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Showing posts from June, 2009

Tuesday, June 30, 2009 "Potential"

Triumphant Victorious Reminders Inspired by the Holy Spirit By: Teresa Criswell "Meanwhile, Saul was uttering threats with every breath. He was eager to destroy the Lord's followers, so he went to the high priest. He requested letters addressed to the synagogues in Damascus, asking their cooperation in the arrest of any followers of the Way he found there. He wanted to bring them - both men and women - back to Jerusalem in chains. As he was nearing Damascus on this mission, a brilliant light from heaven suddenly beamed down upon him! He fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to him, "Saul! Saul! Why are you persecuting me?" "Who are you, Sir?" Saul asked. And the voice replied, "I am Jesus, the one you are persecuting! Now get up and go into the city, and you willl be told what you are to do." The men with Saul stood speechless with surprise, for they heard the sound of someone's voice but they saw no one! As Saul picked himself up off t

Monday, June 29, 2009 "Being Reminded"

"But when the Father sends the Counselor as My representative--and by the Counselor I mean the Holy Spirit--he will teach you everything and will remind you of everything I myself have told you." ~ John 14:26 ~ New Living Translation I am reminded of a spring evening as my daughter and I were taking a walk. I had one mission in mind; to get home. My daughter's mission however, was much different. I was taught a very valuable lesson that beautiful, spring evening. Her mission being different than mine, was to enjoy nature; to just go for a walk. Her cares had nothing to do with getting home 'right now' or to complete the next 'agenda' of life. I realized in that moment that as adults we can be so 'To Do List' oriented that we do not enjoy what is before us; unless of course we 'plan' a day for enjoyment. As we went for our walk, we hurried home. She shouted with excitement, "Mom! Look! A lady bug!" At first I must admit, I was

June 27 & 28, 2009 "Let Brotherly Love Continue"

Triumphant Victorious Reminders Inspired by the Holy Spirit By: Teresa Criswell "Let brotherly love continue." ~ Hebrews 13:1 ~ Receiving some feedback from yesterday's devotional brought me to tears. It is greatly obvious that God has a great love for his creation. Especially men and women who emulate His heart to serve others even unto death - whether they know Him yet or not. My dad sent me an email in response to the devotional yesterday of a woman who is a manager that works at one of the 'Firestone Complete Auto Care' stores in Fort Hood, Texas. Her husband is a Colonel in Iraq and flies Apache Helicopters. As I read her comment, I wept trying to comprehend the great love for country that these men and women possess. There is a 'vanshing point' of comprehension to try to realize the depth of love from the families that are left behind supporting the great love for country that the sons and daughters, husbands and wives, the fathers and mothers a

Friday, June 26, 2009 "God Uses Prayer To Change Things"

Triumphant Victorious Reminders Inspired by the Holy Spirit By: Teresa Criswell "The LORD [is] their strength, And He [is] the saving refuge of His anointed." ~ Psalm 28:8 ~ The stars and the moon illuminate the dark sky. The wind softly blowing as the sand moves effortlessly in the wind. The men and women move with caution as their feet are dressed in black combat boots. Their heavy boots sink into the deep sandy ground as they advanced towards the enemy. Suddenly the leader of the group signals to the rest of his men and women who see through their night vision goggles to stop. At this very moment halfway around the world, an intercessor awakes from her sleep as she is immediately led to pray. The words uttered out of her mouth flow like a river out of her belly. This is a moment she will never forget. Her mind cannot comprehend what she is praying for. The only thing she is sure of is that the Lord has awoke her to pray for the soldiers that serve her country. As she

Thursday, June 25, 2009 "Sandpaper People"

Triumphant Victorious Reminders Inspired by the Holy Spirit By: Teresa Criswell "Let love for your fellow believers continue and be a fixed practice with you [never let it fail]." ~ Hebrews 12:1 ~ Have you been around someone that didn't like you? It isn't that they go out of their way to tell you with words they don't like you. It is their actions that "tell on themselves". I would be more ok with it if it wasn't someone that I knew, but being that it is someone I know, I really struggle. I have gone to the Lord about a situation I am walking through right now. You have no idea how badly I wanted to allow the flesh to rise up and just confront the issue 'head on'. By nature, I am not a confrontational person, however, I have been tempted to get to that point. Surprisingly today, through this situation as I was going to God with my hurts and questions, I was challenged by His love. I was challenged to look within my own heart. Even though

