Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Triumphant Victorious Reminders, "Selfishness Revealed"

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

"Rejoice in the Lord always and again I say rejoice."
~Philippians 4:4 ~

It has been a while since I wrote my last post.

Some may ask and have asked...
Busyness? No Time? Christmas season?
Well, none of these are my excuse.
I will be to the point confessing that I have not written in a while due to my own choice to be selfish.
I have submitted to my flesh, which has resulted in resisting God and I have fled from the purpose-Maker over my life.

I realize that as James 4:6 records, "Submit to God, resist the devil and he will flee from you" is not about a 'Three Step' formula on how to resist the devil.
Apart from God, I can do nothing... absolutely nothing.
However, when I submit to God, trust in God, run to God and HOLD ON to HIM; my Shelter and Safe Place, this beautiful thing called submission results in resistance to something or someone else.

I learned from the Holy Spirit that when Satan sees me in my Refuge, in my Safe Place (Which is Almighty God), Satan can do nothing but cower and flee because of Who God is; not because of 'my' so-called strength to resist.
Satan runs from my Strengthener who hides me under Himself as His massive wings.
When receiving this revelation in my closet, it helped me to see the purpose of submission.
It also became clearer of what Jesus talked about when He said we can not serve two masters. We can not submit or serve two things...we will hate the one and love the other.
In this revealing power of the Holy Spirit there is this powerful reminder that whether we submit to God or submit to our flesh by default resistance takes place.

The scales are coming off my eyes and as I walk in God's goodness upon the path of repentance, I realize that the time I occupy is not my own.
The time that is loaned to me is not my own; but I sure have acted as though it is.
It is being revealed quite clearly that I have not gone to Almighty God Who is not limited by time.
When I finally yield to His abundant grace to get the things accomplished that He would have me accomplish there is glory to be revealed of Who He is.

I am so guilty of having my own agenda list, but I am realizing that being a wife, a mom, a daughter and friend never caught God by surprise.
The agendas of my own must be brought forth and trade out my own agendas with the divine agenda of God.
For His agenda is to replenish and refresh, with His sole focus being on others so that they also may be replenished and refreshed revealing the Refresher of our souls.

My purpose is to REJOICE in HIM and be glad in the day that He has provided.
My purpose is to get the joy again that is from the inside by the power of the Holy Spirit.
To 're' something is to do again!
So everyday, I get to 'joy in the Lord' which provides and is STRENGTH for this very moment on this very day!
As I joy in the Lord of my Salvation, Who is Salvation I realize that I need to commit everything to the Lord and He will lead me to the divine appointments He has set forth manifesting in our dimension of time that has already taken place in His dimension of eternity.
Yes...this is mind blowing to even 'go there', but we must continuously have mind blowing moments toward our God.
It is our Triumphant Victorious Reminder of who we get to be in Christ as we realize that He is Triumphant Victory yesterday, today and forever!

When we give of His time, may we see the great things that He is doing and has done through us for others.
When our focus is on Him, it diverts attention off self...
praise God for the anecdote of self focus...
it is GOD 'AWE'ING FOCUS!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

December 15, 2010, "Connecting Bridge"

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

"Commit your works to the Lord and your thoughts will be established."
~Proverbs 16:3 ~

It was Monday and I was doing the normal thing; driving to the grocery store. I was planning on going to this particular store which I enjoy frequenting. However, this day I was convicted to commit even this 'to do' moment to Him. I prayed to the Lord to guide my steps and as I was driving I was led to go to a different store which I do not like to frequent because of the great lack in customer service. But as I looked back upon that irritation, for me to complain about not having a good customer service experience is truly not suffering. Perspective was put back into its proper place...I was reminded to have options to go anywhere while others experience true suffering was insulting to those who truly suffer; especially for the cause of Christ Jesus.

Hence, as I drove to this particular store, I prayed that God would utilize me. As I entered the store, I literally had a permanent smile, it was so awesome. As I started my grocery shopping; this is where the story I got to experience begins:

I was walking in the main aisle, getting ready to enter the chip aisle when I ran into Angelina. Angelina is a beautiful woman that I was honored to meet at my garage sale earlier this summer. In our introduction to one another, I found out that Angelina makes her own soaps, deoderants, etc. In the chip aisle we visited with one another, catching up with one another. Suddenly, as I turned, I saw another familiar face, Rebecca. Now Rebecca is a wonderful woman who was led by God to start Point of Hope Ministeries, a beautiful ministry that ministers to the homeless downtown. I was able to introduce the two ladies and as we visited some more, I realized as we talked to each other that Rebecca is by faith relying on the Lord's provision; especially for the financial resources to purchase more hygiene products to make hygiene kits. Upon finding this out from Rebecca,
Angelina said, "This is so amazing. I give 10% of whatever I make when I do a 'show' for my products. I have $30 and I asked the Lord today to show me who I needed to give the money to."
Angelina looked at Rebecca and said, "I know that God has shown me who it needs to go to...You."

With tears in Rebecca's eyes she was so grateful and was about to give Angelina her address in which she could have her mail her donation. This is when Angelina said, "No, if I don't do it now, I won't do it." She opened her checkbook and wrote a check to Angelina right there in the middle of the chip aisle. Yes, some may say, it's 'only' $30, but it is much more than the $30, it was one of those 'God Kiss' moments for Rebecca to show her that He is more than mindful of her. I was so amazed, we were in the 'chips' aisle, praying over Angelina's financial blessing that she was placing upon Rebecca, as we did so, the aisle was starting to become congested. As I saw all the people around us, it came to me as I wondered, "There are so many people in this aisle." After that wondering thought, it was as though I heard, "They are drawn to My presence."

Upon meeting between these two beautiful women, I believe God showed me that He allowed me to be the 'bridge' connecting these two women for His purpose. The significance of getting to be 'the bridge' is when the back of Rebecca's hoodie caught my attention, it read, "Bridge of Angels" I sit here shaking my head laughing. Our God is so awesome!

I am truly reminded to be in awe of God as He has eternally awesome intricate plans and purposes; even when we think the little parts of our life are insignificant; our God reveals that He wants us to experience His great significance every moment of the day, committing all we do to Him.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

December 11, 2010, "Setting our Gaze on God"

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

"Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven."
~ Jesus Christ as recorded in Matthew 5:16 (NKJV) ~

"If anyone speaks, let him speak as the oracles of God. If anyone ministers, let him do it as with the ability which God supplies, that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom belong the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen."
~ I Peter 4:11 (NKJV)~

Enamored. Awestruck. Amazed.

I shake my head as I sit here in this place of absolute awe of The Great I Am.
The All Sufficient God who needs know one, yet this Amazing God desires ALL of us as He is beyond amazingly awesome.

For He is All Consuming Fire fueled by who He is; passionate Love.
The Great I Am, The Great Father God,
The Greatly to be Feared God who is the most Famous One;
The Deliverer of the trapped and broken;
The Strengthener of the weak and tired;
The Refuge of the fearful and timid is LOVE.
I know that this is not a secret revelation; yet to truly attempt to ponder this mind blowing thought and attempting to understand such eternal greatness leads me to the cliff of 'vanishing points'.

Wow trusting in Him leads me to His ALL CONSUMING heartbeat of purposeful thoughts as He is full of faith towards us.

Our God is continually desiring to transform us into His glorious light so that the world is able to see the reflection of His Awesome, Uncontainable Glory, consumed by Holiness no one can contend with. This glorious Light of Who He is leads us to the reminder that we can do nothing of great eternal, 'destinal God~purpose' without the Creator of Destiny; Almighty God through Jesus Christ revealed by the Holy Spirit which must be revealed by us who have received and confessed Jesus Christ as Lord not only in word but in deed as we trust in Him to go about doing His excellent plans led by His Compassion and His All Consuming Love.

