Thursday, December 31, 2009

December 31, 2009, "Praise??????"

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

"And when they had struck them with many blows, they threw them into prison charging the jailer to keep them safely. He, having receiving so strict a charge, put them into the inner prison (the dungeon) and fastened their feet in the stocks. But about midnight, as Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns of praise to God, and the [other] prisoners were listening to them, suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the very foundations of the prison were shaken; and at once all the doors were opened and everyone's shackles were unfastened."...

~ Acts 16 (Excerpt from Acts 16:23-26) ~

A fellow blogger wrote on his post, "...I sat, rather laid, much of today just in this coffin of depression, self-worthlessness, and soaking up the cloudy skies even though the sun was quite brilliant today."

Descriptive feelings so real with confusion. Are you familiar with such overwhelming feelings? Personally, I know these feelings all too well.

I distinctly remember a vivid moment a few months ago, being in this state of mind...darkness seemed to prevail all around. It was a subtle fog that slowly constricted my ability to function. I remember feeling as though a dark cloud was moving above and upon me about to grip me as I could hear the chains of hopelessness follow closely behind. SUDDENLY I heard a 'still small voice' in my 'spirit'...yet it seemed to be a SHOUT. I heard, "Praise ME now as though your life depends on it." I thought with great bewilderment, "WHAT?" "This is the last thing I 'feel' like doing...however as my husband says quite often, "I was dumb enough to listen and smart enough to try it."

Needless to say in this overwhelming feeling of great depression the few words proceeded out of my unwilling mouth...My mouth formed the words with great effort, "I praise You Lord! I praise You Lord! I praise You Lord!" This was said over and over again for a few seemed much longer...yet, it was truly only a few minutes and then SUDDENLY it was as a RUSHING RIVER flowing literally out of my belly spilling forth out of my mouth. The words that were being declared were allowing the Holy Spirit on the inside of me to speak forth the awesome praises of Almighty God. The SUDDENLY moment literally dispelled the darkness. The SUDDENLY moment effects of praising God obliterated the 'coffin' of depression that I once laid in and resurrected from.

As I am reminded of the great weapon of praise unto Almighty God; I must sound the 'Trumpet of Triumph' making the beautiful sound of encouragement.

Today, at this very moment, whatever is facing you, praise the Almighty God for Who He is. You aren't going to feel like it. You aren't going to want to. Every part of who you are is going to want to 'kick and scream' and have no part of it. Your circumstances at this moment may be so overwhelming to even think about...however God wants to overwhelm you with His powerful Love, Mercy and Grace to get you through this.

God is the Lifter of Your Head. He is the Overwhelming Light that would melt the flesh off our physical bodies as His Glory is eternally beyond what we could ever imagine or dare try. Let us follow the praises of our 'forefathers' Paul and Silas unto Almighty God and see the chains of despair and depression be annihilated and obliterated in a suddenly moment.

If we're going to be overwhelmed today, let's be overwhelmed by Who God is. You are loved, as He has not left you nor has He forsaken you, NEVER, NEVER, NEVER!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

December 29, 2009, "Recalling God's Mercies On Purpose"

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

"But this I recall and therefore have I hope and expectation: It is because of the Lord's mercy and loving-kindness that we are not consumed, because His tender compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great and abundant is Your stability and faithfulness. The Lord is my portion
or share, says my living being (my inner self); there will I hope in Him and wait expectantly for Him."
~ Lamentations 3:21-24 ~

As my fingers dance upon the keyboard, I look up to find that just a few feet away, my large cat, Mr. Finster has his two front paws on the window seal, looking out the window. His little head tilting to the right. His head now moves back and forth quickly with great assertiveness. As Mr. Finster is in awe of whatever he sees, our dog Jack sits by his side, his head tilted, his ears perked up, looking at Mr. Finster, as to ask with glee, "What do you see? What do you see?"

I am laughing as I see such funny little characters exploring their world. They do this daily, as though it's the first time they are experiencing their surroundings. On a side note: I haven't figured it out yet, but either, our cat thinks he's a dog or our dog thinks he's a cat. Nevertheless, they think and act as though they are the same animal, allies, brothers and friends.

