Sunday, March 29, 2009

Monday, March 30, 2009, "Am I A Good 'Spotter'?"

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

"Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers."
~Ephesians 4:29

She shouted with passion and encouragement, "Come on! you can do it, just one more rep." As she spotted her husband who was bench pressing his record weight. He gasped in utter agony and exhaustion. She yelled, "Come on!" As she yelled, he lifted the bar with every bit of strength he had left and placed it on the stand.

Still out of breath, face red and sweat dripping profusely off his face; she yelled with excitement, "You did it! You broke your record, I told you that you could do it!"

The analogy described came to my mind as we were driving to get some errands finished for the day. It reminds me of a word called, "Spotter". The wife was the spotter for her husband. As his spotter she encouraged him, cheered for him and edified him. It reminds me of what we go through in life. As we are next to our husband, wife, children, friend, co-worker, etc. are we the proper "spotters" that the Lord would want us to be? When we see someone going through a trial or tribulation, are we cheering for them? Are we encouraging them?

There are some "spotters" in life that do the opposite and in effect see grim results. Why? Because with their mouth they choose to be discouragers. They choose to be the voice of the, "I told you so."

Being a true "spotter" in life we must receive what is already provided for us which is God's compassion. Jesus was led by compassion before He did mighty miracles. Compassion is another key to this life walk in Christ Jesus. Compassion is Who God is, as well as an attribute that He possesses.

Let us choose to be spotters of life! Who are you "spotting" for?

Pay 'compassion' forward!

Sunday, March 29, 2009, "What Shall I Wear Today?"

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

Ephesians 6:10-18

What shall I wear today and why?

This wardrobe I decide to wear today is so I will be able to stand firm even after the battle has been raging against me:

These are the best of the best 'products' out there! It's FREE, but once you receive must be maintained by no one else but you as you are assisted by the Holy Spirit!

The clothing line is designed to:
Be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might!

Here are the products made available; it is important that you wear all of them together.

~Underneath my clothing I wear body armor, called 'God's righteousness'.

~My belt I put on is the best brand out there. It's called, 'Truth'.

~The shoes I put on is the best shoe out there; called 'The Gospel of Peace'...the slogan? "Just do persistence".

~My shield is called, 'Faith'....Directions for use: Must be rubbed down with oil so that the leather doesn't grow dry. If it grows dry the fiery darts will consume it. The oil you use is called, "Anointing of God"

~The best helmet out there to wear on your head is called, "Salvation" and the best sword on the "market" is called the Sword of the Spirit which is 'manufactured' by the Word of God.

~For effectiveness of the wardrobe, pray at all times and on every occasion in the power of the Holy Spirit. How to do this? Stay alert and be persistent in your prayers for all Christ followers everywhere.

Warning: Don't do this on your own! You must rely on the Holy Spirit! This is how the persistence will be maintained.

The manual for this wardrobe can be found 'on': Ephesians 6:10-18.

God's blessings be made evident through the life we live.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Friday, March 27, 2009, "Remember"

Triumphant Victorious Reminders
Inspired by the Holy Spirit
By: Teresa Criswell
"I love You fervently and devotedly, O Lord, my Strength."
~ Psalm 18 ~

Praise God, He is Strength and He wants to be strength to us.

We don't "add" Jesus to our life...we surrender our life to HIM, the One who has rescued us! May we not forget. How do we not forget? We remember what He has done for us and who He is!