When we are tempted to do the things of God on our own strength; we will soon learn that our sin nature and frustrated flesh is all that will be revealed. However, when I finally lean on Him forsaking my own understanding; the 'God Nature' on the inside will be revealed as we see the overflowing power of God set forth the gaze of those watching to gaze only upon Almighty Eternal God, giving Him all the glory which is already His!

Monday, December 6, 2010

December 7, 2010 "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 ~

Holidays, traditions can become such 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 effected by divorce, murder, abuse and 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! The Most Beautiful One could have come in all of His Royalty shaking the foundations of the earth to utter destruction because of His great power; yet instead, He chose the womb of a teenage girl. Our minds cannot fathom such a trade off. It is such an overwhelming thought to know that Jesus could have had ALL the prestige riches of the world yet, he forsook the Indescribable glory of what was rightfully His by the Father.

Today, I desire 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 most of all, myself, letting it become a place of 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!"

Friday, November 26, 2010

Reminder from November 28, 2009

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 ~

Our dog laid down near the door waiting patiently for my husband.



I walked around th
e house picking up, making beds, 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.

Prayer:
"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"

Sunday, November 14, 2010

"I was hungry and you gave Me food..."


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

"For I was hungry and you gave me food; I was thirsty and you gave me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in; I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me.'" ~ Jesus Christ
~ Matthew 25:35 ~

I have to admit ~ I don't know what I thought when we were going down there...but whatever thoughts I had were surpassed in so many ways. The premature aged faces of the many homeless people and their stories were perspective changing for my daughter and I. The desire to hold onto things loosened as we saw so many destitute. Yet even in their destitution, they smiled and expressed how blessed they were. They expressed with great gratitude that so many of us were there. Many of the homeless people who have nothing according to our standards of living...yet, they proclaimed that they were blessed.

There were two specific people I will never forget. Clean-cut, and most likely in his late 30's, sitting beside him; his four year old little girl. Many of us noticed her small frame and beautiful big brown eyes as she sat on the edge of the curb under the bridge with her dad. He was leaned up against the curb with his legs extended outward as he had a fork in his hand, motioning his fork like an airplane as food was on the end of it. We noticed that she didn't want to eat very much but he continued to encourage her to eat.

One of the ladies walked over to them as I followed with my daughter by my side. My daughter looked up at me and said, "Mom, this is so sad." and I nodded to her as I agreed. We walked over to them, and I knelt beside him, sitting on my knees as my daughter knelt beside me and the girl. We said our hello's. I then asked the father, "What happened? What led you to the streets?" You could almost hear the lump in his throat form as tears welled up in his eyes. Slowly looking down and shaking his head he whispered, "Drugs and alcohol." I didn't say a word and neither did he...tears streamed down his face as he looked at his daughter. His face said it all as he looked at her.

We sat there for a few moments. There were many homeless people and volunteers all around being ministered to. The praise music bellowing so beautifully through the speakers as cars sped by. Even with all the hustle and bustle, it was not able to interrupt the silence. I could sense the presence of God. In that moment, nervousness slipped away as I placed my hand on his shoulder and the only words I remember saying was, "Jesus loves you; He is Your Deliverer." He looked at me with great frustration and said, "I have known this most of my life; but I can't stop." I remember looking into his tear-filled eyes and said, "You must now experience what you know." He looked at me and cried even more. At about this time is when a large built man came over and started to minister to him. It was amazing to see the volunteer's children come around this little girl and play with her. She opened up with giggles; smiling and screaming in laughter as the girls so lovingly played with her. We asked if they had a place to stay and he said, "Yes I stay at the Salvation Army where I have a bed, and my daughter is visiting with me today, she will be going back to her mom's house later on today."
(Pictured above is my daughter and the little girl wanting to be held as she giggled and played).

I was reminded as I awoke yesterday morning..."When you feed and clothe them, you feed and clothe Me."

Someone asked me about our experience and I could not articulate it into words. The only thing I could say, "The experience went beyond my mind and eyes...it seeped deep even into my skin....my whole body...I will never be the same again."

Thursday, November 11, 2010

This May Make You Cry (in a good way) ...

I found this on KLOVE radio station's website today.

If you receive 'Triumphant Victorious Reminders' via email, please go to my website by clicking here and it will lead you to the link for you to watch...within 20 seconds you will most likely cry.
God bless our Veterans and our active military men, women and families in every branch of the United States of America here and abroad...

Please note: Pause the music on my playlist by scrolling down to the bottom of my page and clicking the pause button before watching the video...

This May Make You Cry (in a good way) ...

Thursday, November 4, 2010

November 4-11, 2010, "It is Finished"

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 ~

JESUS is our VICTORY and VICTORY is ours because of and through JESUS!

Did you know that when Jesus proclaimed the words, "It is Finished", it was beyond significant? This powerful declaration was also used by the Romans. After the Romans would overtake a city, with fierce shouts they would declare, "It is Finished"! Can you imagine the day that Jesus declared this statement as he was giving His life upon that old rugged cross; the power and the intensity of that statement that must have arrested the Roman soldiers who stood in their post during this grueling execution?

To be reminded of the last words Jesus spoke before dying on the cross is that what He declared only revealed who He was, is and is to come...The Author and The Finisher of our faith! I am reminded today that our faith in God through Jesus Christ is the Victory that overcomes the world!

The Finisher of our faith said, "It is Finished"!!! When we see and/or hear from our circumstances, people and even in our minds that we are finished...we can remind them ALL by the power of the Love of God that which saved us from being finished...because of our Finisher, Jesus Christ!

Jesus declared and proclaimed the Battle Cry of Victory as He took back that which was already His...US! He liberated us from the chains that held us captive to the burden of sin resulting in death.

Hallelujah to our God who is our Victorious Redeemer!

Scripture References:
I Corinthians 15:57
Hebrews 12:2
John 19:30

Friday, October 29, 2010

October 30, 2010, "Praises to You O Lord!"

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

O God! I must declare, broadcast, and make known how magnificently awesome You are!
For I am redeemed by You and I must say so!
Your glorious splendor, displayed with Your ever constant power
as the billowing waves of the ocean bow down in awe of You.
In unison the beautiful, majestic mountains; jagged in great strength,
adore You Mighty God revealing beautiful glimpses of Your eternally amazing power!

The waves stand in glorious awe as they applaud Your glory,
the melody of Your creation sing of Your eternal provisions.
When we forsake others, You are the God who does not forsake.
When we walk from The Truth, You are Still Truth.
When orphaned and abandoned, You are still the Father to the fatherless
and the mother to the motherless,
for You are not man that You should ever lie!
Your loving embrace is like a calming balm that soothes my soul.

Glorious God! Glorious King! Glorious Father! Glorious Lover!
To You I am overwhelmed by such Majesty.
I love you Lord, thank You for Your Redemption that has saved me from myself.
My soul feasts on the praises of You My Everlasting, Yesterday, Today and Forever God!

I love You my God and King!
Love your daughter,
Teresa

Scripture References:
Psalm 107:2
Hebrews 13:5
Psalm 68:5
Numbers 23:19
Hebrews 13:8



Monday, October 25, 2010

October 25, 2010, "Ears as the Tongue, The Mind as The Stomach"

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

"Apply your heart to instruction, and your ears to words of knowledge."
~ Proverbs 23:12 ~

Standing in front of the mirror, I thought of her.
A beautiful Puerto Rican woman who works at the corner dry cleaners and whom I have been able to pray with.

This woman is overwhelmed by life and life's circumstances...on top of it all, she speaks of hopelessness only intensifying the hardships taking place in her life. Her son's father died from cancer a year ago. Just a few months ago her mother was diagnosed with cancer. Her son is overtaken by fear that his mom will soon be diagnosed; and in that fear, totaled her vehicle. She is now without a vehicle and borrows her oldest son's vehicle until she saves up enough to buy another vehicle.

