Thursday, December 21, 2017

December 21, 2017 - Complaints revealed...

Triumphant Victorious Reminders

Intrigued as I read John 3, it was as though I was introduced to a very influential man, a Pharisee, his name, Nicodemus. This man full of knowledge, knowing his roots going all the way back to the beginning. Then of course we see the "type and shadow" of the snake on a pole that Jesus references. 

We know from this recorded story in John 3 that Nicodemus is learned and he knows the story that Jesus draws an analogy from. As recorded in Numbers 21, it is the famous story of the Israelites who began growing impatient and voiced it amongst one another regarding their long journey. Even complaining about the manna God provided. Yet not only stopping there, but even saying how there was nothing to eat or drink and complaining of God's provision in manna with complaints of saying, "And we "had to" eat this horrible manna!" 

Can you imagine within moments GOD sending poisonous snakes among the people who complained? These poisonous snakes biting the people as they died. As they saw what was happening, they went to Moses and repented about their speaking against The Lord. So here is this amazing leader who could have complained about them, yet instead prayed for them. While praying GOD instructed Moses on the remedy of what to do. He provided a way by making a replica of a snake out of bronze and attached it to a pole then anyone who looked upon this relic - they would be healed. 

What?!? I thought, "Lord! How long did that take?" How many died before this could be all done and built? 

Jesus further explains to Nicodemus that just as that bronze snake on the pole had to be lifted up for people to look upon and be saved, so He must be lifted up so that anyone who believes in Him WILL BE saved. There He was referring to the Cross that He would be nailed to later. 

Here's the Triumphant Victorious Reminder today...

Complaining initiates terrorism in our lives - 
yet grateful hearts to this amazing 
God causes us to count our blessings 
versus discount them. 

Just think along the journey, God wants us to not just go our way that we "think" He wants us to go - but to truly focus on Him Who is The Journey, Who is The Path, Who is The Way...God is amazing and let us catch up to His story of His unfolding grace - He is for us and all those we are with in this life. 

For instance, if someone drives us crazy, to the point of stomach turning pain, we must see them as an assignment to pray for them. 

Keep this in mind..
They may have been sent from the enemy, but the enemy sent them to the wrong men and women, 
because he has no idea they just walked into a land mine of prayer warriors! 
And we are covering them in ways that even blown us away! 

I pray you are encouraged as I was this morning. Reminders of God's powerful love and our instrument and weapon of gratefulness leading to life!

Monday, December 11, 2017

Looking for a way in...

Triumphant Victorious Reminders

As Paul greeted in every letter, so I echo, "God's grace and peace be unto you in Jesus name". His supernatural power to empower us to rise above shame and sin along with making our crooked paths straight. That alone amazes me. 

As my husband reminded me this morning, just think, GOD is always looking for a way in - never a way out. His love wants to bleed into our relationships with family, friends, coworkers, neighbors, etc. to cause us to fight FOR one another in prayers of His Word and covering. 

As we look for a way IN to keep our relationships; some may have co-parts that don't and are looking for a way OUT. It is now my prayer for those to begin to look not for a way out; but press INTO HIM! It takes brave ones to look for a way in. 

Jesus is our greatest example. 

How do we not quit? 
How do we not allow weariness to make us want to give up? 
We focus on Jesus Who doesn't know quit - HE has wit to make us laugh with no fear of the future because HE is our future and HE has our future. 

HE has you, your future, your children and HE is your faith to faith. HE is your glory to glory. He is your perpetual increase. 

Today I am reminded that we are runners of faith that run with and to Jesus Who is our Finish - we are no longer runners that run from hard - we are equipped to do hard WITH HIM so when others watch you and marvel, it is so we can glorify HIM yet again. 

The Triumphant Victorious Reminder is simply this: Miracles take place in the midst of hard; never the easy.

Friday, December 8, 2017


Triumphant Victorious Reminders

If you told me who you were, would you be able to do so without describing what you do?
Think about that question.

Who are you really?
What is it about "you" that causes the earth to be wow'ed by your place in this world?
What is it about "you" that causes the earth to be wow'ed In this time?

Let me help you with those questions...this is who you really are a child of the Most High God. He doesn't want to just be known as "Master" - HE now wants you to know HIM as "Father"/"Husband" (Hosea 2:14-15).

How about God? Would you be able to describe WHO HE is, for WHO HE IS?
Or would our assessment and description of GOD be a list made up of what HE has done or how HE has "performed"? Yikes. Just asking that to myself causes me to be quickened to our GOD, as there is no one like HIM...NO ONE!

Do you know that HE knows you?
Do you know that HE loves you?
Do you know that HE is ETERNALLY faithful to equip you with HIS grace so that you can share with others how much HE loves them?
Do we know HIM intimately?
Do we really know HIM?

These are questions I have been asking myself; ponderings causing another level of awakening of WHO GOD truly is and WHO HE truly is within me.
That TRUTH in and of itself is daunting, isn't it?
It leaves me awestruck to say the least.

Here's another question I ask myself, and now I ask you:
Is the focus of "the call" on your life wooing you away from The Heavenly Father? What?!! Yes! Believe it or not, if we are not careful and our focus is more on our call, then we could be led astray by what we "think" we need to do in our call.

