Monday, November 30, 2009

November 30, 2009, "The Comfort of Love"

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

"But now I am going to Him Who sent Me, yet none of you asks Me, Where are You going? But because I have said these things to you, sorrow has filled your hearts [taken complete possession of them]. However, I am telling you nothing but the truth when I say it is profitable for you that I go away. Because if I do not go away, the Comforter (Counselor, Helper, Advocate, Intercessor, Strengthener, Standby) will not come to you [into close fellowship with you]; but if I go away, I will send Him to you [to be in close fellowship with you]."

~ John 16 (Excerpt from John 16:5-7 ~

Cold day. Blanket. Hot Chocolate. Praise Music.

What do these words describe? Comfort in the midst of uncomfortable situations.

As I thought about this, I also thought of my Amazing Father God. Jesus Christ when He ascended to heaven to be with the Father God, He promised The Great Comforter. The Holy Spirit would come and has come to reveal who Jesus is; who revealed the Father God.

The thought and reawakening of Who lives within me because I said, "Yes" to Jesus, it brings me to my knees in great awe and wonder. A thought that my mind can not shrink down to contain. Only my heart by faith can receive such amazing truth..

This is so amazing...I have the Holy Spirit within me. In the midst of our 'cold' situations and even 'cold' people, I can bring comfort to others, revealing who lives within me.

I can allow the warm embrace of the Father God to cover me. Sipping on His refreshing, overflowing mercy and loving kindness and allow the praises of Who He is come forth out of me. In doing this, watching my atmosphere change; my mind will soon follow as my heart leads, being led by the Holy Spirit. We can't let it stop with us, we must allow ourselves to be vessels. To much is given; much is required.

This truth has been used to manipulate our own agendas, however today I truly think of this. I am reminded of much love was given and lavished upon us and to that; much is required to flow through us and upon others, revealing the Author of Love. For Jesus not only operated in love...but more importantly He is Love.

The Perfect Blood that He shed for each of that's true love...pouring out His love upon those who would even say, "No" to Him. He didn't just die for those who would love Him, He also died for those who would spit on Him as they would reject Him.

Wow! No greater love, than His great love for every one of us. Allow His ever present, unfailing love embrace you today, covering you as it casts out all fear!

Saturday, November 28, 2009

November 28, 2009, "Loyalty"

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

"Never let
loyalty and kindness get away from you! Wear them like a necklace; write them deep within your heart."
~ Proverbs 3:3 ~

He laid down near the door waiting patiently for Tim.

I went around the house picking up, making beds, and bringing down dirty laundry when I noticed he was still waiting near the door. With compassion, I called out his name, followed by a light whistle. Our dog "Jack", a smooth fox terrier, came over to me, sat real pretty and then went back to where he was lying down before.

Sure enough, a few minutes later, I could hear the garage door opening and saw that Jack was whining excitedly at the door. Soon I could hear the key turning the lock and at the same moment the crescendo of excitement as Jack let out a constant bark as if he was saying, "Dad's home, dad's home, dad's home." As the door opened, Jack barreled through the door jumping all over Tim to greet him with great excitement.

Jack's eagerness to please his master is nothing short of remarkable. He is the first one to defend our home when a male person that he does not know comes into our dwelling. Jack's loyalty reveals his 'heart' for his master. Our dog's loyalty to his master leads me to the reminder of how I want to desire my Master, my God. I want to desire that 'heart' for my God's heart and His powerful unfailing love and presence.

I want to desire every waking moment desiring to be with the Master, Almighty God, through Jesus Christ.

It is amazing how in God's creation we are always reminded how to worship God with great adoration (Psalm 104):
The heavens declare His glory (Psalm 19).
The waves of the ocean bowing down to worship Him (Psalm 93).
The birds of the air do not worry about what they will eat; as they know they will be provided for (Matthew 6).
The trees raise their 'palms' to the heavens worshiping God (Psalm 96).
The earth trembles at the presence of the Lord (Psalm 114:7).

Whatever the reminder of worshiping our God may be today; may we follow the reminder through with action because of Jesus Christ by the power of the Holy Spirit.

"Lord, thank You for Your unfailing love towards us. You love us so much that you reveal it through all of your creation as revealed by the 104th Psalm. God You are amazing as I consider the works of Your fingers, the moon and stars which You have ordained, what is man that You are mindful of him? Yet, you sent Your Only Son Jesus Christ on our behalf so that we could be redeemed and restored back to You. Lord, thank You for Your mercies that are new every morning. May we long and desire to be in Your presence as we love on You because You first loved us. Thank You for the reminder of our dog who longs to be with his master every waking moment. Lord, I want to think about You every moment. As I think of You, I know it will change the way I treat others, loving the unlovable and lovable alike. Not because of my love, but because of Your love through me. Thank You Father for Your reminders, which reveal your tender mercies over each of us. Thank You for our mediator which is Christ Jesus. Amen"

Monday, November 23, 2009

Celestial Odyssey, By Freddy Hayler

This is one of my favorite songs...if you have a moment where you can just focus on the presence of God...give way to 10 minutes...I promise you won't regret it! This is amazingly awesome...Our God is so awesome...all the time!

Happy Thanksgiving and "Behold the Son of God, Worship Him"...woooooooooooooooooo!!!!!!!!!!!!

November 24-27, 2009, "Words from a Child"

Triumphant Victorious Reminders
Inspired by the Holy Spirit
Written By: Teresa Criswell
Guest Writer: Tristin Criswell (my daughter, age 9) :)

"But the LORD said to me: "Do not say, 'I [am] a youth,' For you shall go to all to whom I send you, and whatever I command you, you shall speak. Do not be afraid of their faces, for I [am] with you to deliver you," says the LORD. "
~ Jeremiah 1:7 , 8 ~

"Mom, every day I am going to write a devotional. I am going to talk about the miracles from the day. I am starting in Genesis." With great joy I said, "Really?!" "She said, "Yes".

I found that she wrote her first devotional last night. I was so blessed by the one sentence she wrote. The sentence exuding with great power. Wow! I realized through this how we can never limit God.

Just as God told Jeremiah; so I am reminded that no matter our age; young or old. No matter our education; 'drop out' or possessing a PhD. No matter our gender; male or female. The Lord Jesus can utilize whomever he chooses to glorify The Father God!

Here is the devotional the Holy Spirit led her to write
(The title of her daily devotional is, "God Time"):
"Love the Lord and sing your joy to Him and say how much you love Him. And smell His presence come into the room."
~ Tristin Criswell

This is how she wrote it:
"love the lord and sing your joy to him and say how much you love him and smell his preasents come in to the room."

