Showing posts from April, 2009

Thursday, April 30, 2009, "Being Obedient When It Is Most Difficult"

Triumphant Victorious Reminders Inspired by the Holy Spirit By: Teresa Criswell "Look, I am sending you out as sheep among wolves. Be wise as serpents and harmless as doves..." ~ Matthew 10:16 ~ As I was praying for the families that have lost loved one's to the 'swine flu', I wanted to not just look at it as just a couple of people dying, but truly wanting to see the people, and in the process this is what was played in my mind: I sadly imagine a mother desperately holding onto her daughter who has passed on; rocking back and forth in anguish. A few days prior her daughter was beautifully spinning and dancing around in the house, humming and singing her favorite song. Many times during the days on this earth she with great energy would jump up and down with excitement as she with many words would describe the exciting day in school and how she anticipated an upcoming birthday party that she was planning to attend. As a matter of fact, she had just talked about th

Wednesday, April 29, 2009, "Hem the Scene of Hope in God"

Triumphant Victorious Reminders Inspired by the Holy Spirit By: Teresa Criswell "Then the angel of the Lord came and sat beneath the oak tree at Ophrah, which belonged to Joash of the clan of Abiezer. Gideon son of Joash had been threshing wheat at the bottom of a winepress to hide the grain from the Midianites. The angel of the Lord appeared to him and said, "Mighty man of valor, the Lord is with you!" ~ Judges 6:11 & 12 ~ As I walked into the kitchen, the beautiful picturesque window beheld such beauty. The golf course surrounded by beautiful trees, leading down a hill as if I could see for miles. The light of the sun peered through the windows as something caught my attention. The light of the sun reflecting photographs on the breakfast table. Curiosity brought me closer to the photographs. Looking closer I realized that the faces in the photographs were family. The faces of my sisters and their families, my family, dad and mom and others with her fingerprints as

Tuesday, April 28, 2009, "Faith"

Triumphant Victorious Reminders Inspired by the Holy Spirit By: Teresa Criswell "And the Lord said, If ye had faith as a grain of mustard seed, you would say unto this sycamine tree, Be plucked up by the root, and be thrown into the sea; and it will obey you. " ~ Luke 17:6 ~ I was sitting at the table mesmerized as Kim spoke. The parable of the faith as a grain of mustard seed I had heard many times before, but this time it was different, when I heard about the sycamine tree this passage became SO real. You may be saying, "Ok, so it's a tree Teresa, what is the big deal?" O but no, it's not just any tree, it happens to be one that Jesus pointed out as an example in his parable. We know that Jesus did nothing by accident nor was the example he used just a 'fluke'. As Kim taught the bible study she taught us that the sycamine tree (This tree is named the sycamine in the King James Version Bible, the other versions will call it a 'Mulberry Tree'

Monday, April 27, 2009, "Just Taking A Walk"

Triumphant Victorious Reminders Inspired by the Holy Spirit By: Teresa Criswell "And Enoch walked [habitual fellowship] with God after the birth of Methuselah 300 years and had other sons and daughters. So all the days of Enoch were 365 years. And Enoch walked [habitual fellowship] with God; and he was not, for God took him [home with Him]." ~ Genesis 5:22-24 ~ As I listened intently to the message at church; the analogy that our Pastor Stephen gave was genius, yet simple. The title of the message, 'Just Taking A Walk'... He indicated that 'The Cambridge Community Development' did a study on the 'Health Benefits of Walking', the benefits included: "Walking is good for your heart. A recent Harvard study shows that walking at a moderate pace (3 mph) for up to 3 hours a week—or 30 minutes a day--can cut the risk of heart disease in women by as much as 40%. This is the same benefit you would get fro

Saturday and Sunday, April 25 & 26, 2009, "Teaching Sunday School"