The fear of loss, fear of 'what if', fear of "what will be?" She surrounds herself with negativity, negative thoughts, negative everything. She is surrounded by the natural and has secluded herself from the cheerleaders of life and in this realization, as I looked into the mirror, Compassion overwhelmed me as I was compelled to pray.

As I prayed for her, I received a visual or an analogy:

The ear is like the tongue and our mind is like our stomach.

Our mind will receive and digest whatever we feed it ~ our ears will crave whatever it is use to hearing.

What do my ears crave?

For what my ears hear, is what my mind will receive.
What my mind receives and digests will come out of my mouth which reveals my heart.
As the heart is revealed, is my heart of belief or unbelief towards my Awesome God?

We need to fill our minds with the Word. The Word is not a few collective letters making up a word that we call The Word...it is The Person...The Only Jesus Christ!

A great man of God, Roger Richter reminded us on Sunday with God's Glorious Triumphant Victory upon Whom we get to call upon and whom we receive our Salvation from and in Him we must work out our Salvation daily with fear and trembling! When Jesus said as recorded in John 14:6, "I Am The Way, The Truth and The Life, and no one comes to the Father but through Me"...it was a statement that made all of creation tremble with great reverential fear!

Jesus is the Way, The Truth, and The Life!
Jesus isn't showing us a path, or a bunch of facts or a way to live when He made this statement. He revealed that The Way, The Truth and The Life are Him!!!!! The Way, The Truth and The Life are A/The Person, Jesus Christ! So powerful!!!!! Hallelujah to the Great I Am! Hallelujah to the Resurrection and The Life! Hallelujah for He is Who He Says He is! He is Faith! He is God! He is Plan A and that plan will NEVER FAIL!!!!


Sunday, October 17, 2010

October 18, 2010, "My Strength, My personal bravery and my invincible army"

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

In the beginning of chapter 3 of Habakkuk it says, "A Prayer of Habakkuk the prophet, set to wild, enthusiastic, and triumphant music." I love this...set to wild, enthusiastic, and triumphant music. As you read the last three verses in chapter 3, with great, powerful enthusiasm shout and declare the following:

"Though the fig tree does not blossom and there is no fruit on the vines,
[though] the product of the olive fails and the fields yield no food,
though the flock is cut off from the fold and there are cattle in the stalls.
Yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will exult in the [victorious]God of my salvation!
The Lord God is my Strength, my personal bravery, and my invincible army; He makes my feet like hinds feet and will make me to walk [not to stand still in terror, but to walk] and make [spiritual] progress upon my high places [of trouble, suffering or responsibility]."

All I can say is, I am in awe that our Awesome God declared by Habakkuk that God was His Strength, his personal bravery and invincible army"...this God Habakkuk served is the same God I serve today through Jesus Christ by the power of the Holy Spirit

Our God is the Same God...never changing...never caught by surprise...never moved by our circumstances; however, our circumstances are moved in fear of Who He is...our Majestic, Holy, Awesome, Never Changing God!

I am reminded to echo these words to my God and declare His Awesome Strength and Who He is in the midst of unstable ground...He is my fortress and strength, my help in trouble!

Every moment of the day in this time frame called 'life' we have opportunities come at us moment by moment..will we allow these challenges to become opportunities to rejoice in the Lord? Will we exalt His glorious triumphant name? Let us shout with the victory of praise and adoration for our God! Let us remind our souls, our minds, our wills and our emotions how Great our God is. He is and He wants to be our very present help every moment in our lives! He is God and He is more than worthy to be praised!

Let our lives exclaim the beautiful, liberating news of Jesus Christ! May our words follow our actions...may we be people who walk out what we believe according to the beautiful Word of God! May we hold our head up high...may our actions declare that we are the Redeemed of the Lord who say that we are Redeemed! Hallelujah! No one wants to share in our downcast countenance; they want the glory of the Lord to shine upon them...may we be the vessels that expose God's glorious light, revealed in Jesus Christ by the power of the Holy Spirit of God in our own lives!

"Father God, you are Glorious! Jesus! You are my Salvation! Hallelujah to You the Lamb of God, the Lion of Judah, the Bright and Morning Star! You are King of kings and Lord of lords! You are the Alpha and The Omega, the Beginning and The End! You are not a man that you should ever lie! Father, I thank you for Your eternal gift of Salvation revealed by Jesus Christ, Your Son! You are Glorious King, Majestic and overflowing in Splendor and Power! You are greatly to be praised! Lord my whole heart and mind cannot imagine your indescribable glory. The seemingly insignificant captures your heart and you are pleased to bestow your powerful glory upon our lives! O God! You be praised, You be glorified! For You are praised and glorified no matter if I join the chorus...yet, I desire to join in the praise and the declarations of You my Awesome God; for if we don't praise you the rocks will! I can't have an object of any kind replacing my voice of triumphant declarations of who You are! I love you Lord! You are more than worthy to be praised! You are Worthy!"
In The Mighty, Majestic, Holy, Awesome name of Jesus
~ Amen!

Scripture References:
Psalm 46:1
Psalm 31:7-9
Psalm 107:2
Numbers 6:23-26



Monday, October 11, 2010

Reminder from October 10 & 11, 2009, "But WAIT"

TRIUMPHANT VICTORIOUS REMINDERS
Inspired by the Holy Spirit
Written By: Teresa Criswell

"Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us."
~ Romans 8:37 ~

Victimized.
Defeated.
Failed.
Downsized.
Annihilated.
Overwhelmed.

Everyone of these adjectives in some way describe how circumstances have effected us, are effecting us or will effect us.

What do these words represent? For me, the two words that come to mind is GREAT LOSS!

When we are victimized we feel violation of innocence stripped with great violence as dignity is lost in the debris of overwhelming sadness.

When we are defeated it looks as though victory has escaped us.
When we have failed, the lack of success attempts to strip us of our significant purpose.
When the position we have worked in is downsized, our identity along with loss of employment feels as though we are done for.
When we are annihilated and overwhelmed the feeling of being destroyed is paralyzing.

BUT WAIT!

When we are victimized, and feel defeated, feeling like failures we must press on past the feelings and remember we are enabled through Jesus Christ. We must not become a 'volunteer' of the victimization, defeat or failure. We must rise up in our given place through Christ Jesus and that is as conquering victors! We must rise up and out of the ashes with God's powerful, mighty hand of deliverance, as He delivers us into His beauty, restoration and significance over who we are.

As we begin to know Who He is, we will begin to learn who we truly are in Him!

You may ask, "How do I begin to know Who He is?" For me personally, I have to preach to myself. I go to the beginning. I become overwhelmed by the God I serve as great awe overcomes me.

I become overwhelmed by this Awesome God and shout,
"Wow! You are The God of Adam!
Adam walked with You and fellowshipped with You!
Adam was able to see Your face!
You are the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob!
You are The God of Moses!
You are The God of Joshua and Caleb!
You are The God of Gideon!
You are the God of Haddasau who became Queen Esther!
You are the God of Boaz and Ruth who birthed forth Obed,
who became the father of Jesse who became the father of David!
Woooooo!!! You are The God of Hannah who could not bear children, yet through her womb came one of the greatest prophets, Samuel.!
You are The God of David who Samuel anointed with oil as David was chosen by God to become King.
From David's generational line came the King of kings and The Lord of lords..JESUS!
Almighty God, I get to be called Your daughter; for YOU are my Father through Jesus Christ, revealed by the Holy Spirit!"

The more I proclaim these thoughts of AWE, the More it becomes a great equipping over 'self' defeat. I start to see through the eyes of faith and no longer through the eyes of fear. This is more than self affirmation. Even in self affirmation, and it can go a long way, it still has limits, especially in comparison to the limitless God who wants His ability to explode through ours!