I pray you are blessed by the praises of a 9 year old to her Father God through Jesus Christ by the power of the Holy Spirit!

Happy Thanksgiving and enjoy your family and friends!

November 23, 2009, "I Am An Honored Carrier"

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

"Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom He has given us."
~ Romans 5:3-5 ~

Random thoughts of the awesomeness of God were circulating through my mind. My mind kept hitting these 'vanishing points' where I had to reel myself back into my reality, even though I didn't want to; however, I had to before I 'fell off the edge' of craziness; pondering the awesomeness of God.

I became so enveloped in the thought of the Holy Spirit living on the inside of me. The Holy Spirit! The Spirit of God! The Revealer of Jesus Christ living on the inside of me! Wow! I couldn't help but literally be humbled by such a powerful truth! When I accepted the gift of Salvation through Jesus Christ...notice the word 'accepted', The Holy Spirit made my spirit brand new as The Spirit of God now lives on the inside. As this truth penetrated my heart I was being reminded that I was an honored carrier.

This is what was written in my journal yesterday morning:

"I am a carrier of God's glory.
I am a carrier of God's love.
I am a carrier of God's faith.
I am a carrier of God's joy.
I am a carrier of God's mercy.
I am a carrier of God's healing.
I am a carrier of the Spirit of God!"

If I am an honored and privileged carrier of the Spirit of God; then there should be this awakening on the inside which transforms my mind as I am constantly being transformed by Who He is and His awesome word.

Just my own thoughts..."O my goodness, I am a carrier of God's healing. It's on the inside of me. It needs to be stirred up as my faith in God is so strong because of Who He is. I want to be captured by the amazing reminder of my God the healer, The Source of Healing. His provision flows from the inside transforming my outward condition and others. Then I started laughing thinking to myself, if this is the case, wouldn't it be great to see sickness, depression, diseases of every kind, as it attempts to come on our body literally shrivel up as it can't come near the glory of God that is on the inside of us? If we truly knew Who was on the inside of us, would we live much differently? How awesome a new reality to see healing become more 'contagious' than sickness."

How do you describe such awesome, amazing power on the inside of us? It is impossible to articulate the gift of God. His Breath, His Spirit is within us; attempting to focus on this mind blowing thought is truly debilitating.

God you are awesome! You are amazing..I don't even know where to begin on how to praise You. Thank You Lord for your unfailing love.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

November 21 & 22, 2009, "Passion To Win..."

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

"But remember that the temptations that come into your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will keep the
temptation from becoming so strong that you can't stand up against it. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you will not give in to it."
~ I Corinthians 10:13 (New Living Translation)~

School. Peers. Quizzes. Tests. Sports. What do these words describe? A student/athlete. Today is Cody's first wrestling tournament. To watch the discipline of our son, a junior in high school, and a wrestler (rated number four in the state of Texas, weight bracket 152) is utterly amazing and convicting. Especially one that is still growing into his body; the aches of hunger and the workouts before school, during and after. Conditioning and preparing his body for the season.

The preparation before his first meet is grueling and comes months before the actual season begins. The foods he has stayed away from; the foods he is tempted to eat. Then on top of that, his growing body screaming out, "Feed me!" The peers shouting out, "Party over here with us; take the edge off!" Yet to see the champion mentality rise up in him is nothing short of amazing. I am finding that the passion for the win is stronger than the temptation to give in (That's a great one Lord).

This leads me to my passion for Who God Is and His Unfailing, loving heart. Is my passion for Him stronger than the passion to give into those habitual sins? I'm so not there. I am not feeling condemned, but it brings me to this place where I truly desire to want my Father God to be blessed more than I desire to be blessed.

What are one of the tools He has equipped us with that can lead to this passion? I would have to say that most likely praising Him for His great faithfulness, which leads us in a state of reminding ourselves of who He is; not who He isn't. With that praise to Him we also exercise the fruit of self control. It's not something we pray for, it's something He has already placed within us by the Holy Spirit when we accepted Jesus Christ as our Savior. It's literally stirring that 'fruit' on the inside of us with the help of the Spirit of God.

Am I prepared for the next 'meet'? The next challenge? Unfortunately, there's not a 'schedule' of when the next challenge will occur or at what venue. However, this just shows how vitally important it is to be prepared in God, in the physical realm and in all other realms as He leads and even as the commonsense He has given us leads. The preparation is not about me taking on the challenge, it is about my trust in my God that will get me through the next challenge.

Today, I am reminded that the passion for the win must be stronger than the temptation to give in.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

November 20, 2009, "Not to Harm You"

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

"For I know the
thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope."
~ Jeremiah 29:11 ~

I don't know who this devotional is for, however, as I was trying to sleep this great 'unction' on the inside of me from the Holy Spirit led me with great fervency to write the following words. I pray that it ministers to you and you feel the hope of God rising up on the inside.

It was June 15, 1944. Bodies lay scattered on the ground. The bodies of 30,000 Japanese, Korean slave laborers and original inhabitants of Saipan; their bodies strewn throughout the island. They jumped to their death as they would rather die than surrender; especially due to speculated fears that they were told by their own people that our American soldiers would torture and kill them and their children. One particular father in his desperation because of the fears of his children being taken captive; overtook his own children by slitting their throats then pushing them over the edge of the cliff and then he followed by jumping to his death.

As I watched World War II in HD on the History Channel with my husband, I wept uncontrollably. To see the bodies of these I would assume hard working, loving families overtaken by the fears was utterly shocking.

The American soldiers were horrified and forever changed at what they found. They tried in great desperation to stop the people from jumping to their death. Somehow in their desperation they found a Japanese translator who was given a type of microphone to speak over the loud speakers pleading with his fellow people to surrender. He attempted to assure them that harm would not come near them. He went on to let them know that they would be fed, given water and they would be helped. Some listened, yet many others did not trust that the translator was telling the truth. Many thought he was being used to trick them; in which they jumped to their death.

This reminded me of the deceiving voices many of us here even today. "You're not good enough." "You didn't do anything you wanted to, what a waste." "You're a failure, you can't even take care of your family." "End your life now, they'd be better off without you." The voices of "He/She is a hopeless case. Why did you marry him/her in the first place?" The voices that subtly lead us away from the destiny of God over our lives.

When the temptation to jump and end it all; remember that God has a great plan and purpose; never to harm you! You will get through IF you choose to walk with and in Him. Is it difficult at first? Yes, but then as we start to praise Him for His great faithfulness, in the midst of our own faithlessness, we will be overcome by His overwhelming presence of peace and grace. We will run to worship Him at all times. The rewards of our praise in the midst of great mounting fears will save generations to come.