Wow! To even ask that causes a paradigm shift of sorts.
Think about it, so many of us are focused on what we believe GOD has called us to, that we forget to continuously be mindful of The AUTHOR of our life; THE ONE WHO HAS CALLED US. When we are continuously mindful of Holy Spirit, HE will show us how to do what HE has called us to. Here's how...when we begin to become familiar with HIM, investing time with HIM in prayer, even our questions - ask HIM and watch Holy Spirit guide you through The Word of God. In this we will realize our purpose is simple, it's to be a minister of GOD's reconciliation. We will all display and convey that uniquely, but just as it says in 2 Corinthians 5:11-21, as Christ reconciled us back to The Father, so that is what we are to do for others.

This life is an intentional assignment in which we get to have intimacy with GOD to walk intentionally in every area because we have the freedom to do so in Christ. Crazy! Amazing!

The bottom line...we are sons and daughters of GOD...ministers of GOD'S reconciliation.

This is not to be haphazardly redundant, but to be intentionally redundant...Again, In HIM our calling is profoundly simple - to be ministers of GOD's reconciliation.

We get to point others to the FATHER by how we treat ourselves and one another.

Friend, let me remind you - you have GOD's approval - and HIS PRE-approval of you, even before you began living for HIM is the very TRUTH that will cause us to want to go higher in HIM and help others to do the same.

"Christ died for everyone so that those who receive his new life will no longer live for themselves. Instead, they will live for Christ, who died and was raised for them. So we have stopped evaluating others from a human point of view. At one time we thought of Christ merely from a human point of view. How differently we know HIM now! This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun! And all of this is a gift from God, who brought us back to Himself through Christ. And GOD has given us this task of reconciling people to Him..." - 2 Corinthians 5 (Excerpt 2 Corinthians 5:15-18).

Saturday, September 23, 2017

Me, Narcissistic? What?

Transparency; yet I don't feel condemned; walking in greater Freedom...

"Me, narcissistic?" Wait Lord! Is this really You God? Or is this the enemy hurling accusations?

Then I heard, "Why do you pray for them?"

Me: Because I am tired of this. They make life so difficult for people.
Holy Spirit: Teresa, why do you pray for them?
Me: Lord, is this a trick question?
Holy Spirit: Teresa, what is your motive in praying for them?
Me: Lord, I don't know. I thought it was because I was supposed to. Lord, may I ask, where you're going with this? 
Holy Spirit: Yes. I want you to know the motive of your heart and I want you know MY motives so you echo MY heart.
Me: Okay Lord. I'm scared to know my motive.
Holy Spirit: You will never loosely say someone is narcissistic again because what I Am about to show you.
Me: Okay Lord.

Oh my goodness! All that unfolded was heart opening which caused my eyes to see HIM in ways that still causes my heart to beat with passion.

Amazingly enough, I learned that many times when I prayed for people it was so that "my" life would be easier. I was praying for people to be freed so "my" life would be toxic free; I prayed for them because of what "I" wanted. I was seeing them as an obstacle and not as a person that just needed to be freed and delivered; just like I do. 

Meanwhile, it's funny because the freedom and deliverance that I need may not be as "ugly" as someone else's, but I still need to walk in God's freedom and deliverance that is ongoing, perpetual and unfolding! When Holy Spirit highlighted my heart, it actually was so incredibly freeing and suddenly Holy Spirit made me aware to pray for people with God's passion to believe they would be set free from the lies of the enemy and walk in truth so they are no longer robbed in this life!

Again, it's crazy because I wasn't praying to desire freedom for them; I was praying for them to live free so I wouldn't be embarrassed by them! I was getting upset when they were doing and saying things so much so that I was even praying that God would remove them from my life. It's such a humanistic way of seeing it. It's seeing it with poverty mindset, with lack and now as my mindset has shifted, I am seeing how Holy Spirit is changing my prayers to believe that they will be respectful in life and show honor so they are not robbed of living a blessed life. Simply wanting them to be FREE in Christ and getting to live a blessed life.

Think about this: I was "loving" people because of what they could do for me and how they made me feel and even look, instead of befriending them because I was simply honored to be their friend no matter what.

Just think...we have even gone into relationships whether in friendships or marriage because of how the other person made us feel; and then many times we want to leave the friendship or relationship because they don't make us feel the way we used to. I was using people to fulfill an insatiable appetite of wanting to be fulfilled versus wanting to be there for people because God simply loves them because He loves them and I could stand in that place as a vessel for His glory!

In these moments, I am being free as Holy Spirit is so kind to keep my motives in check; when I'm doing good things to make me feel better, I simply get reminded to do it for the "God reason" and that's because I can do what's good because it's good and pleasing to the Lord and it helps someone else.

Remember, even when we let go of relationships because we know we must; our prayers for them change. We plead for them with God's love and that's because of who they are to God.

Saturday, August 26, 2017

Since my last entry...

Has it really been that long? Since May?