God's lavishing, immovable, unshakeable, indescribable, incredible, matchless power and love over us being revealed through the Conqueror Himself..Jesus Christ made available to us by the power of the Holy Spirit is when Psalm 91 comes ALIVE! "A thousand may fall by my side and ten thousand at my right hand BUT it shall not come near me." Wooooooooo!!!!!

Let us no longer say, "I desire to, BUT..." Let us start doing it and saying, "I feel overwhelmed, BUT GOD..." I must moment by moment be in awe of 'Who He IS and was and will forever be!!!!

Let us be strengthened today by the strength provided within us. This strength is not provided because of who we are...but BECAUSE OF OUR GREAT PROVIDER AND WHO HE IS BY HIS HOLY SPIRIT!

This is provided when we accept the gift of salvation through JESUS CHRIST, following through with baptism and receiving the Holy Spirit so that we are enabled to disciple others by God's Word to do the same (John 1, Acts 2:1-39). We truly do not know the eternally, awesome impact of salvation provided through Jesus Christ as He did the Will of the Father when we say, "YES" to Him! Salvation was not provided so that we could selfishly received 'Fire Insurance'...Salvation through Jesus was, is and always will be provided to live a victorious life in Him as the redeemed of the Lord say so (Psalm 107:2)...so we must also express it through our hands and feet yielding to the Holy Spirit of God as we see the infinite impact on others around us for His glory and His honor!

As the shouts of defeat try to play with our minds....may we shout back with the voice of Triumph who has delivered us...JESUS! We must not relinquish the power over to the enemy who has already lost! He lost at that place called Calvary being defeated as Jesus Christ shed His perfect Blood, and RESURRECTED; conquering death, hell and the grave!

I must remind my circumstances that they are conquered...as I do this, I must start living the reminder as I am more than a conqueror through Jesus who loves you and me (Romans 8:37).

Thursday, October 7, 2010

October 7, 2010, "Abundance revealed in the midst of lack"

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

"And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches and glory by Christ Jesus."
~ Philippians 4:19 ~

"Why is this happening?" "Lord, we need the finances now, all we see is lack."

What if you were told after knowing you owed over$30,000 to a hospital that after reviewing everything, the balance due was $0.00.

If you asked me what I would do, I would say, "I would jump up and down, pray, pee my pants, shout..." But guess what, I sat in the chair as I heard the words proceed out of his mouth and couldn't do anything. My mind was saying with a shout, "Thank you Lord", yet it was as though I was non responsive. I desperately wanted to cry to show my gratitude, but nothing was coming out. All I could say was, "Sir, I want to make sure I heard you correctly, are you saying this is a possibility? Or are you saying that this is what it is?" He said, "This is what I am telling you, you owe $0.00, I am the head of this financial department, and you owe nothing because of the lack of finances that came in for the month of surgery, this has made you eligible for assistance. As a matter of fact, you will be receiving a letter from me in the next few days showing that you have been approved for assistance." He kept talking, but it was as though I heard, "Rururu, rururu, ruru, ruru"...you know like the teacher in Charlie Brown?

I am beyond touched, amazed and so deeply effected by God's outcome. After hearing, "You owe $0.00", I still feel somewhat numb throughout my whole chest area. It's one thing to hear a testimony of God like this, but to be on the receiving end? It is nothing short of amazing!

First and foremost, I thank my Heavenly Father, who has also been as a husband providing provision for our family when it seemed like we wouldn't make it financially; He proved Himself as Provider, yet again.

Then to all of you who have prayed on our behalf to the Lord God Almighty; especially the prayers of our parents my mom and dad and my mother in love and her whole church family...our family in Jesus Christ. We are beyond appreciative...more than anything, I am appreciative to my Savior, my Redeemer, my Jesus, and gratefully my Brother who makes intercession on our behalf to the Father God.

I am reminded as I look back; what we saw as 'lack', the power of God's abundance was revealed. I love the beautiful reminder in Philippians 4:19, that our needs are provided according to His riches and glory in Christ; not according to mans riches and own glory.

Father, You long to be trusted. You long for me to have confidence in You and only You! My understanding reveals lack all over the place; but when I trust You and acknowledge You, the love of who You are reveals Your abundance in ALL things; beyond my crazy, off the wall imagination; you blow that away for eternity! I thank You Lord for who You are! You are amazing God; and I declare your goodness, greatly humbled by Your majesty and beautiful splendor! Thank You Father for Your Holy Spirit who is with me and guides me into ALL truth, because of The Truth, Jesus Christ. I love You Lord, my soul Satisfier. You are greatly to be praised for eternity and I must declare with my life who You are, for You are the greatest! I love You Lord.
Love your daughter, Teresa

Scripture References:
Romans 8:26 & 27, 34
Hebrews 7:25
Philippians 4:19
Proverbs 3:5 & 6

Thursday, September 30, 2010

A reminder from September 28, 2009

TRIUMPHANT VICTORIOUS REMINDERS
Inspired by the Holy Spirit
Written By: Teresa Criswell

This post was written on September 28, 2009...as I re-read this reminder, I knew that I needed to be reminded of the motives of my heart. I pray you are blessed and encouraged as you read...encouraging each of us to be moved to transforming power by the Word of God!

"Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Your sight, O LORD, my Strength and my Redeemer."
~ Psalm 19:14 ~

"Examine me, O LORD, and prove me; try my mind and my heart."
~ Psalm 26:2 ~

"My soul longs, yes, even faints for the courts of the LORD; My heart and my flesh cry out for the living God."
~ Psalm 84:2 ~

Have you ever craved a type of food so badly that you didn't care what time of night it was or what you were doing? I know for me that has happened, and I went out of my way to satisfy that food craving.

In the same way, I am at this place in my own life where I 'crave' and 'salivate' the heart of God. I don't know how else to describe such a longing that I have never imagined could take place in my life. I am truly in this place where I know the Promises of God are awesome...BUT I crave to desire and pursue THE PROMISER AND HIS GLORIOUS HEART.

I am in this place of great dissatisfaction when I long for my own heart's desires. I want to no longer be in pursuit of my own heart, my own hidden agendas, or my own 'sub-conscience' motives. The Holy Spirit that lives within me because of Jesus Christ who reveals the Father God is highlighting those hidden agendas in my heart; and to God I am so grateful. It is definitely an awakening to selfish motives that I thought were for God, but
really it was for this 'need' of penance and to make myself 'feel' better.

I realize with great truth from the Lord there is no good deed I could do that would match His matchless Righteousness that was placed upon me through Jesus Christ. It is obviously important that I do good works but now doing those works as an act of worship unto Him, versus unto my 'ego' or because of 'religion'.

I am in a season where the 'religiousity' is being shaken out of me and God is replacing it with the fire and passion for 'relationship' with Him.

The reminder today for me is to be aware of my heart's motives. Am I being motivated for my glory? Or am I being motivated for God's glory?

I am realizing that when my heart's motives are for Him; by default, I will honor others. When my heart's motives are for me and my desires then by default many will be dishonored and will even be dishonored 'in the name of the Lord' (spirit of religion does this, not the Holy Spirit).

I pray I do not ever fall into that trap...but if we remember what John writes in Second John verse 8, he warns us, "Look to yourselves (not to others), but look to yourselves that we do not lose those things we worked for, but that we may receive a full reward."

If he warns the church back then to not lose those things they have worked for, then we know by his warning that those things labored for can be lost. We must moment by moment set our eyes on Who He is. We must stand on Who He is. He is immovable and unshakeable, in the midst of a world full of struggles that try to move us and shake us.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

September 23, 2010, "Desperation revealing the great need for Hope"

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

“Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, know that tribulation produces perseverance; and perseverance, character; and character, hope. Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.”
~ Romans 5:1-5 ~


Two hands on the wheel, the windshield blurred with pouring rain as she drives with caution. Her mind divided; overwhelmed with thoughts of tomorrow, next month, next year. Questions annihilate her mind, "How could I have done a better job being a wife, mom, and friend?" Regrets perpetuate the sound of hopelessness. Suddenly, the interruption of being kicked from behind, jolts her to jump as the chaos of disunity permeates the car from the backseat, revealed by her children. Disharmony quickly fills the atmosphere.