Triumphant Victorious Reminders Inspired by the Holy Spirit By: Teresa Criswell "And let us not be weary in doing well : for in due season we shall reap, if we do not faint (give up)." ~ Galatians 6:9 ~ "But you, brothers and sisters , be not weary in doing well ." ~ II Thessalonians 3:13 James stands in the classroom in dismay. His wife, Jennifer sits on the ground as tears well up in her eyes. An eager little boy who wants to share his favorite song. He extends his right arm so high as if he were to raise it any higher he just might pull something. Wearing a white polo shirt, beige 'docker like' pants and hair spiked, Jennifer said, "Yes, share with us your favorite song." The little boy looks around to make sure his audience of 22 is ready when suddenly with all his heart he belts out in his sweet, southern drawl, "TW'A'NKLE, TW'A'NKLE, LITTLE STAR, HOW I WONDER WHERE YOU ARE..." As he finished with a huge smile on his

Friday, April 24, 2009, "Book Fair Offers a Reminder"

Triumphant Victorious Reminders Inspired by the Holy Spirit By: Teresa Criswell "Rejoice evermore. Pray without ceasing. No matter what happens, always be thankful, for this is God's will for you who belong to Christ Jesus." ~ I Thessalonians 5:16-18 ~ The doors burst open as two little boys walked through the corridor, their eyes filled with wonder; they gasped for air in utter awe. As they exhaled they both ran with gigantic smiles, filling the room with laughter as they ran towards the books. At a book fair, in their hands, held $5 gift certificates to purchase anything they wanted under $5. That is a bit difficult to do, especially considering how prices have gone up considerably, yet it was cool that they were able to receive a gift certificate from the school. These boys did not care what the amount of their certificate was; they were just excited that they would be able to purchase something at the book fair. You see this week our school is celebrating 'Literac

Thursday, April 23, 2009, "Effectual Praying"

Triumphant Victorious Reminders Inspired by the Holy Spirit By: Teresa Criswell "...the earnest prayer of a righteous person (made righteous through Jesus Christ) has great power and wonderful results." ~ James 5:16 (NLT) ~ Have you ever really listened to the way we pray many times? We have been equipped to pray the Word of God, yet many of us do not know the power that God has given us through His Word. No wonder that people perish for lack of knowledge. Many times I tend to think I have other options of what I call 'prayer'.I laugh as I shake my head in disbelief at my actions many times. Here are some prayers you may find are not really prayers but more of selfish, get my way 'prayers'; we define as praying, but are sadly mistaken. Many times I approach our God who is HOLY, JUST and RIGHTEOUS this way. He is KING of kings and LORD of lords. Sometimes I forget that He is not only my Friend but He is my FATHER, HE is KING whether I say He is or not, but is m

Wednesday, April 22, 2009, "True Compassion"

Triumphant Victorious Reminders Inspired by the Holy Spirit By: Teresa Criswell "...But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he (A man badly beaten) was: and when he saw him, he had compassion on him..." ~ Luke 10:30-37 ~ Inside the house, next to the slightly opened door, a woman kneels, leaning as the right side of her head is supported by the wall, slumped over as if to say, "I give up." The circumstances that surround her are beyond overwhelming. She hears the voices shouting as her circumstance has just been life changing all she can hear is, "YOUR LIFE IS OVER!"She clasps her hands over her ears, and desperately weeps as her body shakes effortlessly. She is a devoted wife, and mother, memories of holding her son as she first met him the day he entered the world. It seemed as it were yesterday. Her mind travels from memory to memory of him when she is brought back to the harsh reality of what took place the night before. Just another eveni

Tuesday, April 21, 2009, "Holy Fire!"