How incredible to know that my last entry bookmarked the end of a school year and now a new one has begun. I was thinking back...all that has gone on since May.  From the people I didn't know and would get to meet, wondering how I never knew them all my life until now; to those I've met up with for a cup of coffee or flown to see; times of celebration; abrupt loss of someone well loved; hilarious surprises; depressing disappointments; seeming failures and anticipated victories. Yet in all of those moments, each one required availability. Being available to the people within the moments and people making themselves available to me within their moments. Seasons pass filled with memorable moments, each of them rolled up like a scroll filled with lessons to be learned. If you look a little closer you can see the lessons in the midst. In the middle of life's "day to days", each of them gained our attention. Some gained our laughter and tears while others fueled our worries and fears. Yet all the while GOD made HIMSELF available at every moment beckoning us to draw near. I have been learning that what I considered a disappointment, an interruption or an attack was another opportunity for me to see abundance instead of lack. With that said, yielding one of the greatest weapons as it changes paradigms, perspectives and causes crooked things to be made straight. Do you want to know what that weapon is? It's one I talk about often, it's the beautiful weapon called GRATEFULNESS.  When we finally grab the weapon of gratefulness, it is for the purpose of being able to effortlessly praise GOD so that HE is recognized in the midst of it all. Gratefulness brings us to our knees in awe of HIM and HIS splendor and majesty. Today's Triumphant Victorious Reminder leans me into hear how Holy Spirit wants us to see how HE turns our disappointments that are on people and even ourselves; and make them into divine appointments with HIM. Divine appointments to see HIS character of unending, unparalleled EXCELLENCE that makes the most integritable human being on earth still look reckless in comparison to HIM.  Love people because HE does and it's only HIS doing through us. As Bob Goff might say, "We don't hold onto love like it was in short supply; we give it away freely like we are made of it...we're rivers not reservoirs."Scripture References: Ecclesiastes 3:1-8; Philippians 4:6-9; Psalm 100:4; Isaiah 64:6; Ephesians 3:20

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Here's what's new...

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

To say it's been a while since I last posted on Triumphant Victorious Reminders is definitely an understatement. Since my last post however some great things have unfolded during that time. As some may know, I love to encourage and celebrate others and so with that, GOD has brought me on this extraordinary journey to "spotlight" seemingly ordinary people who possess extraordinary GOD stories!

So without further ado, here's the revealing...

LET'S TALK with Teresa Ann is officially aired and I wanted to personally invite you to watch and listen to the "Motivational Monday" from this past week along with watching past interviews with amazing women who have stories of God's rescue, redemption, restoration and reconciliation.

Oh yes and feel free to click here to check out our new website. What's even more exciting is coming soon there will be an online shop with my branding partner and friend of 30 years, Celina who is the "creative" behind LET'S TALK with Teresa Annand founder of Pearls In Bloom. Celina is that friend who never got embarrassed of me when I would do those immature, irresponsible things before my walk with Christ, yet she was the one who would be embarrassed "for" me and continuously give me truth and defend me even when I least deserved it! This woman is an amazing friend and I thank GOD for her on a daily basis. Anyways, her upcoming site will be linked to mine at LET'S TALK and you will find it's a place where you can find great gifts for friends, family and even yourself as each gift will leave a lasting mark of God's handiwork of WHO HE IS! You will find that each item is a reflection from each of my past interviews!

This is larger than what I could have ever imagined and this journey reminds me of Ephesians 3:20, "HE is able to do the exceedingly abundantly above all you could ever hope, dream or imagine ACCORDING to that power that works within us." Now that's amazing - we see the crazy abundance when we realize HIS power is at work within us to be revealed in the earth for HIS glory!

Besides my incredible husband, one of our biggest supporters is JJ McKearnen. JJ's the one who you want in your corner. He's the one GOD sends to those who are in need of encouragement and a "sideline" shout to "Keep going!" So J.J.,  this is a BIG "Thank you" to you for all you do for others! You are truly a blessing!

Lastly, to each of my TVR readers, thank you for your continued support, feedback and subscriptions to this current blog along with my new website. Please feel free to visit, subscribe and share my new YouTube channel. Please know and remember that your support is incredibly helpful and greatly appreciated!
Instagram: @Lets_Talk_Studio

Monday, April 10, 2017

Motivating Versus Deactivating

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

When a team of people are not stirring in prosperity and creativity, it is most likely not just the fault of the team - it might be a combination of both the team and the leader.

Are we leading others by manipulation, lies, intimidation and/or fear?
Are we insulting them in front of others and actually believe the lie that they will be greater producers due to humiliation?
Or are we leading by encouragement and recognizing our family/teams strengths and allowing them to thrive?

A leader gives the "why" to what is expected so understanding comes and fewer mistakes are made when they know the reason.

A true leader takes time to appreciate their people and highlight the victories and wins; acknowledge the mistakes and teach the team how even in the fails, there's a learning lesson of what not to ever do again - every fail can become a win if and more importantly when we learn from them.

The triumphant, victorious reminder in all of this is that many times acceleration to success are usually disguised from the learned mistakes.

No more shame - now get up in Christ and do this in HIM - strength will be revealed in HIS great joy and watch HIS grace be revealed yet again!

Scripture References:
Romans 8:1

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Who's writing your story?

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

Many times when we pray, we pray from a place of fear. A fear of loss, a fear of "the going ons" in life not going the way we would hope or want. However today, when we pray, let's proclaim that we know WHO we are praying to...then from that place of knowing WHO we proclaim - doubt has to go and faith emerges to be fixed on GOD the AUTHOR of our lives. HE already has plans - HE already knows about the trouble to come and HE already has the plans to overcome; plans for a good future and a hope - and although trouble comes in the midst - if we stay fixed on HIM - trouble only has to be a fleeting part of the unfolding story.
Think about this, "trouble" has for far too long been the main character of so many chapters of the lives we have written - YET GOD has a STORY - HE'S not playing catch up with us...quite the contrary, we are catching up to HIS unfolding story of GRACE.
HE must be the MAIN CHARACTER of our stories - from the fleeting tragedies to the passing triumphs - HE must be our story - HE must be the MAIN EVERYTHING...HE must BE the SETTING, THE INTRODUCTION, THE PLOT, THE HERO AND THE END - we live because HE authored us to be a part of HIS story; not the other way around. So now when we pray, let's keep that in mind. HIS pen is writing.
Will we let HIM write our stories? Let's remember that The "Kingdom of God is righteousness, joy and peace in the Holy Spirit".
Psalm 139:16, "You saw me before I was born. Everyday of my life was recorded in YOUR book before one of them came to be."
Scripture References:
Jeremiah 29:11
John 16:33
Psalm 139:16
Romans 14:17