This leads me to a pretty 'shallow' comparison, however, I'll use it anyways. Everyday, we experience life anew. We experience the mercies of God which are new every morning. I sit here wondering, why don't I ever bask in that? Why do I not take a moment, look out the 'window' of awe and just embrace my surroundings of my Loving God who longs for me to know, believe and experience Him in ways I could never dream or imagine.

I realize today, that the goodness of God that I experience, have only been these 'toe deep' experiences. And even in that I'm quite overwhelmed! Can you imagine if we just stopped for a moment and literally lifted up our hands, looked through the window of our hearts, moving our heads around in awe and wonder of His great majesty? Just thinking about this is delightfully wooing me to be in that place in Him.

If you're thinking about how depressed you are, how overwhelmed you are, or how lonely you feel. This is your litmus test to think upon Almighty God, intentionally and on purpose. Right now, at this very moment, you can allow God to change your atmosphere, and your attitude, by thinking upon the 'Lifter of your head', by thinking upon the overwhelming love of God over your life. And by the promise of knowing that Jesus will never leave you, nor forsake you. Take a moment, as I am doing the same. My circumstances haven't changed; however, my attitude has changed because of my God in the midst of the circumstances.

Yes, it's difficult. And I'm sure there are things that you may be going through, that I can't even fathom in my wildest nightmares. Please hold on to Him, don't go through one more step of your life alone. God has never intended for that to ever happen. Not for one moment, not for one second, not for one breath.

Jesus revealed the Father God, and now the Holy Spirit has come to reveal Jesus Christ. As we accept in our hearts and believe that Jesus Christ came to pay a debt He did not owe, on our behalf, the promise of the Holy Spirit will come upon, and inside you making your spirit new to the things of God. The awakening you have longed for, will annihilate you. Some days you will 'feel' it, and other days you won't...but rest assured, He has not left. Sometimes I look at that moment as we've drifted away from Him, unknowingly, as though we are walking out onto the waters of the billowing waves and when we turn around to get to where we were, we find that we have drifted quite aways. However, just take one step towards Him, and He is right there. The amount of steps you took away from Him, only takes one step to get back under His Mighty Wings'. There is no distance, no sin, no death, no demon, no condemnation and no circumstance that can separate you from the Matchless, Indescribable love of God!

Bask in Him today...He is waiting for you to draw near...and when you do, don't be surprised by His Overwhelming Goodness, Grace and Power! The drawing near is moment by moment, daily, every breath. May we leave a legacy of His Matchless, Indescribable, Overwhelming Love!

Sunday, December 27, 2009

December 28, 2009, "Syndrome"

Inspired by the Holy Spirit
Written by: Teresa Criswell

"The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because the Lord has anointed and qualified me to preach the Gospel of good tidings to the meek, the poor and afflicted; He has sent me to bind up and heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the physical and spiritual captives and the opening of the prison and of the eyes to those who are bound. To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord [the year of His favor] and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn."
~ Isaiah 61:1 & 2 Amplified Bible ~

Violently kidnapped. The victims have no memory from where they came. The choices they make seem to be filled with normality. The path of destruction is broad, wide and there seems to be a great 'celebration' when truly there is great violation, imprisonment, demise and great sorrow.

After lightly researching the history of a sociological pattern; I found that when the captured have been emotionally (a.k.a. as the soul) attached to a captor; it has been identified as an actual syndrome called, 'Stockholm Syndrome'. The interesting part of the syndrome is they say it is a "prime example of the defense mechanism of identification" (N. Kato). Think about's about identification.

This leads me to our identification in Christ. Have our minds been captivated and captured by the enemy? Or are we in our rightful place knowing our identity in Christ? To know our identity in Christ, we MUST know who He is. Our heritage is from Who He is.