As I saw the lives lost due to the mass suicide of the mothers, fathers, brothers and sisters, husbands and wives because of the lies that they believed; ended not only their lives but the generations after them. .

God is the Restorer! He is the Redeemer! God is Love who casts out fear!

When fear tries to drive us to our death; may we run to our refuge, surrendering to Him through Jesus Christ as we are led by the Holy Spirit. As we run with and after Him may we shout with the voice of triumph knowing we have the victory because of Almighty God, through Jesus revealed by the Holy Spirit!

November 19, 2009, "Fretting and Stressing"

"For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind."
~ II Timothy 1:7 NKJV ~

Frantically looking for the folded envelope. The fearful thoughts, "Did I throw it away?" "Did it fall out of my purse?"

Looking all through the house; in cupboards, drawers, dressers, trash cans. It even went as far as my friend, Breckin digging through the outside trash can with me. Bless her heart.

I would pray real quick, yet was frantic, fretting, stressing, my head was filling up with a cold, coughing and tired. I thought, "My husband is going to get so upset with me."

I walked back into the house after digging into the trash. I must have had the look of despair as my husband was in the kitchen preparing dinner.

He called out to me and said in a calming voice, "Teresa, just walk away from it for a while."

I was upset.

I said, "Tim, you know me; I can't just stop thinking about this; I'm feeling paralyzed, this is a very important envelope."

He said, "Teresa, come here. Have you prayed?"

I said, "Of course I've prayed."

He said, "OK, Teresa, calm down, it's OK. You will find it."

He pulled me into his chest, wrapped his arms around me as my face was smashed and squished against his chest. I had literally just fallen into his embrace; limp as though I said, "I hand over the stress to you Lord."

My husband prayed, "Lord, I thank you that you know where this envelope is that Teresa has misplaced. Lord, please remove any obstacles in her mind that would cause her to forget. Lord, we thank you that it is done. In Yeshua's (Jesus) Name I pray. Amen."

I gave him a big hug and told him thank you for praying.

I walked away, went upstairs and suddenly a 'picture' popped into my mind. A picture of my Bible. I ran down the stairs, grabbed the Bible, opened it up and there it was!

I could have melted as the stress, anxiety and fretting fell off of me. Hallelujah!

I shouted, "Tim! Thank you for praying for me, God helped me find it! Thank You Lord!"

As he always says, "Teresa, just thank the Lord as the Holy Spirit showed you where it was."

At that moment, I was reminded of the gift of praise unto God that I did not utilize. As panic was readily available, I fell into the 'pit' as it gobbled me up leaving bruises from the kicks and hits of fear, doubt, confusion and panic. It started to choke me out of my ability to think clearly. I am reminded of that scripture that says, "For God has not given me the spirit of fear; but of power, love and a sound mind."

Today, may we be reminded that when we choose Him; we choose peace, joy, love and power. It is so difficult at times; yet when we praise Him, whether we feel like it or not; we will see the results of who He is; no matter the outcome.

Fall into His arms as He brings you in, and just allow His embrace to carry you through with His awesome grace.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Noovember 18, 2009, "His Voice"

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

"I assure you, most solemnly I tell you, he who does not enter by the door into the sheepfold, but climbs up some other way (elsewhere, from some other quarter) is a thief and a robber. But he who enters by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. The watchman opens the door for this man, and the sheep listen to his voice and heed it; and he calls his own sheep by name and brings (leads) them out. When he has brought his own sheep outside, he walks on before them, and the sheep follow him because they know his voice. They will never [on any account] follow a stranger, but will run away from him because they do not know the voice of stranger or recognize their call..."

~ John 10 (Excerpt from John 10:1-5) ~

"...And after the earthquake a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire; and after the fire [a sound of gentle stillness and] a still, small voice."
~ II Kings 19 (Excerpt from II KIngs 19:12) ~

She said it was like a breath. The voice of God revealing to take a step of faith into areas unknown.

She treated it just as that, 'a breath'.

She said to herself, "I'm busy. I work full time and even work overtime. I travel all around the country. When am I really going to have time for this right now. Maybe in five years."

The dream was planted on the inside of her; she can remember it as far back as when she was a little girl. She justified the dream, as just that...a dream.

As she was telling me her situation, it reminded me of contractions when a woman is in labor. The contractions of His voice. A whisper. A breath. She was hearing it more often, and the more she 'heard' it, the more she chose to ignore it.

She told me of the many things she must get done. Deadlines for work. Desiring to have children and yet this dream to inspire others with a tool that God was showing her she would use, she didn't know how or when.

My friend is an IT for a large company; with huge accounts. She told me that she was in her room yesterday when working on her computer. Suddenly her large monitor (she has several) started blinking and then the monitor suddenly turned green; not only did it turn green, it stayed green. She said with frustration, "Now, I have to go get another screen."

Listening to this, I jumped as I heard the word, "Go"! I said, "Celina, O my goodness, I believe that means, "Go!" "Just go with faith in God. He will guide you and direct you."

Many times or I should say most times when God says, "Go!" Most will say, "No, it can't be." Or "This is not the right time." I love how God works...He is not limited to anything, nor should we. He will get it done; let us just watch the masterpiece that takes place when He allows us to be a part of the magnificient story.

Some of us may be in a season of being carried. Some of us may be in a season of running. No matter the season, may be we be sensitive to hear His voice, but not only hearing His voice, but obeying His voice.

There are many voices calling out to us; but it says in His Word, those who know His voice will follow and the voice of another they will not follow.

If you don't know for sure if it His voice. Go to Him. I would suggest asking God to confirm. Ask and we shall receive (Matthew 7:7). When He confirms it; enjoy the journey. Savor His fragrance of grace and be overwhelmed by His peaceful embrace. No matter what may be going on, or what we are going through; He will always stand the test of time, no matter what time presses against us. He is able, when we no longer are!

Monday, November 16, 2009

November 17, 2009, "TV?"

"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 ~

Where or how do I start?

Hmmmmmm...I'll just write it...Ok...For about four years I have had a dream hidden in my heart.

The dream? To start a television show. You may be saying, "What? Are you kidding?" I know I say, "Just Kidding" a lot, but no, I'm not kidding...haahaahaa!