Monday, March 6, 2017

Lesson of Repentance

Triumphant Victorious Reminders
Inspired by the Holy Spirit
Written by: Teresa Criswell
(Repost: Written January 18, 2012)

"Or do you despise the riches of His goodness, forbearance, and longsuffering, not knowing that the goodness of God leads you to repentance?"
~ Romans 2:4 ~

Slipping back into time, it was 1988; my eighth grade year. My parents experienced grueling frustration as they were continuously receiving reports from my teachers of me carrying on in class, not taking my classes seriously and consistently getting into trouble for being one of the 'class clowns'.

In hind sight, as a parent myself, the acting out wasn't their greatest frustration; it was my overall attitude of not caring, which to say the least, my grades mercilessly reflected.

Meanwhile, during this time, I still remember my wonderful dad. I shake my head in awe as my dad continuously believed in me. He would even say in the darkest times of my life, "Teresa, God has a great plan for you." I can still remember being in the awkward 'skin' of a young teenage girl; it was one of those situations where I sadly could not receive his words because of the inner turmoil stirred by insecurity and unworthiness stemmed from not knowing the value from within. The concerns of what the outsiders thought was more important to me than the ones who loved me the most.

Reminiscing this particular moment my eighth grade year is in regards to my dad (Including my mom and sisters) who never gave up. Although there were times he was justifiably on the brink of seeing no hope in sight, I can still remember that moment in eighth grade as though it were this very moment.

I remember it like this:
Dad set his schedule aside and asked me to come down to the light and airy family room. He brought two chairs and placed them in the middle of the 'love-filled' room adjacent to the red brick fireplace. He had me take my seat as he walked away for a moment into another room. When dad came back, he was holding a medium sized cardboard box with certificate frames inside. He had my full attention as I wondered, "What is he doing?"

Curiosity detained me in the midst of my dad's quiet demeanor. He sat down and now we were practically knee to knee. He looked at me with his soft hazel eyes, framed by his glasses and began to speak life into me. I remember how he began to one by one, show and tell me of his accomplishments backed up by the certificates in his possession. One of his accomplishments that I still remember so vividly was the one in which he graduated number one in his class for morse code in the ARMY. For a moment I was captivated by this untapped perseverance, integrity and tenacity that I had not yet chosen to experience for myself. Looking back, I am still in awe of my dad who chose to possess these attributes even after the setbacks of his own choices and did not allow his original choice of becoming a high school drop out stop him from pursuing the greatness that God placed within him. Dad revealed in his story as he patiently spoke to me how in one moment I could make a choice to turn it all around for good. He was showing me the power of repentance.

This reminder of this teaching moment from my dad with me, reveals a glimpse of how the goodness of God leads man to repentance. It was the goodness of my dad and his love expressed over me that enabled me to finally receive the message of God's rescuing power from sin and myself by turning away from my old ways and clinging to the new ways that God abundantly provided, revealing life and prosperity in my spirit from Jesus Christ. My family believed in God for many years, in spite of what it looked like, they would not allow my actions to trump God's promise as they continued to pray His abundant life to finally be received by me.

Perhaps there are those of you who may know part of my story as it took more than a decade to finally get to the point that I truly knew in my heart I needed to be rescued from one of my greatest enemies ~ myself. This incredible beginning took place on March 6, 2003. Actually, let me back up, interestingly enough, it was five months before my incredible beginning that my dad and mom flew to  Michigan to come see us and gift me with a ring that he designed just for me in October of 2002 (He also did this for my sisters who were already following after Jesus).

I remember when I put it on my finger my dad said, "Whenever you look at this ring, say a prayer for your mom and I." I remember thinking, "Yeah right...they know I don't pray." Well, I truly believe that the ring I still wear 'til this day was truly a 'point of contact' from my parents prayers of hope in God over my life to be redeemed and restored back to Him. The moment from my eighth grade year was a defining reminder of discovering the power of repentance; allowing God's Holy Spirit to rule and reign over my life.

I am reminded that my dad took on a glimpse of the perseverance, integrity and tenacity of Jesus Christ which was victoriously revealed at the Cross of Calvary. Death, hell and the grave shook in fear as they surrendered all power to Jesus as God raised Him from the dead!

The reminder set before me is realizing yet again God's glorious power as He sent His Word Jesus to become a mere man to pay the debt of sin as He 'suffered long' even while we are known to be 'quick to quit'.

We must remember when we find ourselves being faithless, get rid of doubt and allow faith to rise up as we remember that He is still faithful even when we aren't (II Timothy 2:13).

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Awakening Reminders

Triumphant Victorious Reminders
Inspired by the Holy Spirit
Written by: Teresa Ann♡

Pic courtesy of Mikey McCall

Reminder to Ponder:

What if it was never about just you or me?
Have we ever considered that it wasn't solely about what we desire or "need"...but more about others and WHO they need?