Thursday, March 26, 2009, "Bless The Lord"

Triumphant Victorious Reminders
Inspired by the Holy Spirit
By: Teresa Criswell
"Bless the Lord, O my soul; and all that is [deepest] within me, bless Your Holy Name!
Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not [one of] all Your benefits-
You forgive all our iniquities, You heal all of our disease..."
~Psalm 103~
This has been a verse that I have been reminded of by the Holy Spirit throughout the day today. All I heard in my spirit this morning was, 'Bless the Lord, O my soul'.
May your soul and my soul bless the Lord God Almighty today; let us not allow our soul to condemn ourselves or others. Most of all may we not blame God.
Allow your spirit to be convicted by the Holy Spirit; the Spirit of The Most High God!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Wednesday, March 25, 2009, "Praising God through the sadness"

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

"Be glad for all God is planning for you. Be patient in trouble."
~Romans 12:12

This is scripture that was sent by my dear friend via email today. She has no idea what perfect timing this was, and I know it was from my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

At this very moment, I sit in the office chair at my desk as my fingers effortlessly strike the keys of my laptop. Today at 4:07 pm our world changed in one moment. It was a sad day and now I see how God has been preparing my heart to praise Him no matter what our situation.

Our son who is 16 years old has been living with us since 2004. There were some circumstances that took place in which we knew that this was the best for him, and his mom and her husband had agreed with the living arrangements (He is my "bonus" son; my husband's son from a previous marriage).

Today, after he had come home from a week long visit ("Death, Burial and Resurrection of Jesus Christ" Break) in California with his mom, we were told by him that for two months he had been planning a way to live with his mom again. Needless to say it was very devastating, especially to my husband, whom I have never seen weep as he did this very evening.

I felt numb, had no desire to eat anything as this whole house wept for him. We tried convincing him to stay. O my goodness, my stomach just jumped thinking of not having him in our home.

It is my husband whom I weep for and our sweet daughter, who truly loves her brother. There was a note written to him by her today, as she told me, "Mom, maybe this note I write him will "make" him want to stay with us." Then she said, "Mom, why does he want to leave us?" All I could do was hold her as we cried. I said over and over again, we are going to praise the Lord for Who He is. I just had to put into practice what He has been teaching me.

She looked up at me as we were sitting on the futon in the office, tears filling her eyes. She paused, looked away and then made eye contact with me again. "Mom, I prayed that he would stay, why didn't God answer my prayer?" I looked at her as I cried and said, "Sweetheart, this is something that we can't ask "Why?" to...we must ask God, "What can we learn from this?" As I said this, she cried some more. As I held her, I said, "What can we learn from this, Lord? I come to the conclusion that it is to love You no matter what we believe the outcome should be."

As I spoke it out, I have to honestly say that my whole being just wanted to refuse it, even though I knew it was truth. I pray that she will get an understanding of that now at an early age. I also know as we pray the peace of God to surpass all understanding over her life and that the peace of God guard her heart and mind.

Here is the letter she wrote to her brother, hoping it would be the "antecdote" to influence him to stay with us, I am going to write it as she wrote it:

"dear brother we will so so miss you please stay with us it will not will be same without you I will miss you but just give it another try again we all are think of you so please stay every day I will cry cause you won't be there think of all the fun time's we all had what about your frend's they will miss you to so much Love Tristin P.S. Think about the triva games we had so much fun"

Unfortunately, our son, who is torn between two parents he loves has made his decision, and has known of this decision for two months. He flies out Sunday and all I can say is he will truly be missed. I pray that something will happen, a change of heart would take place. That he would not live a life as the Israelites who said, "It was better in Egypt..."

I praise God for His faithfulness, as He has prepared my heart to be fertile soil and have faith operating so that I will praise His holy name and be a strength for my husband and daughter! I truly did not think I would ever have to see the day where my husband wept and wept as though he would never see him again. I tremble as I type. I don't know how anyone would attempt to go through trials without Jesus Christ...I just don't know how.

God is SO AWESOME ALL THE TIME! We pray protection over our family unit, which we know is what the enemy is after. We also pray for our son to become the light that Jesus Christ has called Him to by the power of the Holy Spirit in his new home in California. He is welcome back into our home any time; arms and doors wide open for his return.