First, let me 'rewind' you to about 3 or 4 weeks ago. Ok...I was eating lunch at home in the afternoon. I was walking over to the refrigerator when at that moment I was reminded of the dream. As the dream was in the forefront of my mind; my heart revealed the want 'notarity' more than the fervent desire to reach people for the glory of God. It drew me to a place of repentance. I remember saying something like this to the Lord, "Lord, I'm truly sorry for my heart which has revealed my true motives of desiring the dream to come to fruition." "Father, if this is not what you want, then take the desire from me."

Well, after that happened, I was at peace and left it alone.

Then, last week sometime I received an email from my dad, who sent me a forwarded email from a third party person asking my dad, " think Teresa would be interested in a weekly television program?" I remember gasping for air and laughing hysterically as I saw this email. I was saying, "What? God are you kidding?"

I replied back to my Dad to forward to the third person with the following email,

I'm laughing so hard right now..why? I'm committing this to the Lord, because this is something that has been on the inside of me for about four years, and I haven't shared it with anyone; except my husband and a few friends back in Michigan. One of them actually has a new television program in Tulsa, Oklahoma ( And Dad, you know me...if I get something exciting, I want to share it with everyone....however, that reminder of Mary hiding those things in her heart really ministered to me when those 'dreams' were coming forth. I am realizing that many times we are not meant to share until God's appointed time..."

After sending my response over to my dad, he then sent it over to the recipient. The gentleman actually called me today and told me of a weekly television show that he wanted to bring to my attention. As we spoke, it was clear in my heart that it needed to happen; however, the only thing in the way of this coming to fruition were the finances. However, I know "with God ALL things are possible..." (Mark 10:27)

The weekly program would consist of an encouraging word from the Word of God in a teaching format, and would also include 'special' guests to appear on the program. Many topics I foresee of great interest will be on the topics of faith, walking in love while the 'scenery' is decaying with hate. Topics on children, teenagers, 'beauty' of the Lord versus the beauty of the world; being aware of offense and how to walk away from an offensive situation, without being wounded, and so much more.

I believe this is a now 'moment'. God is saying to "Go", and I am going to move forward whether it makes sense or not. Thank you again for your prayers...

Thank you for your time in reading the words on my heart revealed in my blog today. Please feel free to forward this on to whomever you are led to.

Please Note: The details are still coming together, so thank you for bearing with me as you may have some questions in regards to this.

November 16, 2009, "Trust"

"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 ~

Today I am reminded of the life verse of my mom and dad.

Growing up, everywhere we lived, it was etched in the cement of our driveway, the cement where the basketball goal hoop was placed, on the walls in our home, any card that was ever signed; that scripture verse was etched as a reminder of how to trust...with ALL our heart.

I am led to this heart provoking question that I was asked today by the Spirit of God. Do I really trust God, revealed by Jesus Christ? Do I trust Him when He says, "Go!"? Do I trust Him when He says, "Be Still, and in the being still; KNOW that I AM GOD!"? Do I trust Him when He leads me to open my home? Do I trust Him when He says to receive His healing; as I question if it is truly His will?

Many times what we see in the natural realm; we determine it as 'God's will', when by faith we are to 'see' those things that be not as though they already were (Romans 4:17). As we 'see' those things because of our faith in God; we start to 'walk' differently, act differently, respond differently. In faith's aspect, we no longer have to be moved by what we are truly going through, but we know we are being moved through to get to where we are meant to go for His glory.

Do I trust Him more when the world in all forms, says to trust them? Do I trust Him more than I trust the most 'dignified' leader (according to the standards of the world)?

As I go through these questions that penetrate my heart, I realize that my Trust in God, is based on how imperative the need is. Truly recognizing my heart does not truly Trust Him to the measure I am called to according to Proverbs 3:5-6 is truly an awakening on the inside of me.

The things we need to pray for; that our eyes of understanding will be open according to the great wisdom of God...Not the wisdom of man. Even when the wisdom of man sounds so eloquent, and even realistically is a great way to go about it, am I truly going to God for His final say as I truly Trust Him?

Can God use people? Absolutely. Can He use anything He chooses? Absolutely! However, I want to get to the point of Trusting in Him, that it's His way or No way. O Lord, how do I get to this point? I plead with Him, "How?" With great fervency, I want what God 'wills' to do on this earth, as it is in heaven; according to His Kingdom principles and promises.

I am in awe at this moment, as my heart is pricked with great truth regarding trusting God. I am reminded that I am wholly and fully to Trust in God; for HE IS TRUST!

It leads me to our nation. We as a nation are in desperate need of the Wisdom of God to rise up. Not wanting His wisdom for our own agendas, but truly His wisdom; as the foundation of His throne is Righteousness and Justice. Not according to the measuring stick we use as 'man' measures righteousness and justice (I Cor. 2:5), but according to His powerful, endless, eternal measure...for He is Righteous and Just.

Lord, I pray the voices of the righteous in You to rise up manifesting your glory which is our rear guard, in the midst of darkness and decay. May we look to You for our every supply. May we look to You as our Source for the resources we are in need of. I don't want to contain You, in how You'll manifest it, but may we also know and discern the hand that reaches out to us, if it is truly based on deception or if it is truly of You. I just want to trust You. I must trust You, I can't afford not to. I love You Lord, thank You for Your loving patience over each of us. You are awesome God! You are All Majestic, All Holy, All-Powerful, Almighty, All Loving, All Forgiving God; In the Name of Jesus, I know You hear our prayers and Move according to Your Word on our behalf. 'So Be It.'

Friday, November 13, 2009

November 14 & 15, 2009, "Random 'Thoughts and Jots' of a Nine Year Old"

Triumphant Victorious Reminders
Inspired by the Holy Spirit
Written by: Teresa Criswell
Also an insert from Tristin's school project (public school) :)

"Out of the mouth of babes and nursing infants You have ordained strength, because of Your enemies, that You may silence the enemy and the avenger."
~ Psalm 8:2 ~

As we walked into our home after our daughter's day of school; we went about our normal after school routine. She emptied her school bag with homework that had been graded and some other assignments that she had written and laminated.

One of the interesting things I came across was a laminated eight and a half by eleven inch piece of paper. As I started to read the words on the page, I could have melted in the sweet surrender of her innocence towards Almighty God and the dreams within her heart.

The random 'thoughts and jots' of a nine year old...

"I Am"
By: Tristin Criswell
"I am smart and a peace lover.
I wonder if I will ever go to Paris.
I hear a French man say (In a french accent),
"Three dollar for a croissant."
I see the Eiffel Tower.
I want to be a mystery person when I grow up.
I am a lover of history.
I pretend that I live in New York in an apartment.
I feel fun because I love the 80's.
I touch a pretend house.
I worry if something will happen in the future.
I cry when a family member dies.
I am sleepy in the morning.
I understand history.
I say I believe that My God is the answer.
I dream what it will look like when I see God.
I try to be better in math.
I am the lover of my God and hope that one day
every one will believe in God and
I hope that you will know God too.
Amen. Thank you."