Revealing great frustration, she shouts, "KIDS! JUST GET ALONG!" With great intention and force her right hand bends the rear view mirror down to her eye level as she can see their eyes staring back at hers. Simultaneously, a chorus of, "BUT Mom! SHE'S TOUCHING ME" comes back in unison from the back seat! She grits her teeth and in a controlled, sharp tone she says, "If there is not quietness in 3 seconds, I am pulling this car over to the next exit and each of you are getting a spanking, is that UNDERSTOOD?" Their eyes big with knowing the seriousness of mom's tone, they said at once, "Yes ma'am".

Instantly, the car filled with quietness as she was back to her thoughts of regrets; reminded yet again, "See, look at you, if others could see you right now, you would be exposed!" The overwhelming thoughts of disappointment and failure rush her at once, when suddenly she couldn't take it anymore, emotionally breaking down she pulled over to the next exit. She sobs as she had enough, "I can't do this anymore! I'm at my breaking point!" "God! Help me!" "Please! Help Me!"

I interrupt this fictional, yet scene that has overtaken many, reminded that those around us are filled with the desperate cries calling out to God.
I am reminded that I say I know the 'Hope of Glory', my Jesus; but am I revealing His glorious hope?
Am I revealing Him?
Am I so intoxicated by my own concerns of this life?

As I am reminded of my 'Hope of Glory', it provokes me to recall the Joy of my Salvation. I recall the day I saw Redemption not only coming near, but annihilating my life! O, how I must recall that glorious moment when The Hope of Glory became my personal Hope fulfilled!

There are so many who are driving in circles, getting nowhere fast! Attempting with great desperation to get out of the dead end road of life. Will I show them the Way? I am reminded that as I reveal the Way; The Truth and the Life, the Hope of Glory will lead them on the road of great joy no matter the circumstances that await them. The bumpy road of this life cannot be traveled alone. Our Jesus Who is the Way longs to be Who He is; their Answer. The Answer to their desperate cries of hopelessness.

Will I see them?
Will I become the answer revealing, The Answer?

Father God, thank you for the reminder of seeing others through your beautiful eyes of Love and Mercy. Lord, I have the Answer within me and with me. Thank You God for Your Spirit, the Holy Spirit that is within me, Who provides Strength and Comfort. My Teacher who guides me into Truth. Thank you for Your boldness that allows me to approach Your throne of Grace, and also allows me to approach with confidence others who are in need of You. Thank You for the Words to speak, the embrace to reveal a glimpse of Your beautiful, loving embrace. Father, You are awesome and majestic, Your Splendor is beyond description. I long to hear the cries of hopelessness so that they can receive with joy, YOU their Hope! You are beyond Lovely and Beautiful. I love You Lord, In Jesus Mighty, Majestic, Victorious and Triumphant Name. Amen!

Saturday, September 18, 2010

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

“Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse.”
~ Romans 12:14 ~


My shift was over. Getting ready to leave, I went into the office area to retrieve my check. As I approached the glass window of the door, I began to knock, but stopped suddenly, when I realized that my manager was on the phone. She turned around to give me a look that revealed frustration and yelled, “What do you want?!”

Taken back by her reaction from her body language, face, and words, I stumbled over my words, as the ‘jab’ of her words took me by surprise. I finally said, “I apologize, I didn’t realize you were on the phone. I wanted to pick up my check.”

Suddenly, with great power this petite, thin woman violently opened the heavy door, which ricocheted off the wall, slammed, and opened again. Frustrated, she had her phone resting between her shoulder and face, as she held the door open with her foot, picking up the pile of checks and, one at a time with extreme motion, shuffling through each one as she threw each one on the desk until she finally found mine.

As she finally found it, she jerked her arm towards me, extending my check towards me and finally said, “Here!” I turned around walking away when I heard an associate say, “Teresa, can you let her know that she has a phone call on line 2.”

I said, with a stunned chuckle, “This probably isn’t a great time to do that.”

Tempted to scream at the top of my lungs, I walked outside, looked up at the sky, and through violently gritted teeth, I yelled, “GOD BLESS HER!”

I fought with the agony of wanting to leave. The ‘runner’ in me tried to talk to myself and say, “Get out of here!”

I fought with the agony of wanting to leave. The ‘runner’ in me attempted to cause me to escape.

To make matters easier to leave, I worked at a particular restaurant chain in which this store was known to have the highest turnover rate in the whole state. The turnover was mainly due to her lack of ability to manage and coach people. It was quite overwhelming as she was someone in which you would not want to be on her bad side.

That moment, as I released a blessing over her, I had peace, even through the frustration. Within three hours, I realized I had a missed call and a message on my voicemail. Upon checking my voicemail, it was none other than her!

This woman, never known to apologize, was calling me to apologize for the way she acted and pled with me not to leave, explaining to me the events that led to her exploding. At that moment, I realized that the blessing of God that was released over her was also released over me.

I got to see God’s hand of favor and provision work in my life as His Word manifested making a way, getting through the uncomfortable situation. To hear her apology made me realize her need of wanting to be understood even through her embarrassing outburst.

I came back that same evening to work my double shift when I was able to hug her, watching God’s love be poured out upon an unlovable person.

Now, I realize this doesn’t happen often, but for me, through this situation, we became close friends and people that I worked with saw another side of this woman that none of us knew existed. It was amazing to see God utilize me to cultivate and experience the way God saw her as His loving embrace began to squeeze His life out of her.

There have been other scenarios in my life where I decided to bless my enemies, and I can confidently say, every time peace was manifested. I was amazed as I watched the power of God move on my behalf, influencing the heart of the one who was considered my ‘enemy.’

The other times I didn’t see anything on their part change towards me; however, and most importantly, I saw change in my heart as compassion for that person came forth from the Holy Spirit of God.

The power of blessing our enemy is not because we decided to bless someone. It is because we have decided to become obedient to God and His Divine Nature who is The Blesser. We have been equipped to utilize God’s power of blessing over another person as we are able to sow righteous seed, seeing the righteous harvest of life from Almighty God, revealing His glory upon the earth!

I am reminded yet again, that to curse an enemy is to curse oneself; however, to bless an enemy is to bless oneself.

This post was posted on Heading Home's blog...Lynne is an amazing writer and woman who loves our God! Please visit her...you will be blessed!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Testimony of God through our story...

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


"For My thoughts are not your thoughts, and My ways are not your ways", saith the Lord. "For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts "
~ Isaiah 55:8, 9~


Where do I begin, but first thanking our Awesome God for Who He is; and for each of you who are in our lives!


First let me tell you our story from the past couple of days, as God's testimony is revealed:
A few days ago, I wrote in my journal to the Lord, "Lord, I trust you." And I heard, "Do you really trust Me?" My reply was paused as the question sunk in. As I awoke into sober humbleness, I slowly said, "I hope so." When the question was asked, "Do you really trust Me?" Who would have known what was going to happen next.


The evening was like any other; but yet it wasn't, does that make sense? LOL!

It rained the whole day, not letting up. Did we need it? Yes...but the overflow of rain was now beyond our need as it started to flood into different parts of Austin. That night after we had attended a couple of meetings within our schools with lower than lower attendance, we came home and my husband said he felt like he pulled a muscle in his abs, that was about 8:00 pm. He didn't feel very good and so he went to lay down. Upon laying down, the job he had hoped to have the next day which would be in New Mexico, did not come through and so we were praying for God's provision. As Tim laid down, it seemed like every hour he would get more nauseous and the pain would rise little by little.


