Thursday, November 19, 2015

But how?

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

Photo courtesy of Google Images

Have you ever been moved to tears? To Laughter? To anger? Have you ever been moved to frustration and then allowed frustration to cause you to vent?  Where does venting usually lead to?  For me it's a seeming myriad of thick, resistant webs...the more I "try" in my own strength; my own will power to not be "moved", it seems the more frustrated and angry I become.

In this subtle drifting of being moved - whether the manifestation of leaning into God's Holy Wind by His Holy Spirit or being moved by self, an ungrateful heart that allows circumstances to cause me to see even more of what I don't have leads me to look up the definition of the word moved in the Webster's 1828 Online Dictionary:
  • moved: stirred; excited; 
  • stirred: agitated; 
  • agitated: tossed from side to side; shaken; moved violently; disturbed
As I read the synonyms to each word, I can see the literal snowball effect. It's the "what happens" when I  don't take every thought captive and bring it under the obedience of Christ - it becomes a seemingly overwhelming avalanche that will bury me alive because of allowing circumstances to "speak" to me instead of responding to the peace of God that is already within me.

"So Lord, how do I practically overcome being moved from the minor mishaps, let alone the devastating news of this temporal life whether it be news of losing a loved one or friend to the seemingly crushing reports that could fracture anyone Who don't know You, and even in all of it, how do I remain focused on You?  I want to Lord, but how?"

How? How? How? How?

Of course from the perspective of God, Who perceives nothing as too difficult or impossible for He knows Who He is - in the moment I asked, "But how?"  It's as though I can see His overwhelming presence of Grace in comparison to the billowing waves of the sea that were meant to crush me, He makes it look like nothing but a kiddie pool - and I envision His grace upholding me with His Jesus, Who is His Victorious Right Hand; Who sets me up on the wave which causes me to ride the waters as though I were a mastered Tamer of the Seas!

In the realm of practicality, there is nothing we do "per se" but it's in this's more being aware of His presence that is already within us (Upon the acceptance that I believe and receive Jesus Christ as my ONLY Lord and Rescuing Savior), knowing He is the Only One Who is Mighty to Save and there is no one else like HIM! This is where the "how" comes into play.  The "how" is making ourselves aware to His presence by...
  • Thanking Him for Who He is..."God! You are glorious! Even the heavens declare your glory, but I do not want creation to be the only declarer of Who You are - You are Holy! You are Magnificent and Mighty and Lord although I only know a glimpse of what these descriptive words mean -  I'm in awe of You - I'm in awe that in Psalms, many writers declare of your Steadfast Deliverance - even when undeserved - how can I not be in awe of you?"
This will lead us into...
  • Praising Him and declaring that He is the First and the Last - He is the Last Word in everything; what the enemy has meant for evil, praise God that He is in the turnaround business.
This will lead us into...
  • Knowing He is there in the midst of it all.
This will lead us into...
  • Meditating on His mercies that are new every morning and seeing with more clarity than ever that He is EVERYTHING and you have been a witness within moments how He has made every mountainous circumstance into plateauing fields because we have allowed Him with our declaring praises.
This will lead us into knowing with great certainty...
  • How to take every good, bad or indifferent thought and bring it to Him - by saying/declaring, "Lord, I'm aware You are with me, Your steady hand will not make me stumble...for now as I behold Your greatness it leads me to awe which leads me to no longer resist You - but fall into You! Lord, You heard/saw that thought - what do You say about that Lord? 
Then, with the reminders of His triumphant victory - watch the Word come alive in us as we are now moved and led by His Spirit to go to His Living Word that refreshes the soul as the spirit within us is quickened and is awakened to compel us to arise in Who He is - as He is Strength and Mighty to save!

The instructions for seeing God make mountains into plateauing fields is directly from Psalm 100:
"Shout with joy to the Lord, all the earth!  
Worship the Lord with gladness.
 Come before him, singing with joy.  
Acknowledge that the Lord is God!
 He made us, and we are his.
We are his people, the sheep of his pasture.  
Enter his gates with thanksgiving; go into his courts with praise.
Give thanks to him and praise his name. 
 For the Lord is good. His unfailing love continues forever,
 and his faithfulness continues to each generation."

Here's a great music video by Johnny Swim titled, "Diamonds"...I love listening to this song, especially in those moments the mountains seem incredibly big:

Wednesday, November 18, 2015


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

Leaning into the heart of God as though I can hear the billowing waves of His mercy and realized...

God did not send Jesus in vain to die for the Christian, Jew, Buddhist, Muslim, Hindu, American, European, African, Australian, Asian, good, bad, giver, taker, rapist, homosexual, heterosexual, murderer, molestor, nurturer, philanthropist, influencer or any other religion, nation or creed; He died for each and every person within these groups as He knew each of us as an individual calling us by our name before we were ever formed in our mother's womb - He never meant for us to take on the false identity of any one of the groups mentioned.