Thursday, November 12, 2009

November 12, 2009, "God Used A Coffee Craving"

"He who has pity on the poor lends to the Lord, and that which he has given He will repay to Him."
~ Proverbs 19:17 Amplified Bible ~

"Cast your bread upon the waters, for you will find it after many days."
~ Ecclesiastes 11:1 Amplified Bible ~

"For God is not unrighteous to forget or overlook your labor and the love which you have shown for His name's sake in ministering to the needs of the saints (His own consecrated people), as you still do."
~ Hebrews 6:10 Amplified Bible ~

About two weeks ago, I received a phone call from my youngest sister. She told me of one of her best friends named Breckin who was moving with her family from Colorado to Texas. She didn't know their whereabouts, however she wanted to know if she could give her friend my number. I said, "Sure, go right ahead." Now Mary Kay had been friends with Breckin since 1994 their eighth grade year. However, I had never met Breckin before; I had only heard about her.

Well, as Breckin and I connected on the phone about two weeks ago, we learned that we were literally less than two miles from each other, in the same neighborhood. However, she would not be moving to the area until Friday.

As they moved to our area last Friday, my husband felt led to take us over to their home and help them with moving in and invited them over for dinner the next evening. Then on Sunday, even after their busy schedule of just moving over the weekend, they said, "Yes" to meeting me and visiting our church. This is a preface to the story you are about to read as the God things so beautifully unfolded right before our very eyes.

Tonya drove her kids to school and was on her way back to her apartment to sleep for a few more hours. Suddenly she had a craving for a coffee from Starbucks. Normally her husband runs to Starbucks to retrieve her coffee but this morning was different.

She drove over to the Starbucks, which was across the street from her apartment complex. She parked her car, got out and walked into the coffee shop. She was surprised to find her former employer sitting at the table with her laptop in front of her. They said their 'hello's' and struck up a conversation; catching up on each others lives. Her former employer blesses her with a coffee and their conversation led to what Tonya was getting ready to do for the day. She told her former employer of a couple named Breckin and Louise and their five children that had just attended our church on Sunday. She also let her know how they had just moved here from Colorado on Friday.

Tonya let her know that they were going to go shopping at Costco to buy some groceries for the family. As soon as she said that, her former employer said, "I want to be a part of that, let me write you a check." She wrote out a check, tore it out of her check book, folded it and handed it over to Tonya. As they said their goodbyes and her former employee walked out, Tonya looked down and unfolded the check to find an amount of $150 to buy groceries for the family.

By the time Tonya had a moment to collect her stunned thoughts, her former employer was gone. Tears streaming down her face she was seeing this amazing story unfold right before her eyes. She was getting to be a part of this family's life in ways she could never imagine.

As Tonya walked out of the Starbucks dazed yet elated, excitement was rising up in her as she started texting Pastor Kim and myself. We must have been cleaning or vacuuming as we didn't hear our phones notify us of any text messages. As Tonya walked out to the car, she opened the door, sat down, shut the door and was ready to place the key in the ignition when she noticed her legs were covered with none other than her pajamas!

I laughed so hard when Tonya told me her story. She had forgotten that she had not brushed her teeth or changed when taking her children to school, as she was planning on going straight home. Now if you knew my friend Tonya she would never be seen this way. The sense of humor of our Lord to allow her not to be mindful of the condition she was in is so hilarious.

Later on as she went home after the shock of realizing she had just had a 'divine appointment' in her pajamas, she immediately went to work with coordinating with our pastor and find out what this beautiful family was in need of for groceries.

Breckin called me with great excitement after receiving her God gifts from Tonya's connection from God. She was so excited and was in awe of all the things that God had been pouring out over their lives. She said, "Tonya walked in with groceries that I would love to buy, but it's just not in our budget to do so. She bought me the best of the best, that is our God." Then she paused. You could hear her collecting her thoughts when she slowly said, "O my goodness, I have to tell you this story, but when I tell you please know it is not about me 'patting' myself on the back. This is to glorify God as I share it." I listened with great anticipation, shouting and screaming as I heard what had taken place just two weeks earlier.

Two weeks before they moved here, The Lord had laid on her heart to bless a family whom Breckin's daughter had just met at school. This family was on the verge of becoming homeless as they were living in a motel. When their conditions were brought to Breckin from her daughter, she was led immediately to bless this family with groceries. The only 'natural' problem was that they had enough for their own family, but not for someone elses. So she called her husband to ask him if he would be ok with blessing this family with groceries. He said, "If God's laying it on your heart; do it. He will provide, even when it seems like we have lack." I thought, "Wow! That is faith in God."

As she went to the grocery store, she was getting ready to get the generic foods; but she heard, "You give the best." She tried to reason at first and logically say to herself, "But if I get the generic food the money will go a lot further and I can buy more." Yet again, she heard, "Give the best." So she did. Surprisingly enough, as she checked out and the groceries were totaled, the amount for this families groceries came out to $ was at least $200 worth of groceries. As she talked it out with me, she realized that God was giving back to her and her family today what was given to this family that she was utilized as a vessel for the Lord just two weeks earlier. In return, God got her the best of the best in groceries; that she would normally not be able to buy on her own.

We were screaming together in joyful glee! It was the best, most amazing moment to see all the things that transpired in one day. To know that these divine appointments were set up by our Awesome, Eternal God is none other than Majestically Amazing!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

November 11, 2009, "Out of Control and Loving It" (Lisa Bevere)

"Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy ~ meditate on these things."
~ Philippians 4:8 ~

Today was a day where I truly needed to 'get away'.

My husband looked at me and said, "Teresa, go get some Vitamin D; just go outside and enjoy the outdoors for a little while." At first I was irritated as I thought, don't you see all the things I need to get done? Then, as his suggestion sunk in, it actually became an 'appetizing' thought. So, I took his advice.

I ran upstairs, placed some summer clothes on (Yes! The beauty of Fall in Texas), walked into the office and grabbed a book, ran downstairs with great anticipation to 'get away'. I opened up the back door, grabbed a chair and a small table dragging it out to the area of the backyard where the sun was still shining. I then sat down and placed my feet up. At that moment, I took a deep breath; inhaling the moment and slowly exhaling all my worries and stresses. Wow! It was truly a moment I needed.