June 23, 2009 "The Opposite"

"You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt loses its flavor, how shall it be seasoned? It is then good for nothing but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by men. You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven." ~ Matthew 5:13-16 ~ I was watching the informative video for the Segway Tours in Austin. It was funny to watch and see that the normal way we move and function is the opposite of what we are required to do to operate the Segway machine. As I thought about that, I was reminded of how we are called to do the opposite of how the world operates. We are part of the world but we are not to be conformed to it's way of doing things and thinking. It is amazing when you truly think about it, living in the worl

June 23, 2009 "Trust and Obey"

"And we will receive whatever we request because we obey him and do the things that please him." ~ I John 3:22 ~ Obedience and trust is what we are called to place on and towards God, to please Him.. Do I truly trust God? Do I trust that when difficulty comes against me, do I truly believe that He will not leave me nor forsake me? Do I believe that He is God who is the Provider? Do I believe He is the Only True Source? Do I believe that He is my Strength and My Refuge in times of trouble? If I believe those things about Him, do I trust Him? If I trust Him, obedience should automatically follow. It is difficult isn't it? But why? It's not because of God, it's because of my own selfish thinking. Many times I think about the right now. We very rarely think of down the road. There are many times that I don't think about the long term rewards of being obedient now. Trust and obedience go together so beautifully. It is like a pair of scissors. It is effective on

June 22, 2009 "The Past Just Happened"

"Jesus said to him, " 'You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.' This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself.'" ~ Matthew 22:37-39 ~ Think about the past for a moment. That sentence I just wrote...it is now the past. That sentence too. Wait! And that one too! O my goodness, it's mind blowing to actually experience the past just a second ago. It's now gone. It is here, and now it is gone before I even finish this sentence. I know this sounds crazy. Yet, if you think about the past, it's just that - crazy! The present a second later is the past. I'm overwhelmed by this thought. It truly brings me to living my life in this present moment on purpose for God's purpose. There is a point where my mind experiences the 'vanishing point' of comprehending such a thought. I am lovingly reminded that The One True Go

June 20 & 21, 2009 "Entrust"

Triumphant Victorious Reminders Inspired by the Holy Spirit By: Teresa Criswell "Roll your works upon the Lord [commit and trust them wholly to Him: He will cause your thoughts to become agreeable to His will, and] so shall your plans be established and succeed." ~ Proverbs 16:3 ~ "Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him and He shall direct your paths." ~ Proverbs 3:5-6 ~ What does commit mean when we are to commit everything to the Lord? According to 'Webster's New Explorer Dictionary' it is the following first definition: To put into charge or trust; ENTRUST In other words, when we commit what we do, say and have to the Lord we must put Him in charge, we must Trust in Him and ENTRUST it to Him. What is the definition of trust? According to 'Webster's New Explorer Dictionary' it is the following definitions (noun): 1. Assured reliance on the character, strength, or t

June 19, 2009 "Boasting About Tomorrow"

Triumphant Victorious Reminders Inspired by the Holy Spirit By: Teresa Criswell "Do not boast of [yourself and] tomorrow, for you know not what a day may bring forth." ~ Proverbs 27:1 ~ The media reminds us daily of a tiny glimpse of why we cannot boast about tomorrow. I am led to ask, "Lord, why am I motivated by wants of today?" I want you to be the Lord of my life; yet I have a 'Dictator of Wants' (I got this one from my 'mom-in-love), that I have allowed to become the 'ruler' of my life. The only Ruler of my life should be My Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. The funny thing I realize is that I don't have the finances to support the wants that tell me, "You'll look better Teresa if you have that." "If you have that car, Wow! That car is so you!" Or how about this one? "They'll think you are important if you have that designer bag." The list goes on and on, of the voices from that 'Dictator of Want

June 18, 2009 "Getting Through"

Triumphant Victorious Reminders Inspired by the Holy Spirit By: Teresa Criswell "For I know the thoughts and plans that I have for you, says the Lord, thoughts and plans for peace and not for evil, to give you a future and hope." ~ Jeremiah 29:11 ~ Sorrow, oppression, depression annihilates her. She sees her husband who not so long ago was strong, and full of mobility. His ability to provide for his family was something she had never witnessed before. She is now haunted by the reminder of death as this man she loves and adores withers away in a frail, sick, cancer stricken body. She is reminded of death and forgets life as he is stricken by a death sentence of cancer from the reports of his doctors. Hopelessness, the will to live, fades as a young father who is newly divorced, has three children in which he has sole custody. He has lost his job of many years, his home has gone into foreclosure and the sheriff has removed him and his children from this place that he once