Suddenly, we heard someone violently banging on our front door and then ringing our doorbell multiple times. I ran upstairs to get Tim, and saw that Cody and Tim were proceeding down the stairs at great speed. Cody answered the door to find our neighbor lady who was screaming, "MY baby! My baby! She's stuck in the water!" The first thing that came to my mind was the rain and a baby drowning outside! I panicked and ran outside in my pajamas to my neighbor lady and I said, "Where's your BABY?" She said, "No! She's not here, she is in her car on Lakeline" I thought, "What?" It was happening so fast...my mind was asking myself, "your baby is in a car on lakeline?" She said, "My daughter!" Well, I found out after a moment of shock, that her 'baby' was her 20 year old daughter stuck in her car as water started filling up her car and the pressure of the water rising would not allow her to get out. So my husband and son rushed to the scene, with the mom going with them. Tristin and I stayed behind and about five minutes after they left, our dog started barking, I looked out the window where he was barking and noticed a police car stopping in front of our neighbors house. As he stopped, the back door of his car opened up and our neighbor's daughter came running through the rain, out of his squad car. Well, the police officer had safely gotten her out of her car and dropped her off...so I called my son to let him know that she had been dropped off, in which they ended up turning around.


Well, after that ordeal, we went from tired to 'wide awake'! My husband's pain was getting worse and yet we managed to finally fall asleep at around 11:30 pm. At about 2:30 am, I awoke to groaning sounds of great pain from my husband. Well, if you know my husband, he's a 'tough guy'; so with his groanings, I knew he was in a lot of pain. I remember running downstairs and getting my CD player with Freddy Hayler's CD, "Song of Angels" and I played it in our room, prayed over him and with great hesitance, text our pastor and his wife.


Shortly after, Tim fell asleep for a little bit, then woke up with major pain and I remember him crying out, "Lord, please show me what it is and what I need to do." By this time it was about 4:15 am. I had gotten up and was in the bathroom, I felt as though I needed to get dressed and put my make up on and then by this time Tim had been vomiting because the pain was so great. Throughout that night, we thought for sure it was a bad flu, then we thought it was food poisoning because of the pain that was going up his spine; but that was outruled, because we had all eaten the same thing that night. I finally asked, "Tim, do I need to take you to the emergency room?" He replied with great agony, "Yes". At that moment, I knew the pain was definitely bad...because normally the answer would have been, "No". We got into the car and Tim said, "Teresa, I prayed and asked the Lord what is this and what do I need to do? The answer I got was, "appendix and you need to go to the hospital." On our way, we prayed for God's favor over our coming and going. I also hesitantly called our pastors to give them an update as they prayed as it was so early in the morning.


Upon arriving to the ER, I am not kidding...there were NO patients...no, not one! Tim was literally treated wthin 10 minutes of us getting into the ER...they saw the severity of his pain, being that vomitig was induced due to the pain. They told us the different things it could be; they were thinking most likely it was kidney stones; and Tim told the guys that were working on him, "I asked the Lord what it was, and I heard 'appendix'." They said, "Well, we will have to do a body scan." (I"m thinking...great...$$$$, but suddenly was reminded that my husband is more important than the cost of any test). They hooked him to an IV with pain medication, took him in for a body scan and within a few minutes, our pastor arrived with his bible in hand.


Soon after, the results of his blood came back and they found that his white blood cell count was high, which revealed that there was an infection. They then came back and said, "The radiologist saw that it is your appendix, it is infected and you're going to need to get it removed today." To see what Tim heard from the Lord as it was confirmed by the ER staff was amazing. They informed us that they called the surgeon and they needed to wait for the team to arrive and he would be the first in surgery. I am not kidding by 7:00 am the surgeon and her team were coming in one by one, introducing themselves and asking Tim the same questions. They were beyond nice and so kind throughout the whole process...by the time they arrived, they were preparing Tim for surgery. As the surgeon came in and before she left, I asked if she would mind if we prayed over her, and she said, she would not mind. Our pastor prayed God's wisdom and understanding to be revealed and that her hands be guided by God's hands.


Immediately, the peace of God came over me as I was able to release my husband wholeheartedly. Soon after, Tim was rolled out of the room by 7:30 am to go into surgery. The surgery was lathroscopic and when she had gone into remove the appendix, she found that it was highly infected, ready to burst. She also repaired a hernia somewhere around the belly button. The surgery ended up being a little over an hour and he was in recovery by 8:45 am.

The whole post-surgery process was amazing. The hospital was first class and even the accomodations were nice. Even though the financial part was in the back of my mind, I was reminded of that moment just a few days before when I said, "I trust You." And then reminded of the poignant question, "Do you really trust Me?" I was reminded at that moment...this does not take God by surprise. Then I looked back, Tim was suppose to have a job that day, but it was cancelled, he would have been in a different state, going through airports, and not with his family and then what if he had been in another hospital with no one? Wow! God is so amazing! There are things I don't understand, but it's not for me to understand for I am reminded that "my thoughts are not HIS thoughts, nor my ways HIS ways, saith the Lord".


Your responses through text messages, phone calls from friends from all over the country, room visits from my Dad, Don, and Heath. My Dad, coming up to see us, Tim was sleeping and my dad wisked me to the cafe and fed me lunch; my mom came at dinner time as she drove in an hour and a half, feeding us dinner in the hospital, and bringing flowers. Of course, Tim's mom, she repeatedly said every phone call, "Please if you need anything, you call me right away." I had friends texting, "I'm bringing food over...", "We'll pick your daughter up from school"; "My pastors had meals lined up for the rest of the week from families within our church; your encouraging words...we ARE STILL BLOWN AWAY by God's goodness revealed through each of you!!!!!!


Our prayer is that every person, family, staff member at the hospital, doctors and nurses who assisted my husband and our family in any way, would be blessed expedentially beyond measure in the Name of Jesus! Your thoughtful words, your prayers and your immediate action in serving our family are such a gift to us, but MORE than anything, I know it blesses our Father God!


I know this is lengthy, but I want you to see that we are not in despair (II Corinthians 4:8)...our God is faithful, no matter the circumstances, He will always show that HE Is mightier than any mountain, than any giant that attempts to come against us, trying to draw fear out of us...but I do trust in our God and I know that He is going to reveal provision as He has revealed such beautiful favor in the midst of this stressful situation. The amazing part? We weren't stressed...our daughter was dancing in the hospital room, pretending to be dad's nurse, jerking dad's legs around, straightening up around the room and so excited that she could serve her dad. She was so funny to watch; God even utilized her in such a way to get our minds off of the situation and just enjoy doing life together, no matter where we are; as long as our family is together, we are counting that blessing. Our son was at home, tidying up the house, picking up after himself...our kids are such a blessing!


As we went home last night, Tim remained in the hospital...Tristin and I prayed over dad and she said, "Dear God (pause), thank you for letting our daddy be with us another day." When she prayed this to our Heavenly Father, tears came forth upon the realization that she knew that God was the reason dad was given permission to be here on earth another moment. We may not have the money like we use to; but we have each other. I have my husband and children, my parents and sisters, my church family and friends, what precious gifts from God! I thank God for each of you and I pray you will constantly see God through ALL circumstances; the good ones and the bad ones too. I have been reminded, yet again, that nothing takes God by surprise. As long as we remember that, we can lean on and trust Him, versus resisting Him because we think we need to be in control by worrying and fretting. By worrying and fretting, the results have always been associated with great stress...but with trusting God and Him only it results in great peace no matter what is seen all around us.


I pray that I am reminded of God's faithfulness daily, moment by moment and even as I sleep; for Faithfulness is WHO HE IS!


UPDATE: Tim is now home! Praise God!!!