As I pulled the book out from under my arm; I opened it up and realized in laughter that the book I had just grabbed was titled; "Out of Control and Loving It", by Lisa Bevere. I giggled to myself, shaking my head and thought, "God you have a great sense of humor."

As I started to read the book I could sense the freedom and breath of God within the words that were expressed on the pages. I was literally seizing the moment of 'getting away'.

The circumstances that led to this moment of 'getting away' was a pivotal moment. Let me just say, I chose God's peace over great stress and anxiety. Literally, just prior to my husband advising me to go outside; I must tell you that every person that needed to be notified were notified, the beds were torn down, mattresses vacuumed, pillows and stuffed animals bagged away, laundry going and literally every strand of hair treated and combed through. Yes, you guessed was none other than lice. I wanted to fall into the depths of despair; but I realized that despair was not going to get things done. The peace of God rose up on the inside of me and it was like hearing these words, "Choose peace".

Literally, I am amazed at the peace of God right now. Normally, I am the person that freaks out when it comes to bugs and then the overwhelming thoughts of what has to be done next; annihilates me. God has literally kept our whole family. My husband has been my 'rock' and has helped with whatever I have needed. One of my girlfriends stopped by, she didn't come near me, but she was hilarious as she dropped off some delcious chocolate chip cookies.

As I opened up the plate of cookies, this song came out of me to the tune of "Yes, Jesus Loves Me." I started singing, "Jesus loves me this I know, for these chocolate chips say so." I was so delighted in the midst of silly chaos. I am also keeping it in perspective as I am not going through a life and death situation.

Today, I realized that even when the stuff of life tries to throw a wrench in our plans of what needs to be done; the moments of stand still can be the times where we just stand in who God is, knowing He will get us through. Especially during the times when it is the busiest; God can use these circumstances that are not of Him; but God will be glorified in the midst of it. I realized today that I truly needed to slow down and just enjoy being a child of God. I needed to slow down and just enjoy being a wife and a mom. This doesn't seem to be a time to enjoy those things; but like my husband says, "When circumstances squeeze us; we will see what is truly inside of us." When I got squeezed today; I was holding onto Jesus and His peace was coming forth. If I had not been holding onto Jesus; anxiousness and stress and lashing out at my family would have been my first reaction.

I need to be reminded of this in ALL things! Well today as the book was titled, I'm living a life today that seems "Out of Control" but "I'm Loving It" (Lisa Bevere).

I am laughing as I am reminded of an older man who was asked, "How are you?" The older gentleman replied, "I'm doing great; I'm still on the other side of the 'dirt'." Haaahaaahaaa!!! Today, if that's the only thing I can be grateful for, then that's what I'm going to focus on...I'm still on the other side of the 'dirt'.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

November 10, 2009, "Consume or be Consumed By..."

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

"Praise the Lord! I will praise the Lord with my whole heart, in the assembly of the upright and in the congregation. The works of the Lord are great, studied by all who have pleasure in them. His work is honorable and glorious And His righteousness endures forever. He has made His wonderful works to be remembered; the Lord is gracious and full of compassion."
~ Psalm 111:1-4 ~

The parking lot filled with cars. Customers sporatically placed throughout the store. Employees working; stationed in their zones. Employees at their registers, others sweeping, some stocking shelves, several going through the inventory, three people at the customer service center, one in the bakery, a few in the deli, a manager going through the schedule.

Every day, like clock work, the stage is set, the doors are unlocked and the Open sign comes on and ACTION! It's another work day.

Today, I intentionally noticed as we were running our errands; there are people behind the scenes making things readily available for us to purchase and consume. The thought of every day people who represented this particular store, they are not only employees, but they are a sibling, a daughter, a wife, a mother, a husband, a father, a son, or a friend. As we go about our life, running our errands, checking off our 'to-do' lists, we many times have to intentionally snap out of the 'robotic' mode of life that it's all about us.

I was reminded that people I run into are not a backdrop to life, they are a person going through things. People going through victories or through defeat. Others going through a loss or a gain.

Today I am reminded that I can either be consumed by the daily grind of life; resulting in nothing left to give. Or I can consume Life that God has intended for me; resulting in appreciation for every breath I breathe.

I am amazed that if I take a look at people as a whole, we are all part of a story. Truly the main character is God Almighty; whether we live that way or not. As we go about our lives, we look at ourselves as the main character and others as an 'extra' on the set of our life. I no longer want to be guilty of this way of living.

My imagination sees an audience in heaven; innumberable to even count. The audience of heaven watching with great anticipation; to see lives touched on this earth with God's awesome ability to love, flowing in His great compassion.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

November 9, 2009, "The Story We Get To Be A Part Of"

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

"You saw me before I was born. Every day of my life was recorded in your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed."
~ Psalm 139:16 ~

Flipping through the pages of the leather bound book left me in great wonder. The pages filled with words making up the beautiful, redemptive, love story. The leather bound book? The Bible.

It's truly a history book, filled with characters possessing personalities bigger than life. These people that came before us; saw the wrath of God, the great love of God, they saw His great exhortation of words over their lives, they saw great favor. They saw and experienced His great grace and mercy. The great tests and trials that impacted their lives as they relied on God. Many took unimaginable unknown journeys in their faith in God. The characters in the New Testament that got to walk with God in the flesh, Jesus Christ, it leaves me with this 'righteous jealousy'. I so wish I could have been there in the flesh, like the woman with the alabaster box pouring oil onto Jesus' feet and wiping His feet with my hair. O, what a thought.

As the thought of these great characters who knew God in such a powerful way, I take a moment to think of the people we have the privilege to know. Our family, friends, acquaintances, and strangers, we get to be a part of the story in each others lives. It's quite wondrous to see that God has written a 'book' about each of our lives, and we get to be a part of the amazing love story, will our story end with Him or without?

I'm sure as we go through different seasons of our lives, some of us may feel like we are part of a comedy. Some may feel like they are part of a mystery novel. Others may be in a season of romance or a season of great sadness and betrayal. The characters we encounter and those that encounter us, what kind of character will we become in each other's lives? Will we be the character that assists? Will we be the villain or bully? A foe? A sidekick?

I am reminded that I want to be a sidekick as Jesus is the main character in my life. As He is the main character in His story, I want the other characters to be effected in ways words could never articulate as it glorifies God. Well, for me, I desire to rely on Him on staying humble and loving others, especially when it is so difficult. I may not be able to love with my own love; however, with His great love through me; I can become part of His story that would glorify HIm.