Today I am reminded that Jesus didn't die and then conquer death, hell and the grave so that we'd take on the identity or citizenship of another - but that we would take on His identity - as a son/daughter of the King of all kings so that we would become citizens of heaven, representing the One and Only King of heaven Who wants to impart into the earth from heaven.

The triumphant, victorious reminder is that He doesn't group us into a cluster of people but sees us as an individual Who need Him - then we must see others with ONLY HIS VISION and say, "God! You know him/her by name - open their ears so they can hear You, sensitize their feelers so they can sense your wooing and open up their senses so they can hear, smell, see, and feel the declarations of Your Mighty Name - as you call each of us by don't call us by who we "think" we are - but Who You say we are!

In all that we are experiencing in our world - this is not to negate what we must do here on earth to protect that which has been entrusted to us to defend the defenseless and much more - but may we walk in God's wisdom every step of the way, not moved by good or bad emotions, opinions or more - but moved by His leading, by His Spirit - oh how we need You Lord!

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

A powerful weapon...

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

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

Photo credit: Mary Kay McCall

When we walk in awe of God; we become humbled by His incredibly, infinite majesty that we supernaturally realize there's nothing too difficult for Him. Whether the situation be lofty or a difficult circumstance that seems impossible to walk through or perhaps a relationship in which we are constantly finding ourselves offended...when we walk humbly before God, I am reminded that pride is silenced. In this knowing, humility manifests so we can do what the Lord has equipped us to do what He requires; to do justly because we are in awe and moved to love The Merciful One Who abounds in infinite mercy.

So here's a great weapon I am learning  in is called "humility". Those Who are in Christ Jesus already have humility from within, however humility manifests when we behold His beauty and holiness! Meanwhile, the triumphant, victorious reminder of what I heard The Holy Spirit speak into my spirit a few months ago as He knows this saved my life - it was something I will remember all the days of my life  as pride was seducing me to forsake God's promises and pick up my measly  is when I heard the gentle whisper, "Remember Teresa, HUMILITY humiliates the enemy!"

Wednesday, October 14, 2015


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

Gathered around the kitchen island, my daughter and I were discussing a few points she had prepared to discuss at a leadership class.  As she and I were talking, one of the things she declared with fervency from deep within was, "Are we going to let our purpose fade in the dust?"  In this question, I asked another one, "Are we going to allow, not our purpose, but the purpose of God within us to fade in the dust?"

Then a quote from the late, Dr. Myles Munroe rose up within me.  A quote that God utilized to awake my soul as my spirit cried out many years ago, "The wealthiest places in the world are not gold mines, oil fields, diamond mines or banks.  The wealthiest place is the cemetery.  There lies companies that were never started, masterpieces that were never painted...In the cemetery there is buried the greatest treasure of untapped potential.  There is a treasure within you that must come out.  Don't go to the grave with your treasure still within YOU."

Many times we wait for others to come alongside us - yet do we realize that the greatest Revealer of the potent power within us, is not only alongside us, but within us?  The Holy Spirit - The Holy Breath - The Holy Wind of God is within us, for those who have received Jesus.  Yes! It's awesome that we have made the first step to receive Salvation - but there's so much more.  Our focus is not on where we're going because of salvation - our focus in Salvation is to be on the Savior who is our Great Assister in helping us walk through the threshold of Salvation into the abundance of what The Father has prepared from long boundaries...the more we seek Him - the more we find out WHO we have been rescued by...not just for our sake, yet more importantly so we can continuously be equipped from one level to another to gather others to seek Him as well.  The focus is not on going to a church that feels like family - but being the family who belongs to the Head of the Church - The Patriarch of ALL and that is our Almighty God!

You want to know your purpose?  First realize this - it isn't your purpose but HIS.  Realize the simple beauty of stewardship that what we have within us, this treasure is not ours but God's and the purpose of stewarding His potent power within us is so that we truly rely on the Holy Spirit to manifest the Kingdom of God on this earth.  We are looking for things outside of ourselves that have been within us all along...look no further...go into that place of praise unto the Father, and watch what He reveals - He will reveal Himself more and more and the enamored  awe that will set our feet on solid ground will begin the journey of why each of us are here - not to reveal our opinions or even our greatest desires - in this journey of seeking Him more and more - it is to reveal the endless GLORY OF GOD!

Remember it isn't that He can't be found in the seeking - it's that there is an eternal, endless depth - just when we find out a little bit of Who He is- we find in the seeking there is so much more of Him that we never knew of Him before - the endless GLORY OF GOD...never boring - only eternal adventures in Who He is!

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Truth trumps facts...