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Excerpt from Chapter Two, "God Is Enthralled By Your Beauty"

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


Here is a small excerpt from chapter two of God Is Enthralled By Your Beauty. As mentioned in several posts before, I am placing excerpts of the book I was led to write onto my blog. I would encourage you to read chapter one so that you can better understand chapter two's excerpt. I pray you are blessed and that as you read you are led to rise up on behalf of girls and women alike who must be delivered and celebrated into God's glorious love.

Some of these women we are called to celebrate, have rejected us. However, remember they have not only rejected you, but they reject freedom from insecurity and shame. With and in God's love, we are more than able to overflow with abundant, powerful freedom that saturates their lives, so that they and we will never be the same!


There are two excerpts from chapter two (The whole chapter itself is not posted)...


“Blessed (Happy, fortunate, to be envied) is he who has forgiveness of his transgression continually exercised upon him, whose sin is covered. Blessed (Happy, fortunate, to be envied) is the man to whom the Lord imputes no iniquity and in whose spirit there is no deceit. When I kept silence [before I confessed], my bones wasted away through my groaning all the daylong. You are a hiding place for me; You, Lord, preserve me from trouble, you surround me with songs and shouts of deliverance. Selah [Pause and calmly think of that]!

~ Psalm 32:1-3, 7 (Amp.)



"...The manifestation of Bitterness was alarming. It literally changed and disfigured everything about her. The hope of that little girl that she once was, was now gone. It would seem as though there would be no trace of her again.

I heard this girl once full of life; whimpering with regretful cries. It seemed from the sounds of her cries that bitterness was attaching itself to her in unimaginable pain. The eerie sound of her pain was overwhelming to my ears.

She cried out, “Daddy”! “Daddy”! He immediately answered with a voice so booming and beautiful. She did something that alarmed me and that was to ask a question that I could never bear to hear again, especially to ask such a question to Father God. With a bitter tone and her fists clenched in anger, she yelled, “Why have you forsaken me?”

The loud cry of bitterness was so painful. She inhaled deeply as if to cry even louder in between the cries and the breath. Then there was silence. The silence could be described as utter darkness to the ears. Even my ears had not experienced silence to this degree.

Crawling on the ground, I suddenly felt the ground shake below me, it shook with such power; it was God’s Mighty tears falling to the ground.

Suddenly, I saw these two amazing hands. These hands were so beautiful. Hands so detailed with power. Hands I had never seen before as they tenderly took hold of her. His loving, booming voice said, “O my princess do not judge me, for I am God. I am not God who forsakes and I have not forsaken you.”

She jumped angrily out of those unforgettable Hands without saying a word. However, her heart and eyes said it all as they filled with hate towards Him.

He stayed by her side as He whispered His promises of Who He was, is and is to come; choking back loving tears. She drowned out His loving whisper by screaming and running into a room I had not yet seen until that very moment. The name above the door was posted a sign, “The Place of Secrecy”, along with the heart wrenching screams she slammed the door...

...There are deep wounds and ugly scars we have dared not look upon. Now why do we try to place those things into a place of secrecy? I believe it is not only 'survival mode', but also because we are made to believe it is better to ignore it and act as though it never happened, when in actuality it is as a festering poison in every area of our lives. The wounds of guilt and unworthiness must be revealed and rid of, so that it can be replaced with what God has so readily available for us ~ innocence and worthiness.

Our Daddy wants us to come to Him, no matter what we have done or have not done. He wants to lift us up, not to oppress us or be a victim of condemnation. We are His children. We are His victorious daughters.

We as His daughters will not be able to bear the opening of that door without our Father’s glorious love and grace. We must call upon Him!

I believe we will realize that this is not a bother to Him when we call upon Him. He wants us to call out to Him. He desires for us to know who we are in Him. The powerful moment of realizing who we are in Him, is realizing who He is!"

Sunday, August 29, 2010

August 30, 2010, "Pursuing God? Or pursuing the benefits of God?

"Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God."
~ Hebrews 12:1 & 2 ~


Pursing God? Or pursuing the benefits of God?

I was guilty of the second; pursuing the benefits of God.
I focused on being holy.
I focused on the blessings.
I focused on the fruit of the Spirit.
I focused on the provision of God.
I focused on the healing of God.
I focused on the miracles of God.
I focused on the Kingdom of God.
I focused on resisting the devil.
You name it, and I claimed it.
Yet, I realized even in this small focus blunder, it is ALL idolatry. What?!?! Yes, I said it, and I am guilty of it, 'Idolatry'. This may seem a bit harsh, but it's truth and I confess it. Why? Because my focus is not completely and wholly on Him and Him alone!


As my heart has been exposed
I long to pursue God for He is Holy.
I long to pursue God as He is the Blesser, revealing the blessings.
I long to pursue God who is revealed by the Spirit of God resulting in His amazing attributes.
I long to pursue God who is Healer.
I long to pursue the God who performs and creates miracles.
I long to pursue God who is glorious.
I long to pursue God and seek His face as He is righteousness.
I long to pursue God for He is King, and as King He reveals His Kingdom.
I must pursue Him and Him only. I must submit to Him and in that submission there is resistance to the devil who flees as he sees who I am submitting to.


So many times I and so many others have taken James 4:7 out of context. One day, I was in my kitchen preaching to myself, when the Spirit of God spoke through me. "When I submit to God there is an automatic resistance of the devil. It isn't a three step process of submit to God, resist the devil then he will flee from you. Do you know how Mighty I Am?" Almighty God revealed to me that day that when I submit to Him as revealed in Psalm 91; I take refuge under the Amazing power of God. When the enemy attempts to come against me, I have already resisted him by submitting to God and because of that submission the devil FLEES! It's not about my resistance that the devil flees, it is about my submission to God that results in the devil fleeing! It is a basic principle of submitting to one person, you resist the other.


Satan andhis demons are not threatened by my resistance,
they are threatened by my submission to God.


You may be asking, "Teresa, where are you going with this?" Well, I'm being driven to my heart. I'm being driven to yearn after the heart of God, not only His benefits. Does that make sense? I'm so tired of doing things because so many others within the church do it that way. If we are going to lead, we better know our Leader who knows where we are going! If we want to know who we are in Christ, we need to know Who Christ is! It isn't about who we think He is...it's about knowing who HE really is!


I received a profound analogy this morning as I was getting ready.


Here is the scenario:
A woman was reading my book and as she was finished reading, she flipped to the last page to find my contact information which was made available for direct communication with me, the author. Upon finding my contact information, she had a few questions about what I wrote, but instead of coming to me by calling or emailing me, she goes to another reader and asks for the interpretation of what I wrote. Well, the other reader has no idea what my intentions are to the fullest; so to interpret what I wrote would only be based on their opinion and perspective, not based upon the authors full knowing of what was intentionally written. Upon receiving this very live visual, I was led to the reminder of who the Author is of my life. He is not only the Author but He is also The Finisher of my faith. He wrote the book of my life, and for me to go to anyone else in regards to my story that I am to live out would be incredibly foolish. Today, I was reminded that He has given me the contact information to have direct communication with Him through our mediator Jesus Christ as revealed by the Holy Spirit of God. How do I know I have direct communication? Because of the reminder given to Jeremiah as recorded in Jeremiah 33:3, "Call unto Me, and I will answer you and show you great and mighty things which you never knew."


Are we going through the motions as on a treadmill?
Or are we going through great, purposeful action seeking the beautiful, indescribable, majestic face of Almighty God?


I praise God as more scales are falling off the eyes of my heart seeking Who He is as He reveals Himself so beautifully and so powerfully! I pray you are encouraged to seek Him for Who He is, not only for what He can do.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

God Is Enthralled By Your Beauty, Chapter One

Triumphant Victorious Reminders

As in the last two posts, I have mentioned that I would place excerpts from my book, "God is Enthralled By Your Beauty" Finally Looking Into the Mirror He Sees You In...below is the full chapter from chapter one.

Chapter One:

What Mirror Are You Looking Into?