Do we know our heritage from whence we came? We are created in the image of our an exciting and wonderful reminder. In this reminder, God made a way to come back to Him as He sent His Son Jesus Christ. He didn't send Buddah, or Muhammed, or any other person to redeem us or bring us back into relationship with Him...He sent Jesus Christ His Son; He sent His Word, Who became flesh. He became poor for us in becoming a human being, giving up His true Heritage. The Power of His obedience in becoming 'one of us', He was obedient unto death. Jesus was given a Name that is ABOVE every name (Philippians 2)!!!!

This ongoing, aweing, powerful, majestic reminder leads me to the question, "Do I suffer from 'Religious Syndrome' or am I living the life God has called me to live? Am I a "Liberator of the captives" because of what Jesus Christ has done for me?"

In Isaiah 61 it is written as it was proclaimed by the prophet Isaiah by the power of the Spirit of God, "The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because the Lord has anointed and qualified me to preach the Gospel of good tidings to the meek, the poor and afflicted; He has sent me to bind up and heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the physical and spiritual captives and the opening of the prison and of the eyes to those who are bound. To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord [the year of His favor] and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn."

I am reminded that today I must be free of any 'soul attaching syndromes' that attempt to abduct me from where I truly belong. In this freedom, we are to enact freedoms and reveal that life giving liberty upon others. What a reminder and a blessed responsibility to be vessels for God's glory in revealing His awesome liberation from the grips of the enemy.

Let's go out today and proclaim with God's Love who they truly are, revealing who they are not. Let's walk the narrow road of righteousness leading others as we are led by Who He is and by His power and might! Hallelujah!

Friday, December 25, 2009

December 26, 2009, "In One Moment"

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

"As a father pities [his] children, [So] the LORD pities those who fear Him. For He knows our frame; He remembers that we [are] dust. [As for] man, his days [are] like grass; As a flower of the field, so he flourishes. For the wind passes over it, and it is gone, And its place remembers it no more."

~ Psalm 103:13-16 ~

My heart aches for Debbie. I can not imagine the horror, grief, and her sudden loss. The sudden loss of her husband, soul mate and the father of their children. Early morning, Christmas Eve, it was in a moment, and he was gone. In one moment.

Praying for her, I relied on the Holy Spirit for the words to pray and declare over this family. I felt nauseous for her. I started to drift away in my thoughts concerning her horrific circumstances.

I imagined that they had kissed each other 'good night' the night before, anticipating with great expectation the 'to do' list the following morning.

In a moment, John had passed from this earth leaving behind a wife, two sons and many other family members and friends. He literally woke up and in a moment had a massive heart attack, dying soon after he awoke.

I am sadly reminded that we aren't guaranteed another breath. With each breath I take, I must inhale God's forgiveness and powerful love that He has so richly provided to each of us through Jesus Christ. As I inhale this reminder, I want to exhale with gratefulness revealing God's powerful love and forgiveness upon others; especially those whom I love that He has so abundantly poured out upon my life. Abundantly, beyond my own capability of comprehending.

As God remembers our frailties, may we also remember each others frailties as well. Remembering that each of us has a 'story'. As we remember that, may we also be careful not to fall into the deceptive trap of offense. Let us be aware of our surroundings. When we feel as though we have been 'broadsided' with hate, offense and unforgiveness; may we broadside it with the love of God, not receiving the offense and walking humbly in forgiveness.

I pray for safety over each of you and your family and friends. May we intentionally, and on purpose be grateful to our Almighty God for what He has already done, is doing and will continue to do....and that is be Almighty, Majestic, Holy, Awesome God!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

December 22, 2009, "Unforgiveness to Forgiveness"

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

"And whenever you stand praying, if you have anything against anyone, forgive him, that your Father in heaven may also forgive you your trespasses. But if you do not forgive, neither will your Father in heaven forgive your trespasses."

~ Mark 11:25 & 26 ~

Wrapping gifts I could hear the television change the channel. If you have 'Tivo' or any other digital recorder you know what I am talking about. It went from praise music to a familiar voice. As I scurried down the stairs to turn the channel, I saw that the familiar voice was none other than Richard Roberts, the son of the late Oral Roberts. Richard was speaking at his father's memorial service.