June 17, 2009 "Sorrow with Repentance"

"For God can use sorrow in our lives to help us turn away from sin and seek salvation. We will never regret that kind of sorrow. But sorrow without repentance is the kind that results in death." ~ II Corinthians 7:10 ~ His shoulders shook as sorrow annihilated him. Sitting in his chair, his head bent down as his large hands grasped his chair trying to hold back the tears. Hopelessness seemed to overshadow his life as he knew it. He couldn't see clearly anymore, nothing made sense. He was the one who for years took care of his family, worked long hours as this is how he showed his love for his wife and family. Regret and remorse had overtaken his thoughts. The thoughts of "If only..." "What if?" Shaking his head back and forth, regretting the 'lack of living' he lived the past 25 years or more of his life. Time had gone right through him and his family. It was like having great wealth which represented his family and time was the money spent

June 16, 2009, "Triumphant Victorious Reminder's Photograph"

Testimony of the Photograph for Triumphant Victorious Reminders Inspired by the Holy Spirit By: Teresa Criswell "But when the Father sends the Counselor as My representative--and by the Counselor I mean the Holy Spirit--he will teach you everything and will remind you of everything I myself have told you." ~ John 14:26 ~ New Living Translation I am reminded of that beautiful spring, early evening as my daughter and I were taking a walk. I had one mission in mind; to get home. My daughter's mission however, was much different. I was taught a very valuable lesson that beautiful, memorable evening. Her mission being different than mine, was to enjoy nature; to simply go for a walk. Her cares had nothing to do with getting home 'right now' or to complete the next 'agenda' of life. I realized in that moment that as adults we can be so 'To Do List' oriented that we do not enjoy what is before us; unless of course we 'plan' a day for enjoymen

June 16, 2009 "Senses"

"Now the Angel of the Lord came and sat under the oak at Ophrah, which belonged to Joash the Abiezrite, and his son Gideon was beating wheat in the winepress to hide it from the Midianites. And the Angel of the Lord appeard to him and said to him, 'The Lord is with you, you mighty man of valor." ~ Judges 6:11-12 ~ Do you become frustrated when you don't see results you expect in your life? What about in the lives of others? Many of us possess our five senses. The one I truly appreciate, yet take for granted is the sense of sight. To be able to see things through my eyes when I take a moment to appreciate it, it is quite amazing, isn't it? However, with that sense of sight, I am hindered by what I MUST see; through the eyes of faith as it needs to be on God and what He sees. This thought leads me to one of my favorite men in the Bible. His name? Gideon. I imagine there was great distress during this time in history as the Midianites and Amalekites oppressed th

June 15, 2009 "Where Does My Help Come From?"

Triumphant Victorious Reminders Inspired by the Holy Spirit By: Teresa Criswell "I will lift up my eyes to the hills...from where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, Who made heaven and earth..." ~ Psalm 121 ~ Is there a struggle today? Are you being hard pressed at this very moment? Is the struggle you are going through, something you never thought would happen to you? How are you trying to relieve that struggle and pressure? I am reminded of the scripture in Psalm 121, "From where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord." When I continue to read throughout this Psalm, I found that the writer of this Psalm reminds himself who his help truly is. Yet, he does not stop there. He continues on by encouraging himself as he reminds himself who his Helper truly is, "The creator of heaven and earth." After he reminds himself of who his Helper is, he then reminds himself who sustains him. As he reminds himself who sustains him, he

June 13 & 14, 2009 "Desperation"

Triumphant Victorious Reminders Inspired by the Holy Spirit By: Teresa Criswell "And behold, a woman who had suffered from a flow of blood for twelve years came up behind Him and touched the hem of His garment; for she kept saying to herself, 'If I only touch His garment, I shall be restored to health." ~ Matthew 9:20 & 21 ~ The doctor said with great remorse, "I'm sorry but there is nothing that can be done." Tears rolled down the patient's cheeks as her voice shook, "Doctor, are you sure?" The doctor could not look at her as he could not bare to see the desperation in her eyes. Looking down he said, "I'm truly sorry. There is nothing we can do for you, we have the best of the best and even in that there is nothing we can do." She walked away with her head down; another disappointing report. Yet even in that moment she did not give up hope that she would be healed. Many told her in their subtle ways that it was useless to