As we asked our son and told him the reprucussions of his choice; he looked at us crying. He said, "I know what I am getting into; I want to go to California because more than anything my mom needs me." My dear husband looked at him and said, "Son, if this is true and not a story to make us feel better of why you leave; then we have raised a good young man. However, your mom needs the Lord God; not as a supplement but as her Lord, you are not going to "fix" her situation."

We covet your prayers to the Lord as He receives ALL the glory and honor for whatever the outcome may be. We also pray a special anointing of protection over our son, as he goes back. Lord, I don't ask you, "Why?" However, I do ask, "Why does he want to leave here, what is the real reason?" Is it because we held him accountable to "stick" to things. Don't give up! Fight for what is right? Speak out when there is wrong being done?

Abba Father, you saw my husband love his son in such extraordinary ways; he revealed a glimpse of You Lord upon our son. Lord, he is truly going to miss The "faja's"(It means "father" in their funny "Austin Powers" language), the climbing on his dad even at 16 years old, no matter if they were in public or in the privacy our home, wrestling on the floor as my husband taught our son techniques of the sport that is known as a "character" builder.

There are so many layers to this story. Divorce is a tool used by the enemy, that our son who was another casualty of war on the family has survived; but with many scars. He was one years old when they were divorced. However, as he got older, I know the same question has haunted our son. "Why did they leave each other?" So many other questions. It was a marriage due to doing the "right thing" for the child. Prior to the child she carried in her womb, the two had ended their relationship. However, when he received the phone call, "I'm pregnant"; they were married when he was approximately 3 months old and 9 months later when he turned one, the marriage ended in divorce.

This feeling that we are experiencing of losing someone and knowing, "Why?" is a question and feeling that I would not want any child to have to go through. As we go through this as adults, children are so resilient and they keep going even with the haunting questions of "Was it because of me?" I am so saddened that our son feels as though he has to make another choice 5 years later.

I am torn and I give this burden to You Lord God. This is not ours to carry; but Yours, and thank You Lord for being our Rock.

Bless the Lord, for He is AWESOME!

"Life is not about waiting for the storm to pass,
It's about dancing in the rain" with Jesus. ~Anonymous

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Tuesday, March 24, 2009, "Praise Him"

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

“ …Jesus replied, “If they kept quiet, the
stones along the road would burst into cheers!”
~Luke 19:28-40

‘Praise Me!’ These two profound words are constantly in the forefront of my mind. Hmmm…I think The Lord God is trying to teach me something; especially when I have a thought to speak things out of my mouth that are not pleasing to the Lord.

I was drawn to find out the definition of the word, ‘praise’ which is defined by an expression of approval, commendation or admiration. I realize that as I get to praise God in the name of Jesus by the power of the Holy Spirit that I express my admiration for Almighty God.

Just look at it from this way with the things we ‘praise’ as we give voice to it and rehash it over and over again; we may not approve of it, but we sure do express our words in declaration over something that deserves no praise at all…it’s ‘misdirected’ praise.

I think of the ‘Lord’s Prayer’ that Jesus gave as an example of how to pray. “Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed beYour name. Thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven...” He said, “Thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” Something is done in heaven that God wants us to desire so it can be done on the earth. I only have a tiny, miniscule of a glimpse of some degree for which this could pertain to. The residents of heaven constantly join with the angels, I would presume in shouting, declaring and singing praises every moment of eternity unto God. If this is done in heaven, I realize that this is something that God desires and wants His people to declare unto Him on this earth as even His own creation on this earth declares His glory.

That brings me to the moment in history as the Bible reveals Jesus triumphal entry during the time of the Passover as He sent his two disciples to retrieve a colt in a village where He was sending them. He gave them specific instructions as to what to do when they saw the colt tied up; which is very important to know that this colt had never been ridden. He then warned them that if anyone were to ask what they were doing; to just say, “The Lord needs it and will return it soon.” As they brought the colt to Jesus, he sat and rode on this colt. As he approached the crowd, they spread their coats on the road ahead of Jesus, and others cut leafy branches in the fields and spread them along the way. Jesus was in the center of the procession, the crowds all around Him were shouting,

“Praise God!
Bless the One who comes in the name of the Lord!
Bless the coming kingdom of our ancestor David!
Praise God in highest heaven!
The people were shouting, crying out,
“Hosanna to the Son of David!
Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!
Hosanna in the highest.”