I think of Desmond Doss, the real life character from the movie, Hacksaw Ridge...he never prayed for GOD to protect HIM, instead HE prayed, "GOD! I can't hear YOUR voice...Please LORD, help me get one me get one more." In that prayer, he alone by the power of GOD saved over 70 men on what some consider as the bloodiest battlefield of World War II while never using his weapon. To see the character of a man immovable; he was steadfast to the core of believing in this GOD WHO is righteous and just - no matter how often he was mocked, threatened, and beat for his faith in GOD; he remained true to see the value in every human being - even to the point of saving lives from the warring enemies.

Does his life sound familiar? His life reminds me of JESUS and WOW how the Spirit of Jesus operated through Desmond.

Are we upset because we haven't found people who have come alongside us?
Are we growing dissatisfied because our spouse doesn't "fulfill" our needs?
Are we angry because we see others in church or in our community being surrounded by friends, but we're all alone?

Those questions alone reveal the crying out for self - versus the crying out for someone else. Perspective must shift as we reflect on JESUS WHO is FOR US and in that we begin to ask:

Have I found someone I can come alongside and give my best to as JESUS has for me?
How can I fulfill the needs of my spouse as The Spirit of GOD has fulfilled mine?
What can I do to surround someone else and be a friend so they don't feel alone?

Truly think on these things with a grateful heart. For in doing so it causes us to make sure we never allow the "numbers game" become a game in our heads. Remember, it isn't about the number of people we know that matters; it's about each individual knowing they simply matter.

Triumphant Victorious Reminder:
"There is no greater love than to lay down one's life for one's friends."
- John 15:13

Reflection From God's Word:
To lay one's life down is not just about physically dying for someone - but are we willing to lay down our pride for someone else, even if we feel they don't "deserve" it?

Father, in the Name of Jesus, by the power of your Holy Spirit - I am aware of YOU and YOUR greatness - YOUR power - YOUR glory. Even the heavens declare YOUR glory, and I want my declarations to cause the heavens to take notice of my awe of YOU. I surrender my life to YOU GOD by saying YES to JESUS and allowing YOUR HOLY BREATH, revealed by YOUR HOLY SPIRIT to be more moved by YOUR LOVE for others. I give you my desires and receive the GREAT EXCHANGE of YOUR DESIRES GOD. I love you with my everything so YOUR LOVE can pour over me and flood my soul so I can love myself with YOUR VAST LOVE so I am loving others with YOUR LOVE that flows through me like a rushing river. Thank YOU Father. I love you Lord. In Jesus mighty name - Amen.

Friday, January 20, 2017

Did you know?

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

So much has happened over the last 13 years of my life since I FINALLY said, "Yes to Jesus!"

All those moments being drawn to go deeper into the roots of GOD and HIS righteousness and wanting to know this GOD who in HIS love and redemption extended HIS mighty hand and said, "Let's do may not believe in ME, like you want, and you may not believe in yourself, but I believe in you for I see what's about to bloom and the fragrance of MYSELF you will leave behind..."

That alone is a "doubt destroying" thought into a "faith exposing" life in wanting GOD more and more as HE beckons us to draw closer to WHO HE IS.

Did you know there was a time I was so far away that I truly thought life didn't matter?
Did you know that the very words you read were never even a thought in those moments of waywardness?
Did you know I was so deceived in my waywardness that I thought I was on my way to fulfillment?

- Do you truly know that no matter how far I went - it didn't change how close HE was?  Like my middle sister would tell me so often, "Teesa, remember you can take a million steps away from GOD, but take one step back and HE's right there..."
- Do you truly know that I can't imagine my life without THE WAY and HIS name is JESUS?
- Do you truly know that fulfillment will never come except through The Fulfiller of Abundant Life Himself - the ONLY ONE who can COMPLETE US when others only have the ability to compliment...big difference wouldn't you say?

Today, be encouraged and lean into HIM by reading and hearing the WORD OF aware of HIS SPIRIT that makes the WORD come alive and while you're at it...go visit my most recent YouTube channel, "Let's Talk TV Show" - it's just starting and so thank you for overlooking the "amateurity"...

Let God have the last word over your life and no one that's a victorious and triumphant reminder of how to live!

Friday, December 30, 2016

"Dare To Be Blessed" Campaign

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

Seething anger, detailed thoughts of how to get revenge and the thoughts of "How dare they?" Has this ever happened to you?  Perhaps you are going through this right now and even rightfully so.

Maybe you've even had the worst of the worst take place in your life and you can't see straight.  Hurt, grief, and the pain of betrayal has you in a choke hold.  You don't even want to get out of bed. This life is not at all what you had hoped for. Your hopes, dreams have all seemingly come crashing down and the "If only" begins to plague your thoughts, mutilate your demeanor and curse your very actions.

Then suddenly a "dare to be blessed" opportunity comes your way.  It's a dare that changed my life back in 2005.  A friend showed me the scripture and I lashed out at her with expletives and all she did was laugh and say, "One day Teresa, you will see this as the most freeing thing you've ever done..." It was the very dare that Jesus took by going to the Cross of Calvary - HE chose the death of a criminal over what was "rightfully" His and in this fulfillment of the "God Love Dare", He experienced a resurrection return that humanity nor this earth or hell itself ever saw coming!  Where am I going with all of this?  I'm glad you asked. Let me take you to the moment of Jesus talking to His leaders as recorded in Luke 6, starting in verse 27.