As I stood there listening to the kind and fond words of his earthly father. I then heard Richard so eloquently speak of what his father had taught him. He said something to this effect, "My father reminded me that unforgiveness is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die."

This statement that he made was so poignant. Immediately I was reminded with Truth what bitterness, grudges and unforgiveness do...they lead to death when we should be living life.

I also saw a 'picture' in my head of arteries and veins in the human body and seeing blood clots form. It was a cooerlation of the 'clot' of unforgiveness. This cooerlation revealed that this 'clot' does not allow the majestic, powerful and loving mercy and grace of God to flow 'through' our lives and because of that it is not allowed to flow 'upon' our lives.

No wonder Jesus said as it is recorded in Mark 11 if we do not forgive others, God will not forgive us. It seems harsh, however the attributes of God are based on His Righteousness and His Justice...they are the foundations of God's indescribable Throne (Psalm 89:14).

Through this I was reminded that God will not do anything contrary to His Word. He is not moved by our feelings of why we don't forgive. He is not moved by what was done to us. He is not moved by our moveable circumstances and situations. He is unchanging and immovable. God is not a man that He should EVER lie (Numbers 23:19).

As I was reminded of those powerful truths, I believe the Holy Spirit whispered in my heart that if I truly want God to 'move' on my behalf then I need to move in under Who He is and His promises. I need to stop clinging to my 'rights' of justifying why I should be offended or why I spitefully have harbored a grudge.

During this time of Christmas, the pressure is on. However, just because the pressure is on, does not mean that unforgiveness and choosing to be offended needs to be 'on'. I am realizing all around me that life is too short. I don't say it as a cliche, I say it realizing that I do not want to take one heartbeat that my heart is allowed to beat for granted. I want, desire and must choose life. I want, desire and must choose to laugh in the midst of my feelings getting hurt. It is so very difficult many times when we can 'feel' like we are surrounded by 'downers' versus 'celebrators'.

When we choose to celebrate others and our own lives, revealing our gratefulness to God for another moment to serve Him is when we make the choice to see our atmosphere change for God's glory and honor.

We have opportunities to choose life or death daily; moment by moment. Let this day, this Christmas be about choosing life. If God Who became flesh for us could choose poverty by taking the form of a man; choosing the womb of a teenage girl over heaven; then I think we can show our gratefulness to God by choosing life, by choosing Him. He is Life and He came to give us life more abundantly! He came to give us Forgiveness and Forgiveness more abundantly!

Monday, December 21, 2009

December 21, 2009, "Victories of Today"

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

"But thanks [be] to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ."
~ I Corinthians 15:57 ~

I was reminded today of the victories on the 'inside' of us ready to explode upon the earth!

Our faith in God because of Jesus Christ can activate great explosion of the things intended! We need to loose those gifts for the world to see a glimpse of the awesomeness of God! Our mindsets must change. Many times my mindset is 'set', based on fear, unbelief and what we see, which is real. God's Truth is the opposite. Truth is effectively seen when faith and belief rise up no matter what our 'reality' says!

I pray you are encouraged by some sayings I have for myself. I want to do as David did; encouraging my soul (my mind, will and emotions) before my soul discourages me which will effect my actions, my mind and my lack of effecting others for God's glory:

"Don't let the losses tell you that you are defeated. Don't let the wins tell you that you can't learn more."

~ Teresa Criswell
Proverbs 8:13, I Corinthians 9:24, I Corinthians 15:57, Philippians 3:14, I John 5:4

"If we as citizens of The United States of America do not know our rights that were established by our forefathers, then when those rights are removed 'under the radar'...then we will sadly realize all the rights we had but when it is too late. When we don't know the promises of God and are swayed by what we see, saying, "It's God's will" we will sadly settle because the settling overruled the activation of faith."
~ Teresa Criswell
Hosea 4:6, Mark 11:22-26

"Healing is more 'contagious' than sickness."
~ Teresa Criswell
Isaiah 53:5, Acts 5:12-16