Triumphant Victorious Reminders Inspired By the Holy Spirit By: Teresa Criswell "Create in me a clean heart, O God. Renew a right spirit within me." ~ Psalm 51:10 ~ She sat on the side of a curb, the sky darkening as the sun seemed to be disappearing right before her eyes. Her belly reminding her that it was dinner time, she looked up at the vast dark sky awaiting for her father to arrive as she ran out of the house not wanting to be beat again by her mother. She was intoxicated with the vastness of the moonlit sky as she had a knowing that Someone was watching over her. The little girl I describe is my mom. There are no words to describe her love for the Lord God. I never understood her passion for us as her daughters and her love for our dad. It was misunderstood by me as strictness beyond imagination. However, as I look back I realize it was plain passionate love for us mixed with deep cultural Korean roots unto the Lord. She has told me often that as she lacked the love

"Giggles With the Tickles"

Giggling with the 'tickles' as I heard my friend and her husband tell me of their experience as it was their moment to teach the four year old class at church. You have to know this couple to truly appreciate this story; however, James is very quiet and doesn't get shaken up and Jennifer is so sweet, along with a sweet, tender soft-spoken, southern voice. They were waiting for the teacher, however, the teacher did not show. They got to be with the four year olds with no plan. I have to picture that after a few minutes of class starting that James and Jennifer looked at each other puzzled; giving each other the 'look' that speaks words the mouth is unable to utter. I would have to imagine that as they realized they were alone, on their own with over twenty children at the age of four years old, that hour must have been very interesting to say the least. As they are sharing the story it was plain hilarious. One of the stories was when Jennifer asked the class, "W

Saturday and Sunday, April 18th and 19th, 2009

Triumphant Victorious Reminders Inspired by the Holy Spirit By: Teresa Criswell "...But I am focusing all my energies on this one thing: forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead," ~ Philippians 3:13 ~ The excitement of the 'Accessory Exchange Party' was beyond what I could have imagined. Last night I got to be a part of a new trend that truly brings encouragement to other women, especially in the midst of this unstable economy. My new found friend and neighbor Rachel, a few doors down, invited me and some women from her church to experience this new trend. We brought our purses, belts, jewelry, scarves that we don't wear anymore and we placed it on the tables. All organized by the same type of accessories (i.e. sunglasses, belts, purses, watches, earrings, scarves, rings, bracelets, etc.). The concept? You don't spend any money and the amount of accessories you bring is the amount you get to exchange. The "buzz" in th

Saturday and Sunday, April 18 & 19th, 2009

I received this from a friend who is a reader of Triumphant Victorious Reminders. I wanted to share with you this weekend, what was shared with me. Very encouraging! Love in Christ...Teresa Bad Day - Joyful Morning! by Rebekah Faubion "Bad Day. Joyful Morning! Sometimes you have a day where everything is wrong, a day where the only thing that really goes right is that the sun rises in the east, and then perhaps you miss that because it is cloudy. A day where moments seem harsh and strange events cause changes in one's self made plan. That was my day yesterday! I drove through and got chicken nuggets out of desperation for food (since being pregnant has meant reluctantly including meat in my diet). Hungry, worn-out, and hoping for an easy meal, I asked for honey mustard sauce for my nuggets. After parking so I could scarf my food before continuing on, I pulled out the container and tried to open it. Nothing. The container wouldn't open. As I sat there, tugging at the fo

Friday, April 17, 2009

Triumphant Victorious Reminders Inspired by the Holy Spirit By: Teresa Criswell "The Lord is good to everyone. He showers compassion on all His creation." ~ Psalm 145:9 ~ It's morning rush hour traffic. Her mind is racing; consisting of a checklist of the deadlines that must be met. A few cars ahead is a young marketer. He has a presentation in just a few hours and is rehearsing what he will say as he drives to the airport. He feels the pressure of needing to "land this account." He hopes he will be effective. His hands sweat as he begins to feel the anxiety take over, meanwhile his stomach turns in nervousness. In the meantime there is a car next to him with a man driving that is wondering helplessly, "How am I going to pay the bills this month?" He feels utter hopelessness. He is still in shock as he remembers just a month ago he was working. He worked at the company for years and then just like that, he was released from his job. His eyes glassed ov

