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

Warrior Moms of Christ In Prayer

As a new school year begins, I wanted to remind you of the power of prayer through Jesus Christ.

If you click on the following link, you can read a post that I wrote in 2008 in regards to the prayer group that the Lord laid on my heart to start. I pray that this post will encourage and uplift you as it did for me. I was reminded of the power of the tool of prayer as we fix our eyes on our Awesome God!

Click here or click below:

Sunday, August 22, 2010

August 22, 2010, "God Is Enthralled By Your Beauty" Introduction

Triumphant Victorious Reminders

As mentioned in my last post...for the next few weeks, I will be inserting excerpts from each chapter of my book, "God Is Enthralled by Your Beauty".

Today's excerpt is from the introduction of the book:

The power of beauty seems to have disappeared and all that remains is the cloud of smoke that has sadly settled with perversion. The world’s definition of beauty mutilates and destroys as shallowness attempts to replace the true definition of depth.

This is a charge to all women, from the young to the elderly! We must know and realize the power of beauty and purity. The power of purity is not to be confused with timidity or fear; but beauty and purity of the Lord avails powerful strength; revealing who He is. We have tremendous responsibility to stand in our rightful place as daughters of the King. We must break down the walls of seclusion, insecurity, shame and masculinity disguised as feminism. We are not called to be men; we are called to be women of grace, executing righteousness.

Imagine for a moment, looking into the loving eyes of God. I believe we would be pleasantly surprised to see His beautiful princess, His beautiful daughter, adorned in His amazing love, forgiveness, mercy, peace, gentleness and faithfulness as precious jewels adorn the crown upon our heads. Realizing we are clothed in the finest linen the world has never seen, the linen of His grace. Our eyes filled with purity and gentleness.

Instead, many women look into the deceptive eyes of the enemy, clothed in torn, wrinkled, heavy garments of ugliness. The heavy coat of self-hatred, unforgiveness, judgment, anxiousness and depression is worn as the eyes of many are sadly filled with despair and hopelessness.

My beloved sister I believe that Jesus pleads with each of us and says, “No more my beautiful princess, I have delivered you from the lies of the enemy.” In the Word of God the Lord desires “…To give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness…”—Isaiah 61:3.

When reading this book I believe you will find the journey of falling in love with the little girl you once knew and bring her forth to know her rightful place as a daughter of the King. We must allow other daughters, once and for all to see the destructive and deceptive tactics of the enemy, seeing the transformation of God as they finally experience restoration and truth.

As you read this book, I pray you will allow Him to rescue you in His mighty arms of love and strength. More so, I pray you will only receive from this book what the Lord would have you to receive.

My great prayer of hope is that you choose to experience God's mighty power and majesty and that you will know, and confidently remember that “God is enthralled by your beauty.”

Saturday, August 21, 2010

August 21, 2010, "God Is Enthralled By Your Beauty"

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

"Hear, O daughter, consider, submit, and consent to my instruction: forget also your own people and your father's house: So will the King desire your beauty; because He is your Lord, be submissive and reverence and honor Him."
~ Psalm 45:10 & 11 ~

Starting tomorrow, for the next few weeks, I'm going to insert the content of each chapter of my small book that I started writing in March 2004.


The book is titled, "God Is Enthralled By Your Beauty" Finally Looking into The Mirror He Sees You In. I pray that it will inspire and captivate the heart of each woman who reads it. If you are a gentleman reading this, I pray you will also be tenderly overwhelmed by the beautiful love that God has for each of us.

God Is Enthralled by Your Beauty was self-published in 2007 and over 100 books have been printed. Yes, I know, this is a very small number, as most of my books have been given as gifts; however, I am reaching my small goal of purchasing my ISBN number, which allows my book to be sold in bookstores, online and other resourceful outlets. So in the meantime, as I post a chapter a week, please share with me your insight, and if you know it will help others, please share it with others.

I know this book was written to help younger and older women alike! As I have spoken to several women since the book was printed, I spoke to young women from high school all the way to one women in her 90's; the common thread ~ the desire to be beautiful. We are daughters of our Father and we desire to be seen for who we are in Him, not for what others see without Him!

