Friday, March 20, 2015

"Squirrel!"

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

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

Thursday, March 19, 2015

You want revival?

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



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

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

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

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

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



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

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

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

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

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


Friday, March 6, 2015

How Will I Respond?

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

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


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


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

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

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

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

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

I want to be...

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



Monday, February 23, 2015

Creation waits eagerly...for what?

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

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



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

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

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

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

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

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

I see it that way. 

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

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


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

Here's the full teaching via YouTube:

Friday, February 20, 2015

Be possessed...

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



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

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

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

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

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

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

Really?!?!?!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Monday, February 16, 2015

In the midst of my past...

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



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Friday, February 13, 2015

Do what?!?!

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



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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




Friday, February 6, 2015

Relief...ha!

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

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

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


Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Have you...?

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

"Don't interfere with good people's lives; don't try to get the best of them.  No matter how many times you trip them up, God-loyal people don't stay down long; soon they're up on their feet, while the wicked end up flat on their faces. Don't laugh when your enemy falls; don't crow over his collapse.  God might see, and become very provoked, and then take pity on his plight."
~ Proverbs 24:15-18, The Message ~


Have you messed up? O goodness, so have I! 

What human being is prone to mistakes and mess ups?  Well of course no one - so in this knowing, just because we trip and fall, it doesn't mean that we are a "mess" or a "clutz"!  God doesn't say, "Arise my clutz!" Nor does He say, "Come on you mess!"  Instead He declares, "Arise in Who I Am Son/Daughter"

Today's Triumphant Victorious Reminder is knowing we get to be carried by  Him! God IS Empowering Grace to cause us to "be" loving, merciful and joyful "mess"engers to "do" above and beyond what we could ever do on our own; displaying His goodness onto others - especially upon the ones we "feel" least deserve it.



"...The Lord has told you what is good, and this is what He requires of you: to do what is right, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God." ~ Micah 6:8

Thursday, January 1, 2015

What's the big deal about the "new" year?

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

Psalm 100



Value. 

When I know and see with understanding the why; the reason; the legacy; the back story of something that is great...value is even more present within my mindset toward that specific person, moment or object that is before me. Whether it has been given to me or perhaps I'm about to purchase it or perhaps even come into relationship with someone - when value is present - so is gratefulness for the person, that moment or that gift that has been given.

Hence the "new" year.  The value of what I endured in the past - the things of old - allows me to value the "new". So let's seize every moment...for one moment passed is another "new" moment to appreciate. The "new" year is valued by the "old" year we have just left - whether it was filled with regret, remorse, tragedy, or triumphs and victories - it's all in the past - even now as I write - the word before this one is now in the past - every moment, every second and every blink of an eye is the old coming into the treasured "new",

If I was never rescued - there's no value to want to know the Rescuing Savior Jesus who brings us so lovingly to the Father God.

If I was never delivered from addiction - there's no value to the Deliverer Who rescues us from bondage and delivers us into His freedom of truth; freedom from deception.

If I never needed to be forgiven - I would not know the value of needing the Forgiver - the One Who casts our sin as far as the east is from the west.

If I never needed to be comforted - I would not know the value of The Comforter Who says, "Rise up in Me, in Who I Am, and watch My grace empower you to do more than you could ever imagine..."

If I never needed my head lifted in the midst of shame, embarrassment and guilt - I would not know the value of the One Who is THE ever present Lifter of my head - the lover of my soul.

If you know the value of the "new"...then you will appreciate this salutation...

HAPPY NEW YEAR! May we be aware of the Blesser who is constantly longing to bless each of us, in ways that we could never comprehend!

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

"I was cold and you kept me warm..."

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

"For I was hungry, and you fed me. I was thirsty, and you gave me a drink. I was a stranger, and you invited me into your home. I was naked, and you gave me clothing. I was sick, and you cared for me. I was in prison, and you visited me.'" - Jesus as recorded in Matthew 25:35-36


Photo courtesy of Temple and Cindy Cash

Photo courtesy of Temple and Cindy Cash
Generosity oozes out of every fiber of Cindy's being as the compassion of God radiates her countenance. Glimpses of Jesus' face seem to appear - He radiates through her in a similar way as He did through Mother Teresa.