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Triumphant Victorious Reminders Inspired by the Holy Spirit By: Teresa Criswell "Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it will eat its fruit." ~ Proverbs 18:21 ~ "If you want a happy life and good days, keep your tongue from speaking evil, and keep your lips from telling lies." ~ I Peter 3:10 "...But no man can tame the tongue. It is an uncontrollable evil, full of deadly poison..." ~ James 3:1-10 ~ Man can't tame the tongue....but guess who can if we let Him? The Holy Spirit who reveals Jesus Christ! Have you ever heard of the following cliche's? "Fake it 'til you make it." "If you don't have anything nice to say, then don't say it at all." "You're just going to 'die' when you see it." I laugh as I write this because look what we speak into the atmosphere so carelessly. This is not a 'new age' finding. This is based on the principles of what God has done and

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Triumphant Victorious Reminders Inspired by the Holy Spirit By: Teresa Criswell "Train, not only teach, but lead by example as you show your child the way he should go and when he is old he will not depart from it." ~ Proverbs 22:6 ~ Yesterday, the devotional was regarding the old and the new life. I received feedback from several people, but one I received was from a very important person, my dad. He wrote: "...2 Corinthians 5:17. Therefore if anyone be in Christ, he is a NEW CREATION, old things are passed away, (Demolition) behold all things are become new (Restoration). What has passed away in our lives since that day of salvation? It’s a continual process that only occurs when we are in His Word or more importantly when HIS WORD IS IN US." ~My Dad, Jerry. My dad whom I am so blessed to have as my earthly father. He leads a life that has and still does show me and my sister's a glimpse of how we could see our Heavenly Father. I don't struggle with appr

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Triumphant Victorious Reminders Inspired by the Holy Spirit By: Teresa Criswell "And no one puts new wine into old wineskins. The old wineskins would burst from the pressure, spilling the wine and ruining the skins. New wine must be stored in new wineskins that way both the wine and the wineskins are preserved." ~ Matthew 9:17 ~ (New Living Translation) One of my favorite television shows, "Extreme Makeover Home Edition" is amazing to watch. The transformation from old and decrepit to brand new and "without words to describe" beauty!The restoration we capture on the television right before our eyes as we first watch the demolition take place. I am captured as I watch the skilled professionals from the builder to the carpenters, electricians, plumbers, artists, decorators, designers and volunteers all at work to see their handiwork as a whole at the end of the show. Can you imagine them trying to complete the makeover on the existing house with existing iss

Saturday and Sunday, April 11 &12, 2009

Triumphant Victorious Reminders Inspired by the Holy Spirit By: Teresa Criswell "He isn't here! He has been raised from the dead, just as He said would happen. Come, see where his body was lying. And now, go quickly and tell His disciples He has been raised from the dead..." ~ Matthew 28:6, 7 ~ I am reminded of the ground which represents my heart and the seed which represents the Word of God (Mark 4). As I reflected on the root system of the weed which is amazing to observe just in nature itself, the weed can grow almost anywhere with or without a lot of water and it can take over almost any type of soil. It reminds me of the sin that is everywhere around us. You don't have to work hard to sin; it's just there readily available. Anything that is of God takes maintenance, being purposeful as to the kind of seeds that go into my heart, even if many Christians are doing it or even if "pastors" who are still human suggest it, I must ask, "Is this pleas

Thursday and Friday, April 9 & 10, 2009

Triumphant Victorious Reminders Inspired by the Holy Spirit By: Teresa Criswell "...The Lord has already told you what is good, and this is what He requires: to do what is right, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God." ~ Micah 6:8 ~ I was pulling the weeds today. The roots were stubborn as I tried to pull them from below the surface. The root itself was twice as long if not more than the actual weed. I was reminded of sin that is deeply rooted in my heart. From the surface it doesn't look that bad. Yet deep down it has festered, taken root and is so hard to pull up as it is entangled with other roots. I can "snip" the bottom of the "weed" from the surface of sin but if I don't get to the root, it only gets deeper below the surface more intertwined and much harder to get out of the ground (my heart). The root of sin are of many different things...but I believe more than anything the root to all sin is pride. Pride comes in many different f