Here it's the Famous Outline of what to do, how to do it as He gives examples of what it looks like - the very act of forgiveness and release allows us to freely live in HIM! Luke 6:27-38

Jesus begins with a profound statement:
"If you're willing to listen..." DANG! It's a dare!

Then, here's the "Bless, Pray and Bless" dare:
Bless, pray and bless those who hurt you, persecute you and spitefully use you.

If you act on the dare it's truly a campaign of "The Revealing of God's Love..."

Example of what this looks like on a practical level, the demonstration of this dare (Luke 6:28-36):
- If someone slaps you on one cheek, offer the other cheek also.
- If someone demands your coat, offer your shirt also.
- Give to anyone who asks; and when things are taken away from you, don’t try to get them back.
- Do to others as you would like them to do to you.

The Kingdom Reasoning behind the dare:
If you love only those who love you, why should you get credit for that? Even sinners love those who love them! And if you do good only to those who do good to you, why should you get credit? Even sinners do that much! And if you lend money only to those who can repay you, why should you get credit? Even sinners will lend to other sinners for a full return.

Adamant reminder and closing statement to the "dare to be blessed" campaign:

Love your enemies! Do good to them. Lend to them without expecting to be repaid. Then your reward from heaven will be very great, and you will truly REVEAL YOU ARE CHILDREN of the Most High, for HE is kind to those who are unthankful and wicked. You must be compassionate, just as your Father is compassionate.

Drop the mic...let's be willing and see the rewards of the dare.  It's easy to get back at people...this is human nature - but it takes warriors to do this dare...and you are HIS warrior - every time we do this, it becomes easier and easier as HIS grace is what gives us the ability to rise above and as soon as we act on the "dare", HIS compassion flows - it's supernaturally's a miracle and that's what this world needs to see - MIRACLES OF GOD'S WONDER WORKING POWER OF HIS LOVE!

Triumphant Victorious Reminder: God calls us to step over our "rights to get back" and pick up "The promises of GOD", it not only saves our lives, but it saves so many others along the way - we may never see those lives that were saved - but we can be assured that our release will be someone else's ability to receive from GOD!

Monday, December 19, 2016

Merry Christmas

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

Merry Christmas from our family to yours...

I pray you experience Christmas in a way that the world could not market; the retail stores could ever slash in prices or the feat of the many lines you weathered this year - I truly pray each of us experience Christmas - MORE of Christ not just this month, but every month, every week, every day and every moment. May the fragrance of His presence lead us out of the miraging deceits of nostalgia and into intimacy with the ONE who calls us son, daughter, friend, and lover...Our God is the Lifter of our heads so we don't just lift our heads but that we lift our heads as our eyes gaze upon the Most Holy One - The Great I Am!

During this season and time of where we see yet again marketing intensified; greed magnified and nostalgia wooing us back to the "good ol' times" or even those moments of shame - I must intentionally "park" the "vehicle" of nostalgia on March 6th, 2003, the day Holy Spirit of GOD revealed by Jesus Christ awoke my spirit and touched me physically. I woke up to SOMEONE'S gentle touch on my left shoulder, but when I woke up, I saw no one there. Yet that was the moment His Spirit led me to an encounter with Him as I felt like I floated to my office from my bedroom and found my purple journal I bought the day before. As I sat on the floor with my back against the futon, I began to write. It was "like" an "out of body" experience. All I could write were praises to GOD. And that was the moment my love affair with Jesus began. That was the moment I knew that the journal could only be filled with words of praise to God and nothing else. That was the moment He taught me (without me knowing) that praise would be the greatest instrument and in turn the greatest weapon. He would teach me and continues to open my eyes in awe of HIM as the praises from my  mouth are like an instrument and in those praises of HIM when I would naturally want to complain, HE would become the perspective changer, the joy deliverer and the ONE Who would make my crooked paths straight and show HIMSELF as REDEEMER.

These are the moments we must realize that if we want to see the Kingdom of Heaven on earth, then the Kingdom of Heaven through my actions and responses to everything and it can ONLY be done by the Spirit of God as we rely on HIM - what a privilege to rely on HIM. 

Again, if I want to see the Kingdom of God on earth, then I get to be the representative of The Kingdom of GOD ON and IN this earth. When others react from a place of offense, we get to be the ones who rely on Holy Spirit to RESPOND TO HIM, revealing HIM as Defender to the very ones it would be easy to accuse. 

Just writing this causes me to want HIM more as the "deep calls to deep"...

This Christmas, may you experience the "mas" or the "more" - and that is experiencing MORE of CHRIST in our every moments.  Not just the 25th of December, or the days leading up to it - but every moment of every day for the rest of our lives - this world is in desperate need of Ambassadors of heaven - they have enough ambassadors of earth - let's make a difference because we've been touched by HIM!

Please share your "MORE of CHRIST" stories of how you remind yourself of Who He is...our true "Christmas" stories as Christ"mas" means MORE of CHRIST...

Practical ways of living this life with wanting more of CHRIST:
- Be thankful to GOD for WHO HE is in your life
- Thank HIM for the ones in your life and what you've been blessed with
Being grateful helps us to focus on WHO and what we have
- Gratefulness leads us to praise HIM
When right in the middle of an impending argument, think about WHO is within you (Holy Spirit)
- Praising Him may not be something you "feel" like doing, but it's like exercise, once you do it then it bubbles out of us
- Praise changes perspective of lack to abundance; defeat to victory
- Realize that you don't fight for victory; you LIVE from VICTORY, WHO IS THE PERSON and HIS NAME IS JESUS.