Amazed as I watch her while we carry an intentional conversation - conversation that gently provokes the stream of gratitude to fall from her beautiful eyes down her sculpted face.  Lips full as they quiver, her gentle voice shaking; overwhelmed with joy, she is able to finally say, "It was after the September homeless outreach. All of a sudden the sleeping bag concept came to my mind; the homeless needed Christmas presents and I'm going to start praying for it.  A few weeks later I started passing out slips of paper telling people, "Pray with me, pray with me, I don't know where the money is coming from, but please pray with me." So they prayed and a few weeks later the church family came to me and said, "Cindy, you've got it all." She continued, "Two hundred new sleeping bags, socks, hats and gloves and now because of other donations within our local church family we're able to give more."

"Wow!" was all I could say, and in that moment I had to know more. 
I had to know more about this 'God compassion' that compelled her to wake up every day and so I asked, "Cindy, what are you envisioning on Saturday?" Seemingly iridescent tears of gratitude, likened to gems, continued to stream down her face; her voice becoming smaller; choking back tears she interrupted the silence and said, "To keep them from being cold; to have a Christmas present; to have something to open on Christmas, even though it's a few days before, but actually having a Christmas present because I know many of these people haven't had a present for many, many years. To be warm, those sleeping bags will keep them warm."

This says so much doesn't it? Hoarding perspective of "wants" diminish in the face of true "needs". In my mind as I am reminded of our conversation, these words of Cindy's only Christmas wish list, "To keep them warm...to keep them warm" echoes Jesus's words,

"For I was hungry, and you fed me. I was thirsty, and you gave me a drink. I was a stranger, and you invited me into your home. I was naked, and you gave me clothing. I was sick, and you cared for me. I was in prison, and you visited me.'"

TRIUMPHANTLY reminded of God's VICTORIOUS love, which REVEALS YET AGAIN, HIS MATCHLESS, ENDLESS, ETERNAL LOVE IS about - 'THEM'.
Selfless, unconditional love that has no concern of self, only for others.

Thank you for sharing this blog entry via social media...

Mentioning a few donors from this post:
REACH Church, 10400 Anderson Mill, Austin, Texas
Crown Donuts, 10400 Anderson Mill, Austin, Texas
Shipley Donuts, 10401 Anderson Mill, Austin, Texas 
Generous people throughout the community who assist every month with toiletries (i.e. hygiene kits including: razors, soap, shampoo, toothbrush, toothpaste, etc.)

Shout outs of gratitude to the following companies:
Academy in Cedar Park for the great deal with the sleeping bags, with FREE shipping cost and delivered directly to the Cash family's driveway. 
Were given a good deal from ebay and Dollar Tree
Walmart helped with blankets
La Tapatia Taqueria, discounted burritos to hand out every month to those who are living in homeless conditions

Monday, December 15, 2014

Purpose

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

Matthew 22:37-40

Tattooed on my heart were these words, "Teresa, titles and positions are seasonal - but purpose is eternal."

Sabotaging truth, obliterating lies caused me to take notice of the mindset of this world system. From 'raving' accolades, 'proper' recognition, 'honorable' status, 'coveted' titles and 'desirable' positions of authority. Is there anything wrong with those things?  No - yet when the focus of the accolades and titles become our identity, that is when the results of this focus becomes dangerous.  What happens when the season ends of those things? Sadly, what we thought was 'identity' quickly disappears and leaves the door wide open for depression to come in with lies to entangle and ensnare us causing us to shipwreck when it could have been prevented all along.

But how can it be prevented? 