"The passion for the win must be stronger than the temptation to give in."
~ Teresa Criswell
I Corinthians 10:13

"There is something about remembering the goodness of God. But there is also something about remembering the bad of the enemy and the enemies of our lives. We must use the tool of remembrance for God's glory; so we can progress, advance and proclaim through our lives and with our mouths the greatness of God!"
~ Teresa Criswell
Luke 22:19, John 14:26, I Corinthians 11:24 & 25

"Even the heavens declare His glory! I have got to do the same, whether I feel like it or not. I will, by the Spirit of God lead my feelings to where they must go. My feelings must not lead me any longer today to the 'pit' of depression and destruction."
~ Teresa Criswell
Psalm 23:3, Psalm 35:9, Psalm 42

"What the world deems successful and valuable; in the end is of great insignificance."
~ Teresa Criswell
Matthew 6:20

"You call me a DORK...thank you! For I am a
f the

"You call me CRAZY...thank you! For I am a
nointed and
ealous daughter of God
ielding'to the Spirit of God."

"You call me a 'B' with an 'itch'...thank you! For I am a
Human being because of Jesus."
(I haven't been called this one yet, but when I am, I'm ready....heehee)!

As you can tell we have the power to be offended or to not be offended.
"To be offended or not to be offended? That is the question."
"If it's not a gift to receive...then don't receive it"!

~ Teresa Criswell
James 1:17

As I close today's devotional. I apologize in advance for the 'B' word...however, I truly believe someone needed to read that one. What our enemy means for evil, let's take on the attributes of God and turn it around to glorify God! Heeheehee!!! It's more than being positive, it's positively knowing whom I get to serve, Almighty God because of Jesus Christ!!!! Wooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

If there are any encouraging thoughts you may have, please post them in my 'comments' on my blog page...

God bless you! Have a great Monday! It's another gift of life today...let's no longer look at Monday's as 'mundane' but exceptional! Imagine the possibilities if we started to receive the opposite of these sad 'cliche's' that we have unknowingly received throughout life!

We are blessed beyond measure to live another day. I desire to live, think, act, and love for His glory!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

December 16, 2009, "Rise Again"

Inspired by the Holy Spirit
Written By: Teresa Criswell

"He has shown you, O man, what [is] good; And what does the LORD require of you But to do justly, To love mercy, And to walk humbly with your God?"
~ Micah 6:8 ~

What was left of their homes was beyond recognition. Debris, trees torn apart looked as though they had exploded through the house. Twisted metal, the remains of cars violently placed in the middle of homes. Some families went back to their homes to find that all that was left was the concrete slab in which the frame of the house once sat. The devastation of the tornado that hit Parkersburg, Iowa was beyond comprehension.

Yet through one man's fiery passion to see the people of Parkersburg rise again from the rubble was nothing short of amazing. He lived to inspire. He lived to encourage. He lived as not only a coach of football, but a coach of life.

My dad sent me this video this evening, and I was inspired to write in honor of the Triumphant Victorious God who graced the people of Parkersburg, Iowa and the Thomas family.

I still remember that evening. We were living in Winterset, Iowa. It was truly like yesterday when we heard on the news and then saw the devastation on the news of what the F5 Tornado left behind. Then realizing the population of this town was maybe a little more than 2,000. I even remember seeing one of the homes spray painted and there in huge letters were written these words, "God is Still Good." I am amazed as this town truly revealed God's amazing handiwork at taking devastating ruin and rebuilding with such grace and power.

One man allowed the One True God to utilize him in ways many have not yet seen on even a grand scale. Ed Thomas a man of integrity, inspiration, and humbleness lived a life that glorified Almighty God...his family carries the same legacy as his life was shortened in a 'suddenly'.

I write to this point to encourage you to watch the video. It is a little over thirteen minutes in length. However, I know as I was you will be inspired to live with great passion revealing our God in ways we could never imagine.