As the pages in our life turns, let us focus on the main character; Jesus Christ. Focus on our Salvation Who allows us to experience the 'setting' of Restoration, Renewal, and Refreshment in God.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

November 7 & 8, 2009, "God is Awesome"

"The highest angelic powers stand in awe of God. He is far more awesome than those who surround his throne."
~ Psalm 89:7 ~ (New Living Translation)

I sit here puzzled in awe as I truly digest to Whom I get to pray to. I am left in amazement to wonder with great, incredible 'profoundness' to know Who we are loved by. More than anything to be recipients of His Great Passion! He is Almighty, Awesome God!

The only way I can describe this amazement is in comparison to a pin ball in a pin ball machine. Everywhere I go and turn is another reminder of my frailities and my 'nothingness' in comparison to His great ETERNAL 'EVERYTHINGNESS'. Please excuse my improper verbage as I am unable to articulate the awe of Who I get to serve today.

I was watching some footage of the late Rich Mullins last night in which it brought me to this place of desiring Rich's heart for God like I have not seen. The way he articulated his awe of God is so 'heart opening' that it causes my heart to bow before this Awesome God who in no way can be described, nor completely understood. Every offense, hurt, lack of understanding that tries to latch onto my heart is blown away so violently in the mighty wind of Who God IS!

I sat in my chair as my forehead crinkled being so puzzled by His great love. There is truly nothing I can do that impresses Him. I sat there in awe of how He has impressed me in ways that have impacted my everything. The perspective from the heart for God in Rich Mullins is infectious with great desire for Who God truly is.

I sit here in awe of our Majestic God. Wow! Please hear the heart of Rich Mullins as it beats with great passion towards our 'Awesome God'!

Friday, November 6, 2009

November 6, 2009, "Lord You Are Amazing"

Inspired by the Holy Spirit
Written By: Teresa Criswell
"O Lord, my Lord how excellent is Your name in all the earth. Out of the mouth of babes and nursing infants; you have taught them to praise You. When I consider the heavens the works of Your fingers, the moon and the stars which You have ordained, what is man that you are mindful of Him and the son of man that you would visit him?"
~ Psalm 8:1-4 ~

O Lord you are so excellent!
Your name is More than Worthy to be praised!
You alone are God!
I am in awe of Your Majesty!
To know that we will never figure You out is utterly amazing.
All the knowledge and wisdom of man put together does not come close to
Knowing Who You Are.

You are indescribable,
You are limitless.
You have no boundaries that can even attempt to contain You;
yet You bid us to come to You,
as You sent Your Son, Jesus Christ to become one of us;
so that we could touch You and know You.
Wow! I am so in awe of this matchless gift that You have so lovingly bestowed upon us. All we have to do is receive such an amazing gift.

I'm sorry Lord that there are many who have rejected Your gift
because we think we're good enough.
Or we justify that we don't hurt anyone or haven't killed anyone,
yet your gift presented to us was not based on what we do; but on what You did.
And what You did is far above man's righteousness; our righteousness
doesn't even come close to Your powerful righteousness and justice.

Your love is powerful. Your love is unfailing. Your love does not abandon.
Your love is a banner that is waved victoriously over us.

Thank You God for the blessings that we do have.
More than anything, help me to remember the most awesome blessing of all ~
Getting to call You Father God.
Thank You Lord for the privilege and the honor to be called one of Yours.
Love your daughter...Teresa

Thursday, November 5, 2009

November 5, 2009, "Life Situations"

Inspired by the Holy Spirit
Written By: Teresa Criswell

"Why am I discouraged? Why so sad? I will put my hope in God! I will praise him again-- my Savior and my God!"
~ Psalm 42:11 ~

His family fervently prays to God in the Intensive Care Unit for a miracle of life over his body. He is in a coma resulting from a major car accident. This event has changed the course of this families plans, dreams of great hope and enjoying every day life with him. O God, may your great peace be upon this amazing family and we pray a reversal and restoration over his brain functions and bodily functions that he may live long on this earth. Father God, we pray your great plan and completion over the lives of this family and other families going through similar life and death situations. Lord, we stand in the gap for them at this very moment and call Your perfect plan forth in Jesus name.

A husband and wife feeling as though they have nothing left to give. They are tempted to give up hope. They have been waiting to adopt their daughter from China. The time frame on waiting has gone from months to years. It will be a total of four years of their wait for this precious little girl. In this time, we want to hold up their arms in faith and stand with them in faith looking at God for His Breakthrough over their life situation; for the union of this family and little girl from China.

I think of Poppa C.O. Farmer today as well. Praying the great hope of God to rise up inside of him. I pray the peace of God to overwhelm him, his wife and the rest of their family. Poppa, if you are reading this today, please know our love for you is great and we await for the update that you are made whole in your physical body; as you have already been made whole by Jesus Christ spiritually.

Jerry McKernan and family, please be assured and know that our prayers are continually with you. We pray great healing to rise up and for the Blood of Jesus to flow through your blood and make you whole in your physical body.

There are so many families that are in need of restoration, refreshment and renewal. May we praise our God in the midst of it all. There are going to be many times where we feel so overwhelmed by our situations and difficulties that we are effected even physically. The difficulties, deadlines and pressures that attempt to squeeze the life out of us; may we fight back by praising Almighty God today. May we intentionally look at His creation and be reminded that the things that seem so huge are nothing in comparison to our God. For to Him they are but a speck of dust to Almighty God.

Let us encourage one another as we do not know what attempts to discourage those around us from every side. We may not be able to do anything monetary, but if it is standing in prayer on their behalf, then we are able to accomplish something on their behalf for God's glory.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

November 4, 2009, "Breathe in Intentionally"

"In my search for wisdom, I tried to observe everything that goes on all across the earth. I discovered that there is ceaseless activity, day and night. This reminded that no one can discover everything God has created in our world, no matter how hard they work at it. Not even the wisest people know everything, even if they say they do."
~ Ecclesiastes 8:16-17 ~

As she scurried and hurried through each aisle; she had no time but to grab the essentials for her recipe. She walked in a fast pace over to the cash registers and as soon as she paid, she was out of the store.

In that moment of hurriedness, there was a little girl watching her every sudden move. Her beautiful blue eyes full of innocence yet revealing a sadness of her own reality. This sweet little girl thought so thankfully of her mommy who is surviving breast cancer every moment of every day. I realized that this little girl was grateful because of the moments of time that she and her mommy attempt to soak in as they breathe in intentionally and breathe out with a purpose ~ a purpose to live life to the fullest.