Definition of Mirror: 1: A polished or smooth surface

(As of glass) that forms images by reflection

2: A true representation.

“For now we are looking in a mirror that gives only a dim (blurred) reflection [of reality as in a riddle or enigma], but then [when perfection comes] we shall see in reality and face to face! Now I know in part (imperfectly), but then I shall know and understand fully and clearly, even in the same manner as I have been fully and clearly known and understood [by God].”

I Corinthians 13:12 (Amp.)

I was enamored by the luxurious golden room filled with purity; draped with elegance and beauty.

Secretly watching with delight and awe as this beautiful girl gazed across the room into her beautifully adorned mirror. She ran closer to the mirror with whimsical grace. She saw herself with amazement as the mirror revealed such magnificent beauty!

She was awestruck as she gazed into the mirror at her beautiful almond shaped eyes. The long lashes framing her beautiful brown eyes; fluttering gracefully as a butterfly. Stepping back with her fingers on her lips, she tilted her head to the side as if she heard a whisper. She smiled with assurance, sighed with a knowing and gracefully closed her eyes as if the whisper in her ear was speaking dreams of romance.

This beautiful girl danced around the room; her dress spread open like a beautiful bell. The dress so perfectly twirled around her as it suspended in the air. Her arms spread open, as her head tilted back; her long hair effortlessly tossed about as she freely danced to a song that I could not hear ~ only her ears could hear what seemed to be a beautiful melody. I watched with envy, for she danced to a song ~ it would seem to be a song that had never graced our ears on earth, this song; only heard in heaven.

She danced so beautifully, an expression of her spirit that took flight as a soaring eagle. I was amazed by her knowing of who she was! She beheld the beauty of God and in seeing this, she was pleased.

The way she stared into the mirror was as though she could hear the distinct loving voice of her Father God. The music must have been the symphony of freedom. As I continued to watch in awe, it would seem that she could hear her Daddy accompanying the ‘symphony of freedom’ with His lyrics of beauty.

I realized with great astonishment that this little girl I secretly watched was none other than ~ me. I stood in disarray. I felt as if the ground and my body became one as I began to weep. I asked with a crying scream in disbelief, “Where did I go?” “Whathappened to me?”

Upon regaining my composure, I let out a cry of desperation. I found myself screaming for her and the only thing I could do was shout over and over with all that was within me, “Come back!” Yet it seemed my shouting only pushed her further away.

Suddenly! I awoke from the realistic dream; gasping for air as I regained my breath.

I pondered the thought of being a child. Wow! Many children seem to perceive the world through the eyes of purity. The reminiscing thought of being a small child was so amazing.

The beautiful girl that I watched with envy was truly blessed by her Father God. She saw the world she lived in with the eyes of her heart; the indescribable yearning and God given desire, to be free, loving, and to just be ~ His daughter and princess. She possessed a pure, loving heart that wanted to help every hurting person, every creature great and small.It was as though she lived her life looking into His mirror of beauty.

As she danced watching her reflection in the mirror; I could see her imaginations of herself dancing with the most handsome prince. Her dance revealed that without a doubt or question she was the most beautiful princess in all the land.

I then asked myself, “How did she come to this compelling realization that she was beautiful?” That is when I was lovingly reminded of the beautiful scripture in Psalm 139:14, “We are fearfully and wonderfully made.” I ponder yet again; we are fearfully and wonderfully made.

Her display of gratitude and the graceful dance unto God revealed how God so beautifully placed this into our spirit. We are fearfully and wonderfully made.

I realized with joy, that in the life of our once three year-old daughter, Tristin was absolutely in awe of herself.Tristin was mesmerized by who she was. She looked into any mirror with confidence. It was as though I could see through those eyes of purity that she dreamed gigantic dreams. She turned her head slightly, placed her little hands on her hips and then naturally posed. She looked up at me with a serious grin on her face as her beautiful eyes pierced mine, wistfully asking in her small high pitch voice, “What you think, Mom?”We giggled with each other and I had the opportunity to tell her that she was and still is the most beautiful little princess in the whole world.

Naturally she looked up at me with her big, beautiful, brown eyes and said, “Thank you!” She said it with absolute assuredness. Most of all, she was glad that Mom agreed with what she already thought so confidently about herself.

As I drifted back to sleep the same girl was before me in my dream. She was enchanted by this amazing, loving voice. As I looked a little closer I realized, as tears streamed down my face, that as she looked into the beautifully adorned mirror, she was actually beholding the eyes of her loving Father God and saw herself the way He saw her ~ with His grace and His beauty.

Suddenly, I saw something that did not make sense, yet I could not deny what I saw, for it was right before me. There was a dark cloud moving in, towards the little girl. It was moving fast into the room as it finally hovered over her. The cloud produced what would seem to be raindrops, yet, when I leaned into hear the rain fall, what I heard shocked me. I realized the rain fall was disguised with actual voices of the enemy influencing the world, repetitively chanting in an evil whisper, “You are not worthy.” “You are ugly.” “You have no beauty.” “You are not important.” “Shut Up! You have no voice.”

I shouted at the voices, closing my ears not being able to bear one more voice of “death” spoken over her. I watched her as I prayed with great anticipation that she would ignore the deceptive voices.

This is when the unimaginable happened; she took her eyes off the beautifully adorned mirror and as though she was under a ‘spell’, her eyes looked different, her beautiful smile ~ vanished. I grabbed hold of the floor as my nails clenched the ground, gritting my teeth in utter disgust and anger screaming, “They are lying to you! Don’t listen to them! Look into the mirror!”

The voice that was so familiar, the voice of her Daddy, she chose to ignore. As I watched in disbelief, the repetitive voices took over. She walked in unison and to the rhythm of the voices. She unknowingly walked over to the covered, uninviting object; so cold and overwhelmingly depressing.

She seemed to be in a trance and the eerie, evil voices subtly transformed from a whisper to a faint shout, as I heard, “Uncover it, uncover it…” Her hand slowly reached for the torn, aged fabric; old and tattered. The texture of the fabric was rough and heavy, somewhat comparable to a burlap material. I could tell that the fabric had been used many times over. I pled with her, “Please! Listen and follow the voice of your Father God!”

Simultaneously as I pled with her, she slowly reached out her hand and uncovered the object. No! O God, No! What I saw was horrific! The girl that once danced to the song of beauty was now still. She was still with shock, looking into a glass object. This object looked like a mirror, but it was not. Her image was distorted in the reflection. She was so beautiful, yet the glass object revealed no beauty, the revealing object stripped her of what she truly was. She was looking into none other than an object of deception.

When I saw her image all I could see was what she saw, and that was a girl who was battered, and full of despair. The evidence of life had been stripped from her eyes.The beautiful dress that she had been wearing was now violently replaced with torn and filthy rags.

Not only were my senses of what I saw overwhelming, but now the smell. The only thing I could compare the smell to is the smell of decay, revealing overwhelming sadness. The image was so familiar and then it ‘hit’ me; this is when I believed the lie, versus continuing to believe the truth.To actually see at that very moment the devices and weapons of the enemy was utterly devastating.

Does this scene sound familiar? Is this you? Are you gripping your heart as it aches for this girl who has been deceived? Are you feeling anger rise up within you as you realize that the beautifully adorned mirror, were as the loving eyes of God being rejected as she chose to see through the lies of the enemy.She chose the enemy’s lie of bondage over the Truth of Freedom from her Father.

The mirror waits patiently for you to see what God sees. Are you looking into the loving eyes of God, or are you looking into the eyes of the enemy?

Awake, my sister! Awake!Awake! Hear the voice of your Father God!

“Arise [from the depression and prostration in which circumstances

have kept you-rise to a new life]! Shine (be radiant with the glory of the Lord),

for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord has risen upon you!”

~ Isaiah 60:1, AMP