Scripture References:
Psalm 118:24
Philippians 4:6-8
John 7:38

Friday, November 18, 2016

How do I know?

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

How do I know if I'm walking in my ways or GOD's?

Here's how I know when I'm walking in self, humanistic, prideful, egotistical, fleshly ways...are you ready?  It's pretty we go:

- I get hurt easily by people;
- constantly wanting to control others so I'm not hurt;
- it's about me, myself and I (The trinity of humanism);
- trying to get others to side with me;
- being disappointed by others;
- when I allow others to hurt me, I see all THEIR faults and how THEY need to improve; it makes me feel better when I can say I made the wrong decision because I was protecting so and so;
- I allow disloyalty from someone else to cause me to be disloyal to GOD;
- planting seeds of discord into others by saying, "Did you notice what they did, or was it just me?";
- I forget about how much He has forgiven me and in that I end up not extending HIS forgiveness over someone else.
- I'd rather be right and justify by proving my point than to allow GOD's RIGHTeousness and JUSTICE to win out.
- I lead others out to do things with a peasantry mindset versus a flourishing royalty mindset.
- I have to constantly confront others in how they've hurt me and then because it's not made right it involves others and then it gets really messy filled with division when all along I was to make sure I was unified - not with them or with their or my agenda - but with Holy Spirit, which reveals a gentle and quiet spirit.

Of course I could keep going and going - but watch what happens when I wake up out of myself and into His presence - worshipping HIM and praising HIM - all of a sudden it's not about my ability to pray, praise and worship - but it's ABOUT THE ONE I pray to, praise and what happens when I walk in HIM, in THE's beautiful and it reveals HIS glory once again which points others to THE FATHER so others can also be reconciled as our purpose is to be ministers of GOD's reconciliation!

- I no longer am hurt by people, I now hurt FOR them.
- I want Holy Spirit to control me with GOD's endless, captivating, violent love that was proven at the Cross of Calvary.
- I don't want to side with others, I only want to side with HIM.
- I don't see the faults in others, instead I see what they were meant to be and how I can go deeper in GOD so that by default I improve in HIM.
- It makes me rejoice when I allow HIS decisions to rule me as HIS mercy is executed.
- In HIS presence, even throughout the day, my mind is so fixed on HIM because my spirit by HOLY SPIRIT's power is leading me.
- My memory, remembrance is set on HIM as I'm in continual awe.
- Those "checks" in my spirit about another person leads me to lift them up to GOD...and when it's difficult to do so, that is my check to go deeper into GOD yet again as the deep calls to deep.
- I rejoice when the truth wins out but I don't rejoice when others are exposed
- HIS love causes me to desire to cover them in prayer and if I still have a tinge of rejoicing because they were exposed, then I know to go deeper into THE FATHER.
- My life in Christ is about constantly blessing and praying for those who the enemy attempted to use to hurt me, spitefully use me or persecute me.
- I don't even want anyone to know what's going on - because I know GOD knows and HE has already worked it out and I have no idea what HE's prepared.
- In what seemed like "set backs" I can now see were really "set ups" to allow GOD's glory to be seen yet again in and through my life.

All in all, as I was reminded today - Holy Spirit has been teaching and showing me how HIS way will always lift others up with the tools HE has equipped us with in praying and blessing as we come to the realization that we believe GOD was not surprised and HE can do things we could never imagine THROUGH US. No longer does offense have power, instead of being hurt by others we hurt FOR them and in that no one can ever be disappointed by someone else. We immediately correct if we see wrong being done - but no amount of behavioral change can ever come close to the change that takes place when in the awareness of GOD's presence that is constant. The greatest reminder in all of this is we can do the right things with wrong hearts - but again, when we are aware of HIS presence, our hearts reveal HIM with effortless grace - it's no longer about having to, now it's about I want to because it just flows out of me!

This requires us to get out of the way and this is going deep into The Father as HIS heart and HOW do we do this? By being enamored how HE loves us -

Scripture references:
Luke 6:27-38
II Timothy 2
Philippians 2
I Corinthians 13
Galatians 5
James 1:2-4
II Corinthians 5:11-21
Ephesians 4:1-6
Revelation 2:4

Saturday, November 5, 2016

Oblivious...just when you thought no one was listening

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

Two women having breakfast together at a local restaurant when someone very close to me, sitting alone overheard their conversation. Their conversation consisted of gossip and talking badly about their "friends" and leaders in their church. 

Let's just say that my friend does not go to church but has been growing in the Lord. Although they don't know the beauty of community within the church YET especially as they have so much to give within the local body - but not only that, here's the deal, they were so close to visiting. 

As this person shared what had happened earlier that day they said, "Teresa, you know how you quite often say to always be intentional of how you speak, especially while in public? Well, I realized what you meant because that was the moment I realized - people like that are the reason so many don't go to church, me included. My friend continued, "I wanted to go over to their table and let them know how they just confirmed why I don't go to church but then the Holy Spirit convicted me as I would be pointing out a splinter in their eye when I have a plank in my own because I've done the same thing..." 

First I was in awe of their maturity and yet in the same moment my heart dropped as I thought, "God bless those ladies as they have no idea what they had just done" oblivious to who was around...and yet this was just another confirmation to what my daddy always taught us from Ephesians 4:29 as we were growing up, "Do not let foul or corrupt communication come out of your mouths, but only that which is good to the use of edifying so that it may bring grace to those who hear it." 