Quite simply, being in awe of God by intentionally noticing things that were always there - those things we simply forgot to take notice. Look up at the sky, or intentionally hear the sounds of nature's proclamations and even think of the different people that surround us right now - no matter if they rub us the wrong way or encourage us - just take notice of how intricately beautiful they have been created. In this intentional, purposeful recognition - it's incredible - the seeking with insatiable hunger and thirst to know Who God is even more.  There will never be an end to this unfolding awe of realizing Who God is...in this endless, vast desire for Him is when royal identity of who we truly are is revealed by the Spirit of God through His living Word - the Supernatural guidebook for living - revealing who He says we are which in turn shows us that nothing in this life is to be compartmentalized but to effortlessly flow. 

Surprisingly, this life is not about being the greatest husband and wife, or this super "bread winner" or "super" mom.  This life is not about being the best business person or entrepreneur, or even attaining to have a resume like King David or the Proverbs 31 woman.  There is this simple realization that many have missed along the way - including myself - but now I see differently, through eyes that have been covered with the Divine Blood of Jesus - this realization to receive the identity of God's purpose over us - it's about being His son and daughter - and in this God's matchless grace abounds to flow through us in our marriage, parenting, leadership and friendships - we become the best because His best is flowing through us, empowering us.

The identity of His acceptance and royal adoption trumps rejection on every level; compelling us to soar above title and positions; no longer striving but now thriving in and with purpose.

For example, when God showed me my purpose statement as He utilized vessels to assist me in recognizing it, this supernaturally wrecked my life forever in the most incredible way. So here it is...my purpose statement.." My purpose is to encourage others and reveal the love of God."  It's simple.  This is my navigational tool in every aspect of my life. So when someone is rude - my first reaction is to go "Teresa violent on them with a few choice words" but then God's purpose for me awakens me by the Holy Spirit's power, reminding me yet again to "encourage others and reveal the love of God".  When the spirit influencing a person to move me out of purpose - purpose reminds me of what I'm called to live no matter what.

When life seems to be unraveling or when victory is being experienced - my purpose remains.   However when life attempts to get the best of me and I lay down my purpose and step over God's promises to take on my measly rights - I will almost immediately recognize so clearly what will happen instead - the results will be the opposite of my purpose and that will be, "discouraging others and NOT revealing the love of God". 

Meanwhile, yet even in that, I am awakened by purpose that is surrounded with God's grace to empower me to make it right next time.  No matter my title or position or lack thereof - no matter the challenges and change - purpose is unchanging - and the same is with God. God is true to Who He is - in the midst of changing seasons - in the midst of our tantrums and praises - He is not moved by our manipulating prayers or our "right on" moments - He is IMMOVABLE AND STEADFAST as He is motivated by Who He is and that is pure, holy, relentless, violent love.

I have come to this conclusion: the trying moments of life are the litmus tests to triumphantly and victoriously remind me of why I'm here on this earth. Purpose is not about me, it is just to flow through me. As purpose flows it is that constant encouragement of being mindful of those who need to be encouraged and it's about WHO they need to see, and that's God - and although it may not be about me, He sees me and loves me and with that holy love I've received, I must see it as an honor to share it with all those I come into contact with, and in that - guess what comes easy?  His love, His forgiveness, His mercy and His loyalty.  Our lives will begin to reveal how we are no longer just loyal to those who are loyal to us - but being loyal to ALL - deserved and especially on those who I would "say" aren't deserving. 

Finally, our purpose statements cause us to not give up on God, life, ourselves or others as it will echo Matthew 22:37-40...love God with everything and in that "love exchange" from Him we can properly love ourselves and others which will result in never giving up! Go in His grace and watch in awe as your weakness is perfected by His strength. When we partner with Him, we are empowered by His grace to do more than we could have ever imagined without Him (Ephesians 3:20)!

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Art or the Artist?

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



"The heavens declare and tell of the glory of God, the skies display His craftsmanship..."
~ Psalm 19 ~

Sitting here with that 'aha' moment. 
That moment of being in awe of the creativity of an artist - but never knowing the artist. 

Needless to say, I am humbly reminded that the same goes with the beauty of creation - I can be in awe of the Creator's handiwork but truly not know Him. 