May we be reminded that we are Triumphant and Victorious through Jesus Christ! The storm may try to tell us we have been defeated; but may we be reminded by the Peace in the midst of the storm that we truly have the victory!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

December 15, 2009, "God's Greatness"

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

"and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus."
~ Philippians 4:7 ~

Today I was approached by a concerned husband for his wife. His wife, a wonderful woman of God has grieved the loss of her baby due to a miscarriage; a few days later she found out about the death of her father.

I thank you all in advance for praying for her and her beautiful family. She is with her family in Florida, as they are having to tie up loose ends due to the death of her father. Her husband asks that we pray for her as she returns home as things slow down and as she has a moment to ponder what has taken place, that God would overwhelm her with His Great Peace that surpasses her understanding.

"Father God, You are her Refuge. You are her Peace in the midst of this storm. Father God we thank You that on the inside of them resides Your Great Peace, Steadfastness and Power that assists and makes stronger as You provide 'Joy' even in the midst of such great mourning. Father God in Jesus name, I thank You for Your beauty for these ashes. I thank You for Your oil of Joy for their mourning. I thank for Your Garment of Praise for the spirit of heaviness and depression that attempts to come against her and them. Lord, I thank You that You shield them about with ministering laborers of Your great love. God, You are Awesome, abundantly and eternally glorious; no one can measure Your awesome power and majesty! Father, thank You for Your loving embrace and Your banner over them which is LOVE! Father, I thank You for your peace that surpasses all understanding over each of them in Jesus Name. God, thank You for allowing us to pray to You through Jesus who is our Mediator between us and You. Thank You for the Holy Spirit who prays and intercedes on our behalf when we don't know what we ought to pray. Hallelujah! For You are God...there is NO ONE LIKE YOU! NO ONE!"

If there any others who have prayer requests please do not hesitate to call on the Name of Jesus and send your requests this way. You will be prayed for by many warriors of prayer unto God through Jesus Christ! God loves you in ways you could never imagine, hope for or dream to ever be loved by anyone! God bless you today as you bless others for His glory.

I am reminded today that the greatest 'feats' in life are the most simple ones.

Friday, December 11, 2009

December 11-13, 2009, "Faith and Works and Works and Faith..."

Inspired by the Holy Spirit
Written By: Teresa Criswell

"But someone will say, "You have
faith, and I have works." Show me your faith without your works, and I will show you my faith by my works. But do you want to know, O foolish man, that faith without works is dead? For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also."
~ James 2:18, 20 & 26 ~

"I believe in God."
"I know He exists."
"It is difficult to look at creation and try to deny that there is a 'Higher Power'."

These comments lead me to the statement that James, the brother of Jesus made which is recorded in James 2: "You believe that there is one God. You do well. Even the demons believe and they tremble!"

Wow! James spoke with great boldness regarding this humbling truth. As I thought about this statement; I was led to the good people of this world. They do great things for others, they give and give of themselves. They recognize their purpose and they do it. Yet, those same souls do not yet have a relationship with God without Jesus Christ. For Jesus is not 'just a way'...He is 'The' Way, 'The' Truth and 'The' Life. No man can come to the Father but through Him (John 14:6). Jesus is the 'security clearance' to get to the Father.

This humbling reminder then led my heart to a provoking truth of the Book of James in Chapter two. James says that "faith without works or obedience is dead". As I was driving today pondering this truth, the following phrase came up in my spirit and these were the words, "Faith without works is dead; so it is with works, works without faith is dead also." Wow!

I leave you with this today. If you believe that God exists, that is good. Yet, please know that even the demons believe and they tremble at this knowing. The belief is awesome, now I plead with you to go through the threshold from believing in your mind to believing in your heart which then activates the faith in receiving Jesus as Your Savior and Lord. It is not about religious ceremony, it's about allowing Him to rescue each of us from ourselves and the burden of sin.

God forgives in a way that the east and west cannot comprehend (Psalm 103:12). Isn't that amazing?

Please don't fall into the pit of condemnation. Fall into the Loving Embrace of Almighty God, taking the Hand of Jesus so powerfully revealed by the Spirit of God. O how He loves you! You don't believe it? Let the cross and the open, empty tomb remind you of His great unfailing love and forgiveness!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

December 9, 2009, "Don't give up!"