June 12, 2009 "Ruin to Restoration"

Triumphant Victorious Reminders Inspired by the Holy Spirit By: Teresa Criswell "A woman came up to Him with an alabaster flask of very precious perfume and she poured it on His head as He reclined at the table. And when the disciples saw it they were indignant saying, 'For what purpose is all this waste? For this perfume might have been sold for a large sum and the money given to the poor.' But Jesus, fully aware of this said to them, 'Why do you bother the woman? She has done a noble (praiseworthy and beautiful) thing to Me. For you always have the poor among you but you will not always have Me. In pouring this perfume on my body she has done something to prepare Me for My burial. Truly I tell you, where this good news (the Gospel), is preached in the whole world, what this woman has done will be told also, in memory of her.'" ~ Matthew 26:7-13 ~ Amplified Version "I must see Jesus!" "What shall I wear?" "What could I bring to Him

June 11, 2009 "Vessel of Honor"

Triumphant Victorious Reminders Inspired by the Holy Spirit By: Teresa Criswell "But in a great house there are only vessels of gold and silver but also [utensils] of wood and earthenware, and some for honorable and notable [use] and some for menial and ignoble [use]. So whoever cleanses himself [from what is ignoble and unclean, who separates himself from contact with contaminating and corrupting influences] will [then himself] be a vessel set apart and useful for honorable and noble purposes, consecrated and profitable to the Master, fit and ready for any good work." ~ I Timothy 2:20-21 ~ Definition from online dictionary: Ignoble~ Not noble in quality, character or purpose; base or mean Synonym~ Dishonourable Have you ever tried to use another 'tool' to hammer a nail in? I have. Using the plastic part of a screwdriver, the end of scissors, or a shoe. You name it, I have probably tried it. There have been times where it even did the job I needed it to; however,

June 10, 2009 "The Confessions of Our Mouth"

Triumphant Victorious Reminders Inspired by the Holy Spirit By: Teresa Criswell "For I have said, Mercy and loving-kindness shall be built up forever; Your faithfulness will you establish the very heavens [unchangeable and perpetual]." ~ Psalm 89:2 ~ I have been lovingly convicted of this question: "What are you 'confessing' or 'declaring' over your life?" Many times the question that God asks is the very issue He wants to free me from or highlight so that He can 'prune' it out. It leads me to a thought. Would I ever say to someone to their face, "You are stupid!" "You are worthless!" "You are an idiot!" "You are ugly!" "You have no value!" "You are so insecure, you can't speak!" "You don't have the right background for God to use you." "You a such a mess that even God can't help you!" Just to type such declarations are a bit disturbing. I was prof

June 9, 2009 "Acronym for Encouragement"

Triumphant Victorious Reminders Inspired by the Holy Spirit By: Teresa Criswell "Now may the God Who gives the power of patient endurance (steadfastness) and Who supplies encouragement, grant you to live in such mutual harmony and such full sympathy with one another, in accord with Christ Jesus." ~ Romans 15:5 ~ Amplified Version "Let no foul or polluting language, nor evil word nor unwholesome or worthless talk [ever] come out of your mouth but only such [speech] as is good and beneficial to the spiritual progress of others, as is fitting to the needs and the occasion, that it may be a blessing and give grace to those who hear it." ~ Ephesians 4:29 ~ Amplified version I do believe that this is important even to encourage ourselves. Especially when we are battling sickness, disease, depression, unforgiveness, etc. We have the tool that God has equipped us with to encourage even ourselves with our mouths...the spoken word. We also have this power from the Lo

June 8, 2009 "There's Pride and then there's Humbleness"

Triumphant Victorious Reminders Inspired by the Holy Spirit By: Teresa Criswell "A man's pride will bring him low, but he who is of a humble spirit will obtain honor." ~ Proverbs 29:23 ~ Pastor Kim was teaching last night as we were wrapping up our last bible study on praying the Word of God. As she taught, I heard or 'saw' a word continually in my mind when she said the word, 'yeast'. As I wrote it down it took me back for a moment. The word I wrote down was 'lukewarm'. As I have made bread and remember our son saying something about the temperature of the water when stirring the yeast before placing it in the flour, I realized how the yeast is activated. It is activated by lukewarm water. It was a quickening 'word'; a litmus test so to speak. I realized when pride comes in it is many times activated by being in a lukewarm spiritual state, many times revealed in legalism or 'religiosity'. It then brought me to the words of the L