Lord, point taken...

Praise You? Right now?

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

It was that moment where panic tried to stir when SUDDENLY I heard in my spirit, "Praise Me now..." - and so I began praising God right there (Here I was at a stoplight on my way home in my vehicle that I call my JESUS car as it was a gift from HIM through some very special people in my life)! Let me not forget to point out that the whole week the engine light had come on and I ignored it and not only did I ignore it but I also didn't tell my husband on purpose (We'll go there later).

So fast forward to the moment as the light turned green, I stepped on the gas pedal and my car would not go more than about 10 miles an hour when I noticed my car was revving. As I looked down at the dashboard I noticed my RPM's were going over 7,000 while simultaneously I noticed cars were fast approaching behind me as they didn't realize I was almost at a stop. At first my "knee jerk" reaction was to "fight" the enemy by telling him where to go as so many thoughts were whirling as that still small voice instructed me to turn my hazards on, tap on the break to communicate to the other drivers approaching to slow down all the while He was showing me not to fight the enemy but instead to praise HIM.  I laugh looking back at that moment as wait until you see what happens next...

I know it was a GOD moment when this Cadillac Escalade came up closely behind me and patiently followed me as the driver must have known something was wrong.  With that Escalade behind me, they unknowingly escorted me from the middle lane to the right lane so I could turn right on the closest street which just so happened to be Angus Street. As I pulled over on the shoulder I turned my car off for a few minutes and then turned it back on as I noticed I was in between an apartment complex and a Prosperity Bank...don't you love that name...Prosperity?

So here I am praising GOD, while now asking Holy Spirit, "What do I do next?" First I called my local Firestone and let them know to be expecting me in a couple hours and then I called road side assistance in which I was told it would be the typical 50-70 minute wait.  A seemingly inconvenient moment turned into a Philippians 4:6 moment, "Do not worry about anything, pray about everything..." for this is the reason...."it will guard your heart and mind with the peace of GOD..." And here are some of the things I prayed:
- Favor and I'll have so much joy stirring when the tow truck driver comes
- Driver will come fast and not have to wait too long
- if this is for the driver to see GOD's hope, then I'm all for this
- What was meant for distractions and inconvenience is an opportunity for GOD TO BE SEEN IN JESUS NAME
- Diagnosis and car cost will be paid for and covered with GOD's provision
- Let me remind myself and anyone else who reads this, the enemy gets no glory for this - ONLY GOD's provision of what HE's about to do next!!! I can't wait to see!!!!!!! 

Without fail, the results of GOD's WORD  from Philippians 4:6 is exactly what happened - peace seemed to rest on and in the car, all the while seeming to surround me and although at first it was an intentional moment to praise as I didn't "feel" like it - in that moment as I felt the goodness of GOD I told HIM I was sorry for not telling my husband about the engine indicator light - after that I began to praise GOD again, not singing (O Lord, you wouldn't want to hear that, HA!), but just simply declaring WHO HE IS!

In moments my ability to understand seemed to explode and it became like first nature as I prayed in the Spirit and in that time I said, "Lord, I know I'm here for a reason, what is it?" And that is when I felt that impression/unction to pray for the area I was in.  I remember saying, "I don't have authority in this area", and that is when I knew, HE was giving me the right to pray in HIS authority. In that moment as I prayed in the Spirit, I don't remember if I said it out loud or if I just saw or heard in my spirit, but in that moment the words, "Set the captives free" came to me.  That's when I felt that unction to look down at my dashboard and I noticed the engine indicator light was off.  I was puzzled and then said, "Lord! Is this You okaying me to drive to the Firestone?" "Or do you want me to wait for the tow truck driver?" "Lord, I don't want to do the "Gideon" on you, but if you want me to stay here, then the indicator light will come back on - but if You are okay with me leaving then I will praise and pray all the way there. Now mind you my car is where I love to pray and many times get unction to do so on a regular basis, but this time had ever greater intention of focusing on THE FATHER more than anything else, even more than "hoping" for a good result with my car.

As I arrived at the Firestone, of course they were amazing and after diagnosing the issue they found no codes appearing except an old history code and something else that would be best for the dealer to look at...but other than that the car was just fine and guess what?  Do you remember my number 5 declaration? It was that the diagnosis and car cost will be paid for and covered with GOD's provision, well it was covered as they said I owed nothing. No matter what the issue or circumstances are - GOD is worthy to be praised.

Yet there's one more important thing to I shared this testimony with a few ladies at a meeting I had in my home - one of the ladies looked up the name "Angus" - remember that's the name of the road I turned right on to pull over...well guess what it means? It comes from the Celtic meaning of "God of Love" and also means unnaturally strong and ONLY choice! In that moment on November 1st, I ran right smack into the deeper parts of the GOD of LOVE as HE was my only choice; one WHO IS supernaturally strong but who is also STRENGTH HIMSELF WHO I got to see in a new way - yet again! A seemingly inconvenience turned into a divine appointment of HIM showing me how HE inhabits the praises of HIS people.

(Oh and yes, as my husband picked me up at the Firestone, I did let him know that I knew about the indicator light and told him I didn't want him to know so he wouldn't stop me from going and doing the things I needed to get done throughout the week.  He looked at me and such patience plainly said, "Teresa, please don't do that again...this is about your safety and the longevity of the car and we would have figured out a way for you to get what you needed to get done throughout the week.")

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.