Inspired by the Holy Spirit
Written By: Teresa Criswell

"You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is
stayed on You, because he trusts in You."
~ Isaiah 26:3 ~

I am in awe and wonder...yet again!

Have you ever noticed that when you don't seem to have time to do anything; opportunities arise in which you are invited to go here and go over there? It's the same with money too, isn't it? Haahaa!

I was reminded in a conversation I had with a friend of mine how God is eternal. He isn't moved by time frames. He isn't moved by stop watches or alarm clocks. He isn't moved by the expectations of what 'man' calls successful or significant. As The Eternal God, He defies time. He is not moved by the time which passes right through us, nor is He moved by what we call 'success' or significance.

Pondering this provoking thought, I realize yet again, how dare I contain Him? How dare I 'judge' Him when something in my life doesn't go the way I have planned. I am learning at this very moment that what seems like the 'end' is not. It is a process and I get to be 'part' of the Great Grand Story beyond this life into eternity, because of Jesus Christ.

Some of us seem as though our 'dream' has died; for some of us it has..or so it seems. Yet, Almighty God has your destiny and has a plan for you and I. The focus is not to be upon the destiny or the plan, but keeping our eyes on His glorious Faithfulness and in that we will see what needs to be done and what we need to do in the process. It sounds simple...because it is when we allow our mind to be 'stayed' on Him as it reveals that we trust Him.

Don't give up..or as my friend reminded me today, "Don't 'abort'!" God wants to see you through. He is seeing you through at this very moment; now it's an opportunity for us to allow Him to bring us to the dream and destiny He created us to be a part of. Are you ready? Am I? He is!

Monday, December 7, 2009

December 7, 2009, "Jesus"

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

"For God so loved the world that He gave His only Begotten Son that whosoever believes in Him shall not perish but have everlasting life."

~ John 3:16 ~

Distractions. "Look over here." "Look over there." "He/she offended me." "I have to buy a gift for her, for him...ahhhhhhh!!!!"

When all the while as we're busy being 'petty' someone else is dealing with the 'hefty'. I'm not saying what we are going through is insignificant, but stepping back and truly looking at the other issues of life in which lives are being changed in ways I cannot imagine. Lives are ripped apart, effected by murder, rape, abuse, kidnapping, the list goes on. There are others effected by sickness, disease and even death of a loved one and a friend.

As I think about the many issues of life. I am also led to think about the one's who have not yet met their Rescuer; their Savior. He longs to rescue them. He longs to embrace them as all of heaven waits with great anticipation to celebrate another soul redeemed by the Great Redeemer...Jesus Christ...the Son of the Most High God.

Today, as I go about my day and an opportunity arises to be upset at someone or to be offended by someone; may I take a step back,and truly focus on The Almighty God. This Amazing God that I surrendered my heart to, my heart leads my mind to imagining I can see Jesus' Amazing Face, as His arms are open wide as I can see His nail scarred hands. As I run towards Him, I can see this amazing light penetrating the huge nail scars on His feet. I cry in utter wonder as most likely the only thing I would be able to do is fall into His chest as I experience the unfailing love beating against my face hearing the sound of His heart beat. Such Amazing Love as The One who holds me is none other than the King of kings, The Lion of Judah, The Amazing Majestic One Whose Name is All Powerful...JESUS! This One Who could have come in all of His Royalty would have shaken the foundations of the earth to utter destruction because of His great power; yet, instead chose the womb of a teenage girl over ALL the prestige riches of the world and forsook the Indescribable glory of what was rightfully His by the Father.

Today, I am going to take the opportunity to bow down and worship Him. I want the 'opportunity' (as my Pastor Stephen says) through the 'petty' offenses and shortcomings of others and ourselves and let it become a place where we take that opportunity to effect others for God's great glory because of The Incredible, Indescribable, Ultimate Sacrifice He made for us. Much love was given, Much Forgiveness was given...much is required from that which we have received. Wow! What a reminder. Lord, help me to see through eyes of Your Love, not my own. Thank You Father God in the Name of Jesus for the gift of the Holy Spirit!
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Thursday, December 3, 2009

December 3 & 4, 2009, "Overwhelmed By Who God Is"

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

"You will keep him in perfect peace. Whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You."

