me. Truth caused me to rejoice with laughter in the face of and in the midst of fear.

Lastly, God utilized Todd White to speak truth into my spirit this morning as I heard this, "Did you know NOTHING can separate us from the love of God?? NOTHING (Romans 8) but there is ONE thing that can and it's the only thing that can kill our destiny -  it's this: It's believing that my PAST can separate me from His LOVE!!!! Here is the scripture, "And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord." Notice "neither our fears of TODAY (Present) nor our worries about TOMORROW (Future)" but it makes no mention of our YESTERDAY (past)! Will I believe My Redeemer of my past has forgiven me of the past? I say, "Yes" and must do so every day as I fall in love with The Father, The Son and The Holy Spirit even more!!!

The Triumphant Victorious Reminder - for when I say, "I'm just human, I make mistakes", in this I've unknowingly aligned myself with the demonic lies - because my humanness will pass away - but I am possessed by the Holy Spirit Who is perfect REVEALING THE WORD WHO WILL NEVER PASS AWAY! So now when I make mistakes I can now say, "Lord! Thank you for your goodness which works this humanness out of Me so You are revealed more and more through me."

Friday, February 13, 2015

Do what?!?!

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



"...For I have come down to heaven to do the will of God Who sent Me, not to do what I want. And this is the Will of God, that I should not lose even one of all those He has given to Me, but that I should raise them to eternal life at the last day. For IT IS my Father's will that all who see His Son AND believe in Him should have eternal life - that I should raise them at the last day..."
~ John 6 ~

"Kids! Can anyone tell me why Jesus died?" Hands lifted high, while arms flailed in the air; some winced in excitement as they declared with confidence, "Oh, oh I know! I know! He died for our sins!" In response to their answers, the teacher proudly said with a smile accompanied with a few cheering claps, "Wow! Great job!"

But wait!!! I interrupt this scenario as I think of what Landon Schott has coined, "We don't just read the Bible, we must READ THE BIBLE." With that prefaced, the mentality that says Jesus came to die for our sins only sets us up for the deception of "entitlement" instead of the joyful, abundant life responsibility of KINGDOM ROYALTY!

This stretched me beyond belief when I really read the Word - even while reading it today - a "glory to glory" moment which led to hear the question from the Holy Spirit,
"What is The PRIMARY reason Jesus came?"

Ready for this?
According to the Word of God, Jesus came to do the will of the Father Who sent Him...Simple yet profound!

This profoundly simple revelation caused me to shake my head in awareness yet again of God's truth. Can you imagine if we go on just believing that He came to die for our sins - this mentality only causes lukewarm, mundane living. Jesus came to do the Father's will! So when our desires wants to do something else, even if we feel we are 'right' - the will of God overrides that 'right' with His promise. The mentality of any other kind besides truth causes us to miss out on Jesus' greatest example - HE CAME TO DO THE WILL OF THE FATHER so that He would not even lose one that God gave Him!

Wow! Jesus - The Messenger as the Son of God, The Gift of God - revealed, showed and made an example of the Gospel of the Kingdom revealing many things - one of them being the gift of Salvation. However, Jesus was not sent as a messenger of the "Gospel of Salvation" - instead Jesus was and IS  the Revealer of  the Good News of God's Kingdom which reveals many things; Salvation being one of the plethora of many magnificent gifts from the Gift Giver!

And get this - as Jesus died - it wasn't to die FOR our sins - our sins were not what He came to die for - it was about what the Father wanted and that was for us to be reconciled back to Him - so that we would no longer be CRUSHED BY THE BURDEN OF SIN...

I am triumphantly and victoriously reminded today that Jesus came not on His own, but came because someone sent Him.
Who sent Him?
His Father...The Father God!
Why?
To obey by doing HIS WILL -
Which did what?
GOD'S WILL REMOVED the BURDEN of sin, reconciling us back to the Father - because God knew that condemning burden would crush us. In this victorious "crushing burden" REMOVAL of sin - Jesus' obedience revealed God's GOODNESS OVER US, leading us to TRUE repentance. This repentance causes us to desire to joyfully abandon our own will and desires allowing the great exchange to be in awe of walking in Who He is, for He is Freedom. This unique blessing allows us to rise above with Who He is and that is Empowering Grace that  no matter what others do around us - we allow God's will revealed by His Word to override our own selfish desires by surrendering with laughter - a weapon that destroys selfish desires as we can laugh because we trust Him - which allows us to walk in this incredible revelation as our lives demonstrate God's  grace causing others to want what we are "had by" - God's Holy Spirit! When we walk any other way we do as Paul stated, "We want to do what is right but we don't because our focus is on what we "can't" do versus what God has said we "can" do in Him!

What/Who is that FREEDOM?
GOD'S TRUTH IS A PERSON not an idea - the person is JESUS!
What's the value of believing in Jesus, Who Is Truth?
He sets and makes us free.
But what does Jesus Who is Truth free us from?
HE SETS AND MAKES US FREE FROM DECEPTION!

It's no longer saying, "I sin that's why I need a Savior" - instead it's the new perspective - heavenly, Kingdom of God perspective that allows us by God's grace to imitate Christ as He abandoned His own will and received the will of the Father...just this mind blowing realization alone causes us to not even be tempted by old desires or even make excuses as to "why we sin" - but now it causes me to excitedly accept His "excusing pardon" over us by living in Him Who is Victory!!

Victory Who is Jesus allows us to see and believe that He is without a doubt with us in the darkest of times to the most glorious as His yoke is easy and His burden is Light!!!

As a friend of ours said after reading this post - he said it well, "Wow that is deep!! And spot on.  He wants us to concentrate on His will so that we don't concentrate on the sin that takes us OUT of His will. I love it when He reveals against our conventional way of thinking!!!"

Scripture References:
John 6
John 6:38
John 4:34
Psalm 32
Isaiah 10:27
Matthew 11:30
John 14:6
John 8:32




Friday, February 6, 2015

Relief...ha!

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

The post titled, "Relief...ha!" is from a post via my Wordpress blog titled, The Pee Diaries of a Laughing Mom: Her Laughter Is Stronger Than Her Bladder!

Enjoy the laughs as we are reminded of God's Triumphant Victory! https://thepeediariesofalaughingmom.wordpress.com