Before going any further, it is powerful to see that ‘Hosanna’ is also used to express praise or adoration of God; a shout of fervent and worshipful praise. The people cried out in triumph over Him. However, the leading priests and teachers of religious law ridiculed Jesus as the people expressed their worship towards Him. At this point, I realize how “jealousy tells on itself” as the enemy was influencing these leaders to try to shut the people up.

After they praise Him and the religious “elite” observe what they would consider an “outrage”, as some of the Pharisees among the crowd said, “Teacher, rebuke your followers for saying things like that!” He [Jesus] replied, “If they kept quiet, the stones along the road would burst into cheers!” (Luke 19:28-40).

Wow! That is a reminder to me; to NEVER allow the ‘stones’ to replace what I am called to speak forth unto God Almighty. This is what I try to remind myself many times, as I shout and preach to myself, “ ‘Stones’! You are not replacing my voice to praise God, no way!”

It is so hard, isn’t it? I love it however that the Holy Spirit is able to remind me when a ‘surprise’ situation occurs, or something devastating, we are still called to Praise Him. It is a weapon that He has provided, but is sadly rarely used.

This is something that is much easier ‘said’ than ‘done’. Our human nature, which is influenced by so many things: what we see, what we don’t see yet, our present circumstances which we start to believe is our final result, versus looking at that circumstance as a stepping stone to get to praise God even more, to bless Him, because He is Who He Says He IS! The results many times from not praising God in the midst of our ‘storms’ in life is we then misdirect our blame on Him. I am reminded of James 1:17, when I am tempted to blame God or ask him, “Why?” The passage says, “Every good and perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning.” This verse instantly reminds me to not blame Him.

However, the times we have done it, the weapon of praise is so powerful. It guards, protects and immediately the grace of God rules and reigns in our hearts. This isn’t something that occurs by an outside source. The Source is God revealed by Christ as he spoke this and now through the power of the Holy Spirit what Jesus spoke is revealed in our own lives, when we allow Him to reveal it. This responsibility ultimately at the end of the day is up to us. He has provided. Will we accept His provision even in the praise?

It reminds me of a quote from a friend of ours who said, “You are trying to fix an inside problem with an outside source.” It’s a great cliché, yet very true, and it covers most any situation we will encounter. God will prove to us over and over again that He will direct our paths only when we do something…that is TRUST in HIM with all our hearts (Proverbs 3:5-6). But, what does that look like? For me personally, it has looked like this... “Someone says something insulting or may try to get a “rise” out of me, I identify it as a “trap”. As I can identify it for what it truly is and that it is trying to taunt me to confront it, that is when I need to turn from it. When I turn, I realize that this mighty tool called trust is coming over me and now I take that trust and place it on the only One who is to be trusted which is Almighty God. He sees that we have taken that obedient step and reveals the path that He has before me.

We are so moved by tangible things. When will we start exercising our faith to see more of the intangible things that will soon become tangible IF we believe and do not doubt.

Sometimes, it takes preaching to ourselves the Word of God, because everyday is a battlefield. I must say, that when something happens now that is out of our control, it has been FUN to see God come through in ways we could never imagine, plan, hope for or dream of in our wildest dreams. I’m not saying the problem goes away right away, but the peace of God guards our hearts and surpasses my mind’s capacity to understand. (Philippians 4:7).

May we be a blessing to God as we praise Him!

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Monday, March 23, 2009, "Remembering"

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

“Some trust in chariots, and some in horses;
but we will remember the name of the Lord our God.”
~Psalm 20:7~

Definition of remember: To recall to mind with effort; thinking of again
Antonym of remember: To forget

“God your name is already lifted on high
but I want to join that beautiful chorus
as I remember who You are.”