~ Isaiah 26:3 ~

I am in awe of God's amazing, majestic 'gloriousness'. I don't know what else to say. I am overwhelmed with great fascination by His Awesome Greatness...words cannot articulate the incredible awesomeness in which I am truly overwhelmed.

The hustle and bustle of everyday life, especially during the Christmas season. Gaining material possessions. Losing material possessions. The great things of life are either slipping through our grip; or they are just coming upon us in many different ways.

In the process of either losing or winning; I ask myself, "Am I able to praise God for Who He is?" "No matter what?" The gloriousness of His awesome power getting us through from striving to thriving no matter our circumstances.

I pray great encouragement through each of you today. I don't know what you may be facing...but I am reminded to remind you that those things you face, must face Almighty God. Are we declaring Him mightier than those giants that face us? We must be in a constant place of reminding ourselves of whose side we are on.

I sit here as one eye squints trying to find many words to describe who I get to serve and be so lavishly loved by. There is not one amazing word that can even come close to His mighty power! As I long to mediate on His awesomeness; it leads me in a place of 'nothingness' in the midst of 'everythingness' because of Him and Who He is.

I am reminded today that the rain falls on the just and the unjust (Matthew 5:45). Difficult situations, death, sickness, disease, hardships of every sort come upon many. Great situations, life, celebration, health, wholeness, thriving of every sort come upon many as well. Whether it's a difficult or a great situation, may our eyes be steadfastly stayed on our God. It is easier said than done...but again, in the reminding, it draws us closer to our Steadfast, Immovable, Almighty, Healing, Restoring, Redeeming Father God.

May you experience His peace today in ways you could never imagine; not by your own power or your own might; but by the Spirit of God (Zechariah 4:6) who reveals Jesus Christ , who came to reveal the Father God. Hallelujah!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

December 1 & 2, 2009, "Transformation"

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

"I beseech
(plead with) you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God."
~ Romans 12:1-2 NKJV added words italicized ~

"No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man (every temptation is common to man); but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it."
~ I Corinthians 10:13 NKJV added words italicized ~

As I staged a house today, the creativity was flowing. I came home and made more 'Triumphant Victorious Decor' inspirational boards and canvases for a few of my clients.

Before I painted one of the canvases, I took a 'before' picture. When I was finished I also took an 'after'. When taking the after photo I was quickly reminded of how God transforms our lives by the saving power of Jesus Christ; when we allow Him to change us and transform us by the renewing of our minds through the Word of God.

I took notice again of the verse today, "Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God." So if we are not to be conformed to this world, Paul urges the reader by the power of the Holy Spirit to be transformed. How do we become transformed? He says, by the renewing of your mind. What does the renewal of the mind through Jesus Christ provide? To prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.

It is amazing how I looked back upon my life without the Lord a few years ago. Looking back at me from then and now is refreshingly different. The only way I can describe it...I feel as though I am unattached to the woman before. It is as though I look back at someone else, feeling such pity, wanting to pray for her.

I also was reminded today that my first journal I ever wrote in towards the Lord in 2003, was the scripture for today. My dad being led by the Holy Spirit gave that verse to me as he encouraged me to walk in obedience to and with the Lord. He gave me many other scriptures, however, another scripture he gave me was I Corinthians 10:13. I am beyond amazed of how God's Word is so beautifully intertwined.

Wow! I praise God for His awesome transforming power as my mind is becoming renewed by His Word. I am reminded to rely on His great Power to not be conformed to this world. There is continual change that must be made; but it is nice to look back and see the triumphant victory in Christ Jesus.

His transforming power is made available to us and is already in us when we have accepted Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior. His grace was not given to us to give us permission to sin. His grace was given to us so that we could rise above the sin; not in and of ourselves, but only through Him!