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Triumphant Victorious Reminders Inspired by the Holy Spirit By: Teresa Criswell "The fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, self-control: againsth there is no law." ~ Galatians 5:22 ~ The gifts that God has given to us, are we sharing them as we show evidence of the fruit of the spirit? Or do I dare say as I did a few years ago, "Well, that's not my gift, so I can't do that." That may strike a chord with did me a few years ago when I was needing to volunteer for my child's sunday school class. The children's pastor said, "Every parent is asked to help volunteer in their child's sunday school class every 6 weeks." I was flabbergasted as I said in a slight derogatory tone, "O no, I'm not called to teach children." Please know I laugh as I write this, I sure had some pride going on in think? What is even more ironic? I had just taken a "Spiritual Gift

Tuesday, April 7, 2009, "Pointing back at me"

Triumphant Victorious Reminders Inspired by the Holy Spirit By: Teresa Criswell "The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me; because the Lord has anointed me to preach good tidings to the meek; he has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound." ~ Isaiah 61:3 ~ Have you ever had an issue with someone that wronged you and it seemed like every scripture you read, pointed to that person? I laugh as I ask that question. I have found that the character of God many times has revealed that when we go before Him and we have our intimate time of communion with him through His Word, He highlights areas in our own lives that need to be changed. I have found that this is how God works with me at least. I'll give you an example, there was a girl that I worked with a couple of years ago that had a GIGANTIC CHIP on her shoulder. She possessed this miserable, negative, life-sucking attitude about mostly ever

Monday, April 6, 2009, "Reflection"

Triumphant Victorious Reminders Inspired by the Holy Spirit By: Teresa Criswell "As a face is reflected in water, so the heart reflects the person." Proverbs 27:19 I looked into the mirror as I was washing my face before going to bed. However, as many times as I have looked into the mirror, this time I was captivated. I was not captivated by the reflection of my face, I was captivated by the mirror itself. Why? The first question that came to my mind was "How many faces has this mirror seen?" I was in awe of the mirror, only because of the "antinqued" look of the mirror. I imagined faces of time past looking into the mirror. What were the people getting ready for as they looked into the mirror? I imagined a woman from the late 1800's tying a bonnet under her chin. Tilting her head to the side, before she walked away as she was pleased with what she saw. Seeing little children playing gleefully in front of the mirror making faces. Maybe someone crying a

Saturday and Sunday, April 4 & 5, 2009, "Commit"

Triumphant Victorious Reminders Inspired by the Holy Spirit By: Teresa Criswell "Commit your work to the Lord and then your plans will succeed." ~ Proverbs 16:3 ~ Sounds simple. I'm starting to find that as I commit my day to the Lord, or a project, I have found that this verse "ain't" kiddin''s truth. God has made it simple for us, hasn't He? Then why is it we choose the complicated way of doing things? If I ever get an answer for that one, I'll let you know. When reflecting on the way a child speaks, sees, dances, twirls about, colors pictures, the way they look at their surroundings, even the way they look at their fingers and toes. It is refreshing to see them as they notice such wonder, as though they are experiencing their moment for the first time when in reality, they live like that daily. I desire that "simplified" way of looking at my life in the Lord. It's easy, yet difficult, only when we want control. I

Friday, April 3, 2009, "The Son"

Triumphant Victorious Reminders Inspired by the Holy Spirit By: Teresa Criswell "Your unfailing love, O Lord, is as vast as the heavens; your faithfulness reaches beyond the clouds. Your righteousness is like the mighty mountains, your justice like the ocean depths. You care for people and animals alike, O Lord. How precious is your unfailing love, O God! All humanity finds shelter in the shadow of your wings. You feed them from the abundance of your own house, letting them drink from your rivers of delight. From you are the fountain of life, the light by which you see: pour out your unfailing love on those who love you; give justice to those with honest hearts." ~ Psalm 36:5-10 ~ What is it about the sun? When the sky is so crisp, the rays of sunlight sharpen the colors of creation. A newness takes effect. It is like seeing in "technicolor", or even "high definiton". Creation seems more defined in shape and color. The symphony of music played by all the d