Lord, may we always remember there is an enemy ~ however, as we realize the enemy’s tactics which are revealed in John 10:10 ~ “The thief comes only in order to steal and kill and destroy…” May we realize and remember that the love of God dispelled near and abroad are anecdotes against the tactics of the enemy. The rest of John 10:10 says:”…I [Jesus] came that they may have and enjoy life, and have it in abundance (to the full, till it overflows).”

We must remember the Lord and how we truly fell in love with Him when we accepted His free gift of salvation; knowing that He rescued us from ourselves and most of all the sin that separated us from God our Father. As we are in a constant process of growing, there has also been the process of allowing the world to distract us and seduce us away from our first love.

How do we get back? We remember ~ a glorious tool from the Lord, when used to glorify Him. We need to remember that moment of knowing who our God was and as we remember we want to do something. That “something” is to run back to Him and smell the fragrance that once intoxicated us…the fragrance of His abundant mercies and love for and over us.

We can take this tool of remembering and allow it to be a “vehicle” that revitalizes our marriages, parenting and other relationships. Life has a way of seducing us away just as if you are wading in the vast ocean. You walk towards the beautiful horizon, enthralled by the overwhelming beauty, sounds and smell of the ocean and details surrounding it. As you walk you feel as though you are walking straight ahead, however when you turn back to the sandy beach you realize you have drifted from the area you "pitched" your belongings, and ask, “Where am I?” Panic tries to rise up as you may feel like a child who has been separated from a parent. You didn’t realize you had even walked away from the course of your first step into the ocean, until you need and want to get back.

This happens in life ~ we have a tendency to be seduced away from those things that are most precious. Most of the time with no understanding that there are tools that seduce us. For instance, as husband and wife if they have drifted away from one another they MUST jump into the “vehicle” of remembering and “drive” to that first moment of falling in love with their spouse. Remembering that moment the first day they met; the excitement, seeing through eyes that could only see the good in that person and nothing else.

This “vehicle of remembrance” is able to assist us in getting us to the original “state” of appreciation, love and respect that we once had for each other.

The same goes for parenting. When the behavior of our children is about to test our patience as it swiftly becomes impatience, we MUST jump into the “vehicle of remembrance” and “drive” it to the first day we met our child. The day we laid eyes on that precious baby that we knew we would protect, cherish and love with all of our heart. Remembering will assist us in getting back to the original “state” of appreciation, love and adoration for our children once again.

This brings me back to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ; our first love. In I Corinthians 11:23-25, Paul reminds the church in Corinth that the night Jesus was in the process of being betrayed, Jesus took bread and gave thanks to God. As He gave thanks, He then broke it and said, “Take eat, this is my body which is broken for you, do this to call me [affectionately] to remembrance.” He did the same when supper had ended he took the cup saying, “This cup is the new covenant [ratified and established] in My Blood, do this as often as you drink [it], to call me [affectionately] to remembrance.”

There is truly power to remembering the Greatness of God and what Jesus Christ did for us. It is truly amazing how remembering the greatness of God, or remembering the day of His deliverance, His salvation, His redeeming power and it “demagnifies” the evil and many problems before us and it “magnifies” and exalts Almighty God!

Let us drive the “vehicle of remembrance” to that great thing. We must not use it to conjure up hurts, hate and grudges. We must remember God’s forgiveness, shown by His love (Who is LOVE) as “He has removed our sins as far as the east is from the west.”
~ Psalm 103:12.

I guess we can say that the word of the day is: REMEMBER!

God bless you as we remember His faithfulness!

Friday, March 20, 2009, "Rejoicing in God"

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

Friday, March 20, 2009

I ask myself the following questions:

When I woke up this morning, did I intentionally think on the Lord?
Or, did I unintentionally think of the concerns of my day?
When my feet hit the ground, did I run to praise the Lord?
Or did I immediately "praise" the problems of the world?