My eyes well up with tears as I can feel a glimpse of how He wants us to know Him so intimately. Not just knowing 'about' Him or what we "think" we know - but truly knowing Him through His Son, The Abundant Life giving Truth of the Waymaker Jesus, revealed by the Holy Refreshing Spirit of God - not just as our Rescuer but as The lover of our souls. 

He wants us to climb into the depths of His heart, where we will see a glimpse of His magnificent, holy face and wherever we go and whatever we do, the revealing of His glory takes place. 

Finding opportunities to be in His creative "love story" of hope - wooing others to their true destiny; sabotaging self, encouraging others as they receive the kisses of God through us revealing His hot pursuit of each of them. 

His matchless, endless and incomprehensible love through us with embraces of hope; words of life; quality time not measured in quantity but intentionality; acts of service with a cheerful, joyful heart and gifts from within that make room for the King of kings to enter our lives with refreshment as we pour out onto others never running dry; revealing His royalty, annihilating every tool of peasantry!

Let us continue in this intimate pursuit of our King - not waiting until we face tough times - but every moment - in our highs, mediums and lows - let's not just know His work but let us know Him by the Revealer, Who is the Holy Spirit revealing The Word of God in and through our lives.

He's waiting...

Friday, December 12, 2014

Be impressed...

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

"If you receive a prophet as one who speaks for God, you will be given the same reward as a prophet. And if you receive righteous people because of their righteousness, you will be given a reward like theirs."
~ Matthew 10:41 ~

When I say, "I'm not easily impressed..." this may need to be reconsidered. I am learning when celebrating others - no matter who they are, the title they carry or the lack thereof, there is this supernatural ability to receive the gifts of God that are within others.

The triumphant, victorious reminder today is realizing the beautiful gifts of God impact - causing an impression of sorts catapulting us to a place of awe that His glory is vibrantly recognized and revealed.

Just as nature exquisitely declares the glory of God, so do others when I deliberately take notice. People are not meant to be seen - they're meant to be honored and recognized as a treasure; a unique masterpiece; fearfully and wonderfully made by God!

So today no matter where we are or what we're doing - let's just be impressed!

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Edited - Prayer that changes EVERYTHING?

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

I apologize as I realized there were a few grammatical mishaps on my part.  I could blame the auto correct on my mobile device, but I won't...thank you so much for understanding. :)

"Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive anyone's sins, they are forgiven. If you refuse to forgive them, they are not forgiven."
- John 20:23, NLT -

Do you want to pray a prayer that will change EVERYTHING in your life?

The prayer I speak of could be considered ugly, yet it revealed and continues to reveal the face of God's beauty.

I'm not talking about the prayer known as "The Lord's Prayer" - although that is part of it. Nor am I referring to the prayer during the grueling moments before His arrest in the Garden of Gethsemane. Perhaps the greatest prayer declared by Jesus while tortuously hanging upon that splintered cross on Calvary was the following prayer, "Father forgive them for they know not what they do."

This prayer we refer to as Jesus' words were meant to be echoed by us not just admired.  I wonder - is this the prayer that moved heaven to shake the earth and hell? Is this the prayer that caused the violent rip of the veil that once separated God from man?

I sit here - paused by Kingdom Love that moves to forgive like that! My spirit shakes within me -
to be moved by Him instead of being moved by those who are opposed to Him!!!

I believe this just might be the prayer that changes EVERYTHING - it changes EVERYTHING - because it changes us to be more like Him and less like us.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Ministry?

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

"Now to God, Who will do the exceedingly, abundantly above all that we could ever hope, ask or ever dare to imagine according to the power that is vibrantly living within us."
~ Ephesians 3:20 ~

As I was completing my much needed chore list of  "to do's", in that time of pondering, I was "seeing" a young man and a young woman. In seeing them, I just had that knowing they did not know one another - nor had I ever met them.

As I saw each one walking, they were on the path people told them to take. They were told the only thing that would matter to God is if they walked on the path of "ministry".