This book allowed me to go beyond the surface of physical beauty and allowed me personally to see deep below the surface, exposing the truth of my heart. I realized the importance and necessity that we see ourselves through the eyes of God. As we see through the eyes of God, the object of deception must be destroyed so that we not only see ourselves victorious but we celebrate other women allowing them to rise up and take their place as true daughters of the King! We can no longer act like spoiled, pretentious brats. We are royalty because of Jesus and Jesus alone. In the Kingdom of God it is about serving others and we are able to do so, because we see themselves as more than adequate, holding our head up high, knowing to Whom we belong!

We must no longer reveal our lives as daughters of a 'slum lord', living life as victims. No more! We must rise above, for we have been made victorious...not because what we have or haven't done...but because of what our Jesus has done!

Today, this leads me to the reminder that beauty belongs to Him and in that beauty we must reveal who He is. What does beauty have the ability to do? Beauty has the ability to captivate the one who is watching, looking and observing! There are those who are watching, looking and observing my life...are they smitten? Or are they turning their heads in disgust?

Father God, In the name of Jesus, by the power of the Holy Spirit thank You for equipping each of us to reveal Your beauty. Father, in obedience to You, I long to submit to Your equipping power; revealing your beauty upon a world filled with vain deceit. Lord, You are indescribably beautiful as you so lavishly reveal Your majestic, matchless all-powerful love. I love You Lord. Thank You Jesus! Amen.

Monday, August 16, 2010

August16, 2010, "Cookies"

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 NKJV~

"Roll your works upon the Lord [commit and trust them wholly to Him; He will cause your thoughts to become agreeable to His will, and] so shall your plans be established and succeed."
~ Proverbs 16:3 Amplified ~

Cookies. Who doesn't love cookies? Ok...there may be some out there who don't prefer them; but I know many who do; and I'm one of them.

God knows that I long for the day to get to be a vessel in blessing someone financially...but in the meantime, He is showing me to give what I do have. In my case, it has been giving my time in making chocolate chip cookie bars. Sounds silly, doesn't it? There have been many times where I would rather not embarrass myself with making something so simple, seemingly nothing profound; however, I am learning when I commit it to God; He will make it become a gift of great significance. Not the gift itself; but the act in giving the gift, revealing Him, The Gift Giver.

I have told many people this before; my dream job would be to deliver flowers. It is somewhat of a selfish desire. You may ask, "Selfish?" Well, yes, somewhat. I have thought how awesome it would be to have a job, to get to see a smile on the recipient's face as they open the door and to their delight an array and assortment of beautiful colors annihilate their eyes; the beautiful display translates that the recipient is loved, thought of and cared for.

The thought of the flowers leads me back to the cookies. It has been awesome to see the appreciation the recipient's receive when they receive a gift in cookies. So small, seemingly insignificant; yet a great tool to show appreciation and revealing a glimpse of our Father God's love for them. Over two weeks ago, we were led to bless the local fire department, my daughter and I were turning into the fire department location when on the sign, it read:






Whenever a plate or box of cookies are dropped off; we are led to write a note of the powerful message of God's Salvation, revealing our Rescuer; Jesus Christ. It was awesome to do that with the firemen; as they have rescued many; and to show our appreciation to them our earthly rescuers; we can reveal through our lives our Rescuer; The Way, The Truth and The Life...Jesus Christ, The Son of God. Revealing Him by the power of the Holy Spirit.

Two weeks later, it was laid on our son, his friend and our daughter's hearts to bless the people at our local Walgreen's...as we prepared and prayed over the cookies, praying that they would be a blessing to the one's who receive and that as they ate, they would truly TASTE and SEE that the LORD is GOOD!


Now look at the recipient...look at her smile! When I see her smile, I think, "Wait 'til you see how awesome God is; you won't be able to stop smiling!" The supernatural strength we need and must have; is revealed by His Everlasting Joy!