As I imagined this scenario; I am reminded of the woman who scurried and hurried through the store, captivated by the here and now of her own life. The seasons of life where we are unable to escape such busyness; but today, I'm stepping back from my busy life and I am reminded that in my hurrying and checking off the next task from my 'to-do' list; with the breaths that I take in and breathe out; what am I truly here on this earth for?

Today, as soon as my daughter walks through the threshold of our door; I want to pick her up and dance with her. I know she would be swept away by her own giggles; and it will be a memory forever seared in both our hearts and minds. The little things in our life can be of the greatest impact as it will remind us from whom we receive every breath from; Almighty God.

There are those of you at this very moment who are going through transitions, difficulties, hardships and schedules of 'life'. Things are most likely very unsettled; and things must get finished. I think of my mom at this very moment; who is on the go most of the time, because of the things that must be accomplished as 'deadlines' are involved. She is literally in her car more often than she is in her home. Yet, she takes that God given time to visit her dear friend who is relying on her God to thrive above the cancer that is trying to overtake her body. My mom may not know it, but I know her sweet friend is appreciative of every moment she shares so unselfishly.

If it is smelling a rose today with your children, or if they become interested in something as you go for a walk; suddenly stop and enjoy the moment with them. I sadly remind myself that we can become so eager to learn from the greatest teachers that the world recognizes as 'admirable and wise'. We will even pay with our hard earned money to sit under the sound of their voices. Yet many times, those of us who have children, can learn from the greatest teachers of faith; shielded with beautiful innocence ~ our children, our beautiful gifts from God.

Monday, November 2, 2009

November 3, 2009, "Jerry's Request"

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

"Yours, O LORD, is the greatness, the power, the glory, the victory, and the majesty. Everything in the heavens and on earth is yours, O LORD, and this is your kingdom. We adore you as the one who is over all things."
~ I Chronicles 29:11 ~

He sits in awe and wonder of God's majesty. He reflects back on his life and sees what a blessed life he has been able to lead and live. He reflects back to the hardships he went through as he sees in hindsight they were opportunities for growth and in that growth it was an opportunity to give glory to His God.

As I sit in great awe of this man's life, I think of the verse that says, "I shall not die but live and declare the works of the Lord." ~ Psalm 118:17.

I have never met this man personally; however what I know of him is that he has lived a life of leadership motivated by great integrity and character. He is a husband, a father, a grandfather, a friend, and a pillar of his community. The things I have heard about this man reveal a glimpse of the greatness of God. He is a charitable giver beyond belief and it is now his time to receive. His time to receive great encouragement.

He needs great encouragement as he has been ill and it is requiring great faith in God in this time over his body. I thank you in advance to each of you who are praying for this man and his family. I pray God's peace that surpasses all understanding to be upon each of them in this time. I pray a God breakthrough in his body.

This man's name is Jerry McKernan. If you could please email me with your prayer over him and/or a word of encouragement this would be such a blessing to this great man. I would be greatly honored to forward it to him.

Many of us may not know the one's who need to be greatly encouraged; but I know as we are going through great difficulty, it is a blessing to receive those words of encouragement, no matter if we know them or not. We truly must be ready in and out of season to share the encouragement that is from and of the Lord.

Jerry, if you are reading this, please know we love you and are lifting you up in prayer to the Lord God Almighty in whom we have relationship through Jesus Christ. We are here as vessels of honor, set apart and useful for the Master prepared for every good work (II Timothy 2:20-21). When the voices of fear come into your mind; on purpose look at God's beautiful creation, which will provoke you to praise Him for Who He is. You will feel your heart leap as you stir the river of life on the inside of you, as it is stirred in praising Him, the muddied waters become more clear and glisten in His majestic beauty.

You are loved and please know the lives you have touched have blessed God's heart. I cannot imagine what you are going through right now; but please know that in this time your life encourages me and so many others.

In God's great, unfailing love...

November 2, 2009, "Faith as the Children"

"He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the Shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, "He is my refuge and my fortress; My God, in Him I will trust...A thousand may fall at my side and ten thousand at my right hand; but it shall not come near me. Only with our eyes shall we look and see the reward of the wicked"...
~ Psalm 91 ~

"See, God has come to save me. I will trust in Him and not be afraid. The God is my strength and my song; He has become my Salvation."
~ Isaiah 12:2 ~

We were all seated after singing praises to the King of kings. We had just expereinced God's presence in a corporate setting and it was incredibly amazing.

Our pastor did something that I know was led by the Holy Spirit as he called forth people to share one of their favorite scriptures of what the Word of God had done in their lives. The testimonies of God's unfailing, loving Word that was established in each person as they shared was revealing of His Majesty.

A thirteen year old boy stood amongst us to share. He said, "I don't have a scripture but I do have an analogy I would like to share. He said in a giggle, "The analogy I have is a football analogy. I think of life in God as the player with the football in their hand. The football could represent Jesus. You have to hold onto the football and not let it go. You have to hold onto Jesus and not let Him go. When you are running you have got to hold that football so close. You gotta get your shoulders down and run. When you get hit, you better be able to hit harder than the one who just hit you. But when you get hit, don't let go of the ball. Don't let go of Jesus." We all sat in our chairs in awe of the illustration that he was speaking forth. He also shared at the end when we let go of the ball, we let go of Jesus and we end up running another direction that only leads to destruction. It was so awesome and humbling to hear such truth come forth out of a young man.

Another analogy was from my daughter. She stood up with her Bible in hand, walked to the microphone and said, "My favorite verse is Psalm 91 and why? Because I rely (notice she said RELY) on fear; but when the storm comes and I see the clouds, (with one hand on her hip and the other pointer finger waving in the sky...) I say, No, no, no cloud; I rely on my Jesus." She then proceeded to proclaim the promises of Psalm 91."

Another young man, 16 years old stood up and read Isaiah 12:2 and talked about how he had been impressed to share Christ at his birthday party and when he had gone back to school, he had gained a "reputation" which caused him to lose friends (Notice the gain and the loss). He told us how God told him not to worry, and that his friends would come back. He then shared with us that they eventually came back as they had noticed significant change in the lives of those who had been influenced by Christ through this young man. This young man edified each of us to become more bold in God. What we look as loss in Christ; is truly gain.

May we set forth in great faith towards God as these children. No wonder and how true when Jesus said, "Let the little children come to Me. Don't stop them! For the Kingdom of God belongs to such as these. I assure you, anyone who doesn't have their kind of faith will never get into the Kingdom of God". Then he took the children into His arms and placed His hands on their heads and blessed them." ~ Mark 10:14-16