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

"God removed His hand because they were disobedient."
"They went through that because they walked away from God."
"Children are a direct reflection of their parents."


Where did these cliches come from?  Definitely not from the Word of God...but I know for me, I have likened these sayings as though I read it straight from, First Liar 1:1 (That was me being facetious).  Of course through the hazy glass of deception, I have found that the purpose of that looking glass is to erode our vision of how we see God as this effects whether we receive from Him or not.

In this process, I am continuously learning about opinions...they seem right...and many times are even factual...but it's not ABSOLUTE TRUTH.  So when we hear, "God removed His hand because they were disobedient..." this by default says that God is a liar for The Word says differently, "I will never leave you nor forsake you." - Deuteronomy 31. All in all, truth trumps facts...and here's the truth...I remember those times I intentionally and unintentionally removed myself from Who He is and that removal process was due to my own choice of disobedience...yet He still patiently awaited for my return to Him.

I have been guilty of saying and hearing others say, "They went through that because they walked away from God..." In God's lovingkindness, His Spirit has lovingly highlighted  that calamities and prosperity fall on the just and the unjust  (Matthew 5:45). In finding this, I have learned not to allow the majority of good or bad circumstances be the final say in my life to be the "measuring stick" of how "good" I am in the sight of God.  Actually, my heart is being purged to live a life of continual thanksgiving that no matter how good I am, or how good or bad my circumstances are - God's goodness is revealed - it may not always be in my circumstances - but if we really pay attention, His goodness is always active. Even in that knowing, my good works are a must as it reveals I have faith - yet, it still doesn't come close to the goodness of God that He longs to lavish on me and more importantly THROUGH me.

It brings me back to the place of knowing our good works reveal the glory of God, His glory is the person Jesus! Yes, of course there are consequences to our obedience and disobedience - it's called the law of sowing and reaping...the results of living in Him are ULTIMATELY an abundant life of Who He is as revealed in the EVIDENCE OF HIS SPIRIT, motivated by His LOVE which brings forth JOY, PEACE, PATIENCE, KINDNESS, GOODNESS, FAITHFULNESS, GENTLENESS AND SELF CONTROL. It isn't about mustering every ounce of human will power to produce this - these things are just evidence of Who possesses us when we allow The Holy Spirit to operate through us - not for our glory but for the good of others so they look to the Father in awe!

What about that "age old" saying, "Your children are a direct reflection of your parents"?  Although at times this is factual pertaining to earthly parents. I also know wonderful parents who have great kids...then there are those who are wonderful parents who have wayward kids...there are parents who have no business being parents who have kids that seem to have no hope...and then those same kind of parents who have kids that are incredible in spite of their upbringing. With all these takes on different types of parents, ultimately, we have an incredible Father God who has children that once received His Salvation, but walked away...does that mean our God is a bad parent because of those who are wayward?  Of course not, the choice of every individual to be obedient or disobedient is up to them - to walk in relationship with God or not.  In this I am reminded that just because I live a good life, make great choices in many ways, doesn't mean anything - my choice to obey in the beginning was "fear based" reasoned by the thought, "I don't want God to be disappointed in me." And this kind of thinking is not relational to please God, but it's truly carnal and even selfish because it is on another spectrum of pleasing self. Some please self with sin - while others can please self by being good. I am learning that both stem from pride and God has triumphantly and victoriously reminded me today that without Him I can do nothing that He has destined me to be a part of - it's all about relationship and intimacy with the King by His Spirit Who reveals Jesus Christ the glory of The Father!

Finally, do you want to continuously get out of the paradigm of religious, selfish cliches?  It's simple yet it takes relying on His Spirit...we get to be in awe of Who God is - ask Him for the Fire of His Spirit which compels us to study Who He is through His Word which reveals His steadfast character through every story of triumph and tragedy...He is the unchanging God of Majestic Love coupled with Wisdom as He reveals His purpose through ours!

Thursday, September 10, 2015

The Sower, the Seed and the Soil

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

Matthew 13

Often concerned, "What if I sow into someone and nothing comes of it?"
"What if...?"

I was reminded of the understanding I received about 6 months ago regarding the sower, the seed and the condition of the ground as played out in Matthew 13...
- From the path, which represents those who don't understand, to
- The rocky soil, representing those who hear the Word and immediately receive with joy but when problems arise they fall away, to
- The thorns which are those who "hear" but the cares of this world and deceitfulness of riches crowds it out to
- The final, which is the good soil or good ground. This good ground produces a harvest of 30, 60 and 100 fold.