This woman's smile reminds me that I must allow the Lord to be seen in my life with great delight; causing the ones who were in mourning to laugh. Causing the ones who were depressed to become joyful no matter the circumstances and to cause the once hopeless to be hope-filled because of our Hope of Glory, Jesus Christ!


Saturday, August 14, 2010

"Presumption" Post Written by: MTJ

Today, I wanted to introduce you to a blogger who goes by "MTJ" from My Thought-filled Journey
www.mythought-filledjourney.blogspot.com

For myself, this post was insightful especially in regards to something we all fall into, and that is 'Presumption'. I pray you will be blessed as I was. I know he will welcome you anytime as you come by for a visit. Be blessed...

"Presumption"


Do you see the face? Or an Eskimo?, image courtesy of mentaljynx.com

I’m reading through 1 Kings as part of my morning bible devotion, study and meditation and I have just finished the reign of Solomon (chapter 11). The interesting thing to me is that God told Solomon to,
Ask what you wish me to give you.1

To which Solomon replied:
…So give Thy servant an understanding heart to judge Thy people to discern between good and evil…2

I remind myself that God is never caught off guard or surprised by the things that occur in His creation but this is written in such a way that I’m surprised at what Solomon asked for because of how God responds:

…I have done according to your words. Behold, I have given you a wise and discerning heart…And I have also given you what you have not asked, both riches and honor…3

I thought about that and wondered how I would have replied to God if I were told to; Ask what you wish me to give you. The thought of having anything I want is both overwhelming and daunting. There had to be some degree of wisdom in Solomon’s consciousness to ask God for discernment and not material wealth. It would be hard to put aside thoughts of What would benefit me most? over How can I best serve others?

So I have much admiration for Solomon because he exhibited a wisdom that humbles me because I have seen my own greed and desire for self up close and personal.

This led me to the realization that I’ve often presumed to know what God wants for me and off I go running with my presumption. I’m fortunate that God didn’t look upon me as a modern day Korah, whom you remember, challenged the authority of Moses and the priesthood of Aaron. Korah presumed this and defiantly said to Moses,

…You have gone far enough, for all the congregation are holy, every one of them, and the Lord is in their midst; so why do you exalt yourselves above the assembly of the Lord?4

The real problem here is that Korah viewed God as one views a peer;he didn’t see Moses as an extension of God’s authority and leadership. As a result, he didn’t understand that it was God he challenged, not Moses. I believe this is what God referred to in Psalm 50:21,

These things you have done, and I kept silence; You thought that I was just like you…5

It’s like in my mind, because God doesn’t discourage my thoughts and actions, my view of Him is that He’s not the authority in my life. Much like the child who says,

You’re not the boss of me!

I look at God as I would look at any other man; I’ll let Him be my equal but no more. That’s pretty presumptuous of me; don’t you think?

"...and the earth opened its mouth and swallowed them up, and their households, and all the men who belonged to Korah, with their possessions."6

The idea of being swallowed up by the earth isn't very appealing.

Right about now you should be wondering, What do Korah and the book of Numbers have to do with 1 Kings? I presumed that with all that wisdom Solomon was given by God, along with the acknowledgement that he had not asked for any personal gain, that Solomon would be on a path that was mistake-free.

As John McClane would say, Bzzzzzzzzzzz…Sorry Hans, wrong guess!

Solomon was an idolater, he worshipped other gods. How could he possibly make that kind of error in judgment? A man whose wisdom exceeded everyone’s yet he followed after pagan gods. Did life get to a point where Solomon just put his on autopilot and looked to do things to occupy his time? I don’t know but something went wrong in his life; really, really wrong.

Perhaps it was his love of women but it’s hard for me to imagine being bored with seven hundred wives and three hundred concubines. The bible says Solomon got old and his wives turned his heart to other gods; to the point where he no longer was committed to God.Solomon was given a pattern for living, the life of his father David;but he substituted another pattern for his father’s and became a worshipper of foreign gods.

Solomon made a presumption that what he did was acceptable by God.

I have a pattern for living too, the life of Jesus Christ. The danger for me is to presume that when God is silent, I look on Him as if he were just another man and I go substituting something else in place of the life of Christ.