June 5, 2009 "Seasons"

Triumphant Victorious Reminders Inspired by the Holy Spirit By: Teresa Criswell "To everything there is a season, and a time for every matter or purpose under heaven: A time to be born and a time to die, A time to plant and a time to pluck up what is planted, A time to kill and a time to heal, A time to break down and a time to build up, A time to weep and a time to laugh, A time to mourn and a time to dance, A time to cast away stones and a time to gather stones together, a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing, A time to get and a time to lose, a time to to keep and a time to cast away, A time to rend and a time to sew, a time to keep silence and a time to speak, A time to hate, a time of war and a time for peace. What profit remains for the worker from his toil? I have seen the painful labor and exertion and miserable business which God has given to the son of men with which to exercise and busy themselves. HE has made everything beautiful in its time. He has al

June 4, 2009 "In Awe"

TRIUMPHANT VICTORIOUS REMINDERS Inspired by the Holy Spirit By: Teresa Criswell "O Lord, my Lord how excellent (majestic and glorious) is Your name in all the earth! You have set your glory on [or above] the heavens." ~ Psalm 8:1 ~ Amplified Version "And the effect of righteousness will be peace [internal and external], and the result of righteousness will be quietness and confident trust forever." ~ Isaiah 32:17 ~ Amplified Version Sitting under the shade of an oak tree; I looked ahead at the rippling waters that glistened from the rays of the sun, reflecting the beautiful movement of the water. I looked across the lake and saw patches of land decorated by tall wild grass. Framed with white wildflowers surrounding the wild grass like a ring. Straight ahead as though I were staring at a painting come to life, I saw a tree in the middle of a small island of yellow flowers and wild grass that surrounded the tree like a beautiful skirt in the water. Just yonder th

June 3, 2009 "I Need Help!"

Triumphant Victorious Reminders Inspired by the Holy Spirit By: Teresa Criswell "My help comes from the Lord, Who made heaven and earth. He will not allow your foot to slip or to be moved; He Who keeps you will not slumber. Behold, He who keeps Israel will neither slumber nor sleep." ~ Psalm 121:2-4 ~ Laying out by the pool, catching some rays; getting an 'overdose' of Vitamin D something caught my attention. I noticed a mom of two children trying to gather her belongings as she was holding her little boy who was no more than 4 years old. She had another little boy who was approximately 6 years old trying his best to gather things in his little arms to assist his mom. She had a bag hanging from her left forearm, a little boy hanging on her right hip as his legs wrapped around her waist and her right arm tightly wrapped around him. She didn't have any arms left as she struggled trying to reach for the rest of her belongings that were on the ground. As I saw thi

June 2, 2009 "Can not Can't"

Triumphant Victorious Reminders Inspired by the Holy Spirit By: Teresa Criswell "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." ~ Philippians 4:13 ~ "I have strength for all things in Christ Who empowers me [I am ready for anything and equal to anything through Him Who infuses inner stregth into me; I am self-sufficient in Christ's sufficiency]." ~ Philippians 4:13 ~ Amplified Version The following is the phrase I received yesterday during my cycling class which was extremely challenging, yet worth the challenge. The cycling instructor who was a 'mad man' shouted with passion, "'Can't' is not in your vocabulary, do you understand?" Of course I have heard this statement many times, however, this time the Lord used that statement to open my eyes a little more to HIS unimaginable Truth. I wrote down the following, "God provides the "can" through Christ when the opportunity to say, "I can't" is

June 1, 2009 "God's Compassion Revealed"

"When He (Jesus) went ashore and saw a great multitude of people. He had compassion (pity and deep sympathy) for them and cured their sick." ~ Matthew 14:14 ~ Amplified Version "He has made His wonderful works to be remembered; the Lord is gracious, merciful, and full of loving compassion." ~ Psalm 111:4 ~ Amplified Version Driving to see my mom to spend the day with her, I was listening to the radio. I heard the 'DJ' come on after a song was played as she answered a phone call. The caller was a woman who had a story regarding a monumental moment that had taken place at a Special Olympics event many years ago. The caller's dad, who served on the police force for over thirty years, was a security guard at the event in Wichita, Kansas. The caller began to tell this inspirational story of what her dad and many others witnessed. She said, "My dad was watching a race and the boy who was on his way to get first place realized that the boy running