After reading this at that time, truly believing as I read that passage that it was strictly speaking of four different types of people, this is when I couldn't shake it and just had to ask the Lord, "What if we sow into one of these types of people besides those who have a heart of fertile soil?" "Does that mean I wasted my time?" Almost simultaneously, as I asked that question, it was as though I heard, "Teresa, my daughter, your heart was once like the "path" where the seed (Word) was snatched up, but I sent sowers into your life and then one day that path was turned to "rocky" soil, where you heard and with joy you received, but when the hard times came, you didn't run to Me, instead you ran from Me.  Then soon after, the condition of your heart turned to thorny ground where the cares of this world and deceitfulness of riches crowded my Word out; you didn't make yourself aware to My grace as I was eagerly awaiting to pour Myself onto you and because of My love for you, I knew what needed to be done and in My patience and loving kindness, I sent laborers to woo you back to Me and in that you allowed me to truly become The Gardener of your heart - and look - now you have allowed Me to turn your heart into fertile soil where there is a return like you could have never imagined  - some 30, 60 and even 100 fold."

With all that said, as we sow into people's lives - let's not hold back in sowing into people - whether we ever see results or not...we must remember that God's Word does not return void as God watches over His Word to perform it. We know it is only by the goodness of God that draws men to repentance so they can be revived and through the process of His patient love toward us, our hearts become and remain fertile by continuously producing crops that point to the handiwork of the Father!

Monday, August 24, 2015


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

Today I am reminded of a blog entry from  July 9, can read it by clicking here...

Friday, August 21, 2015

Trying to "find" yourself?

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

If I try to "find" myself - I will only get more lost in self...
If I try to "find" my value in what I do - then when the work is done I will believe the lie that I have no value...
If I try to "find" my worth in who I know or the title I hold - then when our paths part and the title is removed, I will believe the lie that I am worthless.
If I try to "clean" myself up, I will only get tired and more weary and become even dirtier than before.

Yet the beauty of all of this? The burden has been removed to fail at the attempt in doing this ourselves. God has made it quite simple - The One who finds us allows us to find out who He is so that no matter what we do or don't do, or who we know or don't know or the title we hold or lack thereof...identity starts with being a son, a daughter of God and as this understanding falls on us we only hunger and thirst for Him even more. 
Meanwhile in the intimate moments with our God in prayer, pondering, praise and worship - it's not just saying a plethora of words, or singing many songs - at times it's about living our daily lives and leaning into HEAR...HEAR the Words of Jesus as we stand in awe by the Holy Spirit's power to hear how He intercedes for us and if we really listen, we can even hear His songs of deliverance as He sings over us.  
Remember, you are His Masterpiece not because of what you've done or how great you are - He calls you Masterpiece because He is the "Master" of the broken "pieces" as only through Him we can do the things He planned for us from long ago. In this Masterpiece declaration, He makes us whole and complete, hence Shalom, which means nothing broken and nothing missing! 
Scripture references:
Romans 8:34,
"Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died—more than that, who was raised—who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us."

Galatians 4:6, 
"And because we are his children, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, prompting us to call out, "Abba, Father."

Psalm 32:7,
"You are my hiding place; You preserve me from trouble; You surround me with songs of deliverance. Selah."

Ephesians 2:10,
"For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us new in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago."
Isaiah 26:3,
"You will keep in perfect [Shalom] peace all who trust in you, all whose thoughts are fixed on you!"

Friday, July 31, 2015

"I just want to walk again..."

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

In the waiting room, I spotted a woman in a wheelchair checking in for her appointment. Upon checking in she began softly crying to herself. I'm sure for her it was a moment in which she thought no one could see - which was most likely the moment in which I was moved by the Compassionate Whisperer, "Be My embrace"...Upon the whisper, I received a heavenly idea of how to approach her without making her feel pitied.

In that very next moment, we exchanged names and as I was about to walk away I felt that "nudge" to turn back and simply squat down next to her; while looking into her eyes, I whispered, "What can I pray about with you?" Her answer has not left me and it causes me to appreciate everyone and everything around me...she whispered as tears streamed down her face, "I just want to walk again." Upon that request, we grabbed each others hands and just simply prayed that she would walk again and I believe she will...God loves His children and He hears our cries and thanking Him for His love that is meant to be shared.

"I just want to walk again..."

Now some will think, "What a seized opportunity to obey..." But let me tell you what really took place...I believe it was God's way of utilizing her to anonymously reach out to me - to rekindle the fire of gratefulness so I could "see" more clearly again.

The Triumphant Victorious Reminders in this is how today I request of the Father God, "Lord, let me "see" more clearly again...with Your Love - and I believe that this beautiful woman will not only walk again but run with the best of them - furthermore with her heart, she will run after you all the days of her life!

Tuesday, July 28, 2015


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 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 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 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 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

Honroing my dad

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 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 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 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 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 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


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'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 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's all about an incredible relationship with HIM...not an incredible system that occasionally refers to HIM.

Monday, April 20, 2015


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'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
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 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 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 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


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  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 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'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!