Big presumption….big wrong presumption!

I want to keep framed in my mind that there is no cruise control setting in my walk with Christ. It is a daily effort on my part to consciously recognize the temptations that would lead me astray and into a lifestyle that disrespects and dishonors God.

It’s easy to make a presumption; it’s a lot harder to be right about something I presume.

The Lord knows the thoughts of man, That they are a mere breath.7

It is better to take refuge in the Lord Than to trust in man.8

Their inner thought is, that their houses are forever…9

When I pondered to understand this, it was troublesome in my sight. Until I came into the sanctuary of God; Then I perceived their end.10

I considered my ways, and turned my feet to Thy testimonies.11

Father,

I despise my thoughts that presume and dishonor You. I choose to seek You with my whole heart. Holy Spirit, lead me along the path of what is right, just, faithful and true. Oh God, You are not a man, there is none like You in the heavens or on the earth. You are sovereign and supreme and my life is in Your hands. Have Your way and do with me as what seems right in Your eyes. Thank You for the covenant of grace through my Savior and Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

August 11, 2010, "Am I fasting my spiritual food and water?"

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

"Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be filled."
~ Matthew 5:6 ~

I woke up this morning writing in my journal to our son who is 18 years old. As I was writing to him, a phrase came forth upon the page as the ink flowed from my pen:
"We cannot fast our spiritual food or water. We must hunger and thirst for God's righteousness moment by moment." Upon reading this, I was led to Matthew 5:6...don't you love it when you receive confirmation from God's Word? The Holy Spirit within us desires and longs to reveal Who He is in us and through us.

As I thought about this phrase that I was led to write, I realized the times where I unknowingly fasted from God's word. I unknowingly fasted from my communion with Him. I unknowingly fasted from stirring up and drinking from the Rivers of Living Water, revealed by the Holy Spirit. Another way to say it is, I abstained from and denied myself my LIFE my Reason for living! Upon this realization, it led me to the condition of my heart (my friend Julie has helped me with this realization; it's always about the heart). This abstaining from is the cause to the condition of our hearts, this is the cause of the condition of the body that says it's the Body of Christ. Yet without condemnation, how can I say so loosely that I am part of the Body of Christ when I don't feed and drink from Almighty God, revealing His love and His hope?

I am reminded that I have used this term so lightly, "I am part of the Body." But really, am I submitting myself to the Head of the Body which is Jesus Christ?

I am being reminded at this moment that being part of the Body of Christ has nothing to do with how I feel or how I have been wronged or how I think our lives should go...it is truly about our Father God.

Upon that reminder, I am reminded of something else; the Kingdom of God is built upon the revelation that Peter received when Jesus asked, "Who do you say that I am?" And Peter said, "You are the Christ the Son of the Living God." Jesus replied, "Blessed are you Simon Bar-Jonah for flesh and blood has not revealed this to you but My Father who is in heaven. And I also say to you that you are Peter and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it." I must remember that the rock ( or the revelation) is not built on Simon Peter, it is built upon the revelation that Simon Peter received from Almighty God (Matthew 16:15-19).

We must be so intentional to learn that we are not the kingdom or the church; it is God's government that is the kingdom and the church; we serve within that kingdom or we don't. We have fallen into this pit of not understanding the Kingdom of God; yet look at all the examples that Jesus gave of the Kingdom of God. I want to be so careful that I do not get caught into this trap of self-deceit and the traditions of man. We are part of the body; but what body are we part of? Are we part of the body of the world? Or are we part of the Body of Jesus Christ? The Body of Jesus Christ feeds on God's Word and thirsts after Him, The Living Water.

I am so being challenged this morning as I see God's great love revealed in Truth being shed upon the lies that I have fallen prey to.

Father God, thank You for showing me who I am in You. Thank You Father that I must reveal you by not abstaining from You, my Life, my everything! You are so lovely Father. Thank You for your Freedom in Truth! You are amazing God and I get to call you Abba! Daddy! Thank You Jesus for providing the Way to be reunited with our Father!