Have you heard of the 'religious' cliche?
"They're so heavenly minded; they're no earthly good";
but there is this one I thought about it, I wrote:
"We can be so earthly minded; we're no "heavenly" good".
So with these two statements, it tells me that there must be balance, correct?

How do we live a balanced life?

I'm sure we could come up with many answers to this question.
As many people there are; I am sure there are as many opinions to that question.

Well, let's look at the Word in which we are called to live by:

"Rejoice in the Lord always; and again I say 'Rejoice'!"
~Philippians 4:4~

"I will bless the Lord at all times; His praise shall be continually in my mouth."
~Psalm 34:1~

"Count it wholly joyful, my brethren, whenever you are enveloped in or encounter trials of any sort or fall into various temptations. Be assured and understand that the trial and proving of your faith bring out endurance and steadfastness and patience. But let endurance and steadfastness and patience have full play and do a thorough work, so that you may be [people] perfectly and fully developed [with no defects], lacking in nothing."
~James 1:2-4~

When you read the scripture that relate to praising and rejoicing in God and declaring His greatness, it is usually associated with a trial or tribulation.

We "rejoice in the Lord always" doesn't matter what our concerns are, what has happened to us or what is presently happening to us...we rejoice in the Lord ALWAYS!

It doesn't say to rejoice in what you are going through,
it says to "Rejoice
in the Lord always and again I say, 'Rejoice'"

As we have been going through some rocky times, which let me say, some are self-induced 'rocky times',...we are realizing that praising God is a mighty weapon against the enemy. Have you tried it? You won't feel like it, but when you choose to utilize the weapon of praise, despite your feelings, it's amazing how the problem is demagnified and God is Magnified, which is where He is to be at all times!

When we rejoice in Him, it causes Him to be magnified in our sights! No matter our sights; He is Magnified above all, yet then we give Him place even in our hearts and minds, we agree with what He already is! I love what I heard in 2006 when things were really rough. I was outside, checking the mail, when I heard in my spirit which ministered to my mind, "Look up!" Then, as I looked up I heard, "The sky is as the train of My majestic robe, even the heavens cannot contain why do you try to contain Me?" Soon after I heard that in my spirit, I recognized subtly the power of praise. I'm not just talking about singing songs of praise, but truly declaring the praise which belongs to God and God alone (Example: "I praise you Lord for Who You are; I declare as the heavens declare your amazing glory! You are eternally just and merciful. Thank you for your Love and your Power to endure, persevere and most of all TRUST in YOU at ALL times!

As you exalt the Lord, watch what will happen. Even if you don't feel like it, just triumph over those feelings regarding someone or something and praise the name of the Lord. The peace of God will rule and reign in our hearts when we do so! It's an automatic! You praise God, He will raise you through it!

No wonder when Jesus said, "I have come that you may have life and life more abundantly". For as God has given us life and then life more abundantly; that abundance is to be given to others so they may also experience life more abundantly and they 'pay it forward' as the abundance of God effects them with great triumph! The abundance is not for us to hoard; it is to be utilized as a tool to reveal to others the unfailing, abundant love of God!

When we start exercising the power of praise by faith in God every day, no matter what our situation or concerns are, when the day comes that we need to praise Him even more, as the giants of concern, worry, anxieties shout at us...we can shout back by faith in God, knowing who our God truly is! In the praise He will reveal Himself in ways that we could never imagine, hope for or dream of.

Be encouraged today to know that if you suffer for the cause of loving Jesus Christ...that is the wealthiest life and most fulfilled life to live! I pray the grace of God over each of our hearts and lives so we will walk in boldness for the glory of God, which is our rear guard (Isaiah 58, specifically referencing, Isaiah 58:8).

God bless us all, as we allow Him to reveal Himself
over our life, through our life and most importantly uponothers lives!