In that moment of envisioning this, it was as though I could hear the conversations from when they were young - that "being in the ministry" was their calling. Yet as I saw them on their individual path of destiny - I was surprised to notice and recognize that they were on a path not from God.  Now it definitely looked it and they were even successful - yet in the process they were empty and void as for way too long they listened to the mere earthly voices of people who had good intentions but had no idea the intentional purpose of God nor those they are to later encounter with God's crazy, immeasurable love.

Meanwhile the yearning of their hearts are to be marketplace leaders. 

In this very moment as my fingers dance across the keyboard, I am getting that 'unction' to declare,  "The destiny from God within you is the Holy Spirit whispering for you to awaken, arise, stand, walk and run with God's intentionality to utilize the influence and charisma that God has blessed within you."

Young man, young woman, wherever you are, you are marketplace leaders. You are ministers of wealth to whom God has appointed with the gift of giving.  The purpose is to be those who reveal God's glory by giving a hand up, influencing the many in the realm of the business world and more than anything being an asset not a liability.

Today's triumphant, victorious reminder is to remember that God's grace is what empowers us to rise above what we could ever hope or dare to imagine and do the exceedingly, abundantly more than we could ever hope, ask of ever imagine according to the power of the Holy Spirit that is within us!

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Weapon of Gratefulness

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

"Enter his gates with thanksgiving;
    go into his courts with praise.
    Give thanks to him and praise his name."

- Psalm 100:4 -

Do we want to overcome by not being led by how we feel?

Do we want to see victory in not being led by what we just heard that may have been hurtful?

It's easy to be seduced away from focusing on God in the midst of negativity, isn't it?

Are we being led by those thoughts that whisper with deceit, "Look! You prayed and it still didn't work"?
Are we being led by status quo?

I know for me these are temptations but God always provides a way out by the weapon of thankfulness and praise to the One Who is The Exit Route.

So I ask myself,
Are feelings willing to die for me?
Are familiar bad experiences that try to convince me to disobey so I'm not hurt again, did those experiences die for me?
Is negativity willing to die for me?
Are those lying thoughts willing to die for me?

Of course the answer is no! So then, am I willing to give up and die for a lie when the Truth and Abundant Life Who is Jesus already died for you and me?

Isaiah 53 shows Jesus' provision from the torture and death that He willingly laid His life for to do the will of His Father as He wanted us to be brought back to Himself so we'd follow His leading - not to be led by the lying yet cunning voices that beckon us away from God!

As we are led by The One Who gave it up so we could rise up? We are His sons and daughters - He has equipped us to rise up with the weapon of thankfulness - not only for what He has done and for what we have but we get to declare with the vibrations of the sound that comes out of our mouths to speak to Him of how we are thankful for WHO HE IS!!

Wielding the weapon of thankfulness allows us to conquer with praise as His beautiful wooing presence keeps us hidden in the safety of Who He is!!

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Discernment?

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

1 Corinthians 12


    Courtesy of Google Images
 

My heart is so lovingly convicted by the power of the Holy Spirit. I shake my head as I write this, how could this epidemic happen? How did this thinking creep into the church?

The subject I speak of is DISCERNMENT. This subject has been thwarted by the enemy as the 'right' to excuse ourselves from people's lives that we don't have time for or feel threatened by.  I have been guilty of this...does it mean I continue to 'hang out' with them - of course not, but it's an assignment to allow God's compassion to flow through me in my personal prayer time to cheer for them in the spirit.

I am learning so lovingly by the Holy Spirit of God that the TRUE GIFT OF Discernment - IS the gift to discern spirits - not the right to crush the spirit of a human being.

The gift of discernment is not meant to judge people. Instead it's to judge the spirit at work in order TO SAVE LIVES. Yes! Saving lives by identifying what spirit is operating in or over a person. In this is how we see clearly recognize motives so that we command that spirit in the authority of Christ to GO so we see people who were once held hostage are now delivered!

We truly want to see miracles in our nation? Then it has to start with God's compassion flowing through us!! The LOVING GOODNESS OF GOD is what leads us to continual repentance - THE LOVE OF GOD - LOVE OF GOD - LOVE OF GOD IS WHAT LEADS TO ABUNDANT LIFE!