Friday, August 6, 2010

August 6, 2010, "Motivation by the signals to trust"

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

"He who believes in Me (Jesus) as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water."
~ John 7:38 ~

To be motivated by who you are...is a wowing, awesome revelation of Who You are!

You have given our bodies a mechanism of pain to motivate us for relief.
You have provided a mechanism of tiredness to motivate us to rest.
You have caused the mechanism of hunger pangs to motivate us to eat.
You have given us the mechanism of cravings to reveal the vitamins we lack.
You have caused the mechanism of thirst to quench that thirst motivating us to become re-hydrated.

Lord, I thank You for your provision of what is triggered when there is a lacking not only physically but also in our hearts.
May we see that Your provision of health is right before us. May we not deafen the signals by resisting what is needed; and may we not deafen the signals by overdoing what is needed. May we be a balanced people; spirit, soul and body because of Jesus Christ Who must be our Salvation; for He is the Only Way, He is the Only Cure!
Father, in the Name of Jesus I thank You for the revelation of Your understanding that You are the Only Way; whether it is with someone who is so kind and loving all the way to the unlovable who have committed heinous crimes and have done things beyond even our minds comprehension of evil.

Lord, You have given our spirit the same mechanism of tiredness to find our only Rest in You.
You have given our spirit the same mechanism of hunger to motivate us to our only Satisfaction, which is You, for You are the All Sustaining Bread of Life.
You have given our spirit the same mechanism of cravings to reveal what You want to so lavishly provide, to motivate us to eat on Your Word.
You have given our spirit the same mechanism of thirst so that You, our Living Water quenches our thirst from other things and other gods.

Lord, thank you for the signals...may we listen to those signals and be actively motivated as we cling, focus and as our eyes stay on You, because we trust in You!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

August 4, 2010, "Sedition"

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

"A wholesome tongue is a tree of life, but perverseness in it breaks the spirit."
~ Proverbs 15:4 ~

I have been convicted by the Holy Spirit in many areas. The one I highlight today is in regards to talking about others. The Holy Spirit was ministering to me the other day, the words whispered into my heart went something like this, "If the person you are about to speak about, if they were in the room, would you be saying what you are about to say?" The answer most of the time; ABSOLUTELY NOT! With that conviction, it stopped me. As I stopped and turned, I realized that when we go into conversations with this reminder; just imagine what awesome things we would see in building up other believers. When we realize what we say about others ~ to others, it either builds up or tears down.

This conviction reminds me of sedition. It is mentioned twice that I know of in Ezra 4:15, 19, I recommend if you haven't studied Ezra, do so, it is so amazing to study as the Holy Spirit teaches.

Sedition from what I have seen defined causes a rebellion, discontentment towards authority. Now no where that I know of does the Word of God mention an actual 'spirit of sedition'; however, we know that the sinful act of sedition in the way that it is defined is not of God. However, if we do operate in sedition, it must ONLY be utilized against the works of the flesh! We need to rebel against the flesh and the influences thereof. We must; it is mandatory to overthrow the flesh that attempts to govern us and others.

As we utilize sedition against our flesh, we must realize that our mouths are tools from God to glorify Him (Ephesians 4, Proverbs 18:21, Proverbs 15:1-4); they are not tools to glorify our itching ears of gossip or to speak harshly towards or about another...the sinful act of sedition is like a cancer; it starts with one cell and it latches onto other cells and before you know it, death is coming upon the body.

In regards to the body, we must remember that we are part of the Body of Christ Jesus. We must reveal LIFE and LIFE MORE ABUNDANTLY...Jesus Christ! We must reveal HIM, not by our power or might, but by the Spirit of God. When we reveal Jesus within the Body; by default it will be revealed to the world! In order for the Light to shine the farthest; the light must shine brightest at home! (C.T. Studd's quote paraphrased). In our fellowships we must, and must being mandatory, reveal the ABUNDANT LIFE of God, we are not to reveal the decaying death of sin!

Father God, thank You Lord for equipping us with the tools to stir ourselves and others up in the faith of WHO YOU ARE and what YOU provide!!!!!

Monday, August 2, 2010

August 3, 2010, "Fret and Worry to Faith and Releasing the burden"

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

"And let us not grow weary while doing good for in due season we shall reap if we do not lost heart."
~ Galatians 6:9 ~

I am in a familiar place. I don't like this sort of familiarity. The 'me' that God has called me to be is either going to be revealed; or someone else will. Lord, You know I am in this place of transition. I disdain and despise this place...but I ask myself, "Am I going to see this as a place as a place where I can grow in You Lord, as my eyes remain on You?" Or am I going to look at this place as an opportunity to go from fretting and worrying to mounting distrust? This 'distrust' is not only in regards to You Lord; it is also in regards to a person I love very much. It is not a distrust as in infidelity; but a distrust in, "Will this person make the God decision?" This place of familiarity; this place of transition; this place of distrust; which way will I go? Will I be led by the circumstances and run away; unintentionally running from You? I know this running away will only lead to shaky and unstable ground resulting in destruction. This path will only lead me away from my trust and reliance on You Lord. Or will I be led by the Spirit of You God? Will I trust in You to the place of giving my overwhelming worries over to You, my Overwhelming God?

I know the answers because I know an amazing glimpse of Who You are. Yet, will I choose You, The Answer? I want to scream with all that I have and am. My fleshly nature wants to run away; the temptation to leave is so strong. The thwarted drawing away from Truth as I think more upon this unstable place; the more I seem to desire.

The reasoning in my mind tempts me to run to the unstable place; attempting to reveal that it is better than where I am. I can see the lie right before me, as my mind wars against itself.

I know I must trust in You. I know the Right Answer...I know You. My willingness to obey wants to take flight, I'm beginning to grow weary; I don't want to fight.

But wait Teresa! This is not your fight; Teresa bring this to The Lord!

I must be reminded of this, for my life in You depends on it! Father, I bring this burden to You. My flesh desires to want to end it; but what will this accomplish? What will that do? It will accomplish nothing. How will the destiny of God over my life impacting others be accomplished?

Lord, Yes...You will get that which needs to be accomplished...accomplished! But Lord, please don't pass over me; I give you my heart; mold my heart, make me pliable in Who You are; and what You have called me to do. May the one who I need to release me to do Your will; may that person release me to do so. I do not want to be hindered any longer. I yearn for support from this person...I release this to You Lord.

Thank You Lord for the reminder not to fret in the decision this person will make; but I pray my faith is stirred up in You to know that You will be an influencer over their heart as it is concerned with Your plan and purpose. O God, You have equipped me to have Faith in You! I am not to have faith that the God decision will be made; I must have Faith in You, and that Your influence will be upon and move the one I love. I must believe in my heart that they will be influenced by You Lord and Your will leading us in the right direction because they are led by You; the Leader of all leaders!

I am reminded at this very moment, that God is not mocked! I must be intentional in what I sow right now in this very moment. Will I sow into my flesh; reaping corruption? Or will I sow in to the spirit; and by the Spirit, reaping everlasting life? Teresa, sow into trusting in God by the power of the Holy Spirit, for it is not by power nor by might; but by the Spirit of God that you will be able to trust.

With trusting the Lord comes transformation, revealing obedience. With distrust in the Lord comes regression, revealing disobedience.

August 2, 2010, "...Just Wanna Have Fun"

Today's reminder is based on a reflection of innocent beauty, pure laughter and imagination!
God has given us such a beautiful gift; our beautiful and imaginative daughter. She has been utilized as a vessel to inspire me, but not only does she inspire me, so do her friends. I love the hearts of these girls as they are living out what they are being taught...to celebrate other girls and the gifts of and from God that are within each of them. They encourage each other and they have so much fun doing so!


I am so excited to share with you all Tristin and Grace's four episodes they have put together! Have fun watching, and let the joy of the Lord be your great Strength!

Episode 1:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oPwQVjl5mhs


Episode 2:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qaYgdCCAvRY


Episode 3:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fpBGm26NDfc


Episode 4:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VzeFErAAgMM