Sunday, December 25, 2011

Jesus Chose The Womb Of A Teenage Girl Over Heaven

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

I leave you with a a few thoughts this Christmas...
"Jesus chose the womb of a teenage girl over heaven."
~ Joy Dekok

Jesus, The Word, gave up His right to what was His ~ uncommon and divine royalty.

The surpassing understanding of Jesus' amazing sacrifice, would be one of many more uncommon sacrifices that Jesus lived out; revealing the incredible, indescribable, majestic compassion of our Father God Who SO loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son; that whoever believes in Him should not die in eternity but have everlasting life.

As we tear open gifts, give gifts or ponder this day whether it be with sadness or gladness...may we be quick to lift our eyes and intentionally gaze with incredible awe upon the Father's heart and being truly humbled by His great majestic love toward each of us.

Therefore, as we are reminded of the Triumphant Victory that is ours through Jesus Christ our Lord revealed by His Spirit of Life. The Holy Spirit reveals not only life but the life that Jesus revealed and that is the great, abundant life...this life He reveals to us is the very same life that caused resurrection power to conquer not only His own death, but also conquered death, hell and the grave.

Finally, be strong in the Lord. Know that He is with you. He is near. He is your ever present help in your time of need. As you remember this promise, feel free to call on Him, and as you call on Him, not only will He answer you, but He will ALSO show you great and mighty things which you have never known before.

You are loved with God's eternal, glorious and incomprehensible love,
Teresa

Scripture References:
Psalm 8
John 3:16
John 10:10
Psalm 46
Jeremiah 33:3

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

We WILL Rejoice and be glad in it!

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

"This is the day the Lord has made. We will rejoice and be glad in it!"
~ Psalm 118:24 ~



In a hurry to get ready for the day, thoughts of gratefulness sped through my mind. Suddenly, what seemed random, was truly the cataclysmic reminder of Who intentionally and on purpose made this very day!

Captivated by the reminder of Psalm 118:24, the writer of this Psalm was overwhelmed by the reality of what surrounded him...his present moment; the moment he was awakened to the reality of being allowed to be a part of God's eternal calendar.

Compelling intentions of God led the writer, who could have very well been Abraham, to not only rejoice, but passionately proclaim to his people, "Right now! This very moment is the day that our Yaweh, our Jehovah, our God has made! We WILL rejoice!" Notice he didn't say, "If you want to rejoice then go ahead. Instead, with the purposeful intention of God that impressed him provokingly led him to a place of, "No matter what we are going through...we WILL intentionally and on purpose rejoice to the One Who has made this day and allowed us to be a part of it and not only rejoice but we will be GLAD in it!

While the arresting thoughts of this Psalm moved me with gratefulness, I smiled thinking of who I get to enjoy my day with.

Overwhelmed by the reality of getting to be a mom to my beautiful, precious daughter as The free spirit of Truth leads her innocent heart, challenges me with beauty, to be and remain valuable, for just looking at her as my undeserved gift, I am reminded yet again a glimpse of God's declaration of worth over our lives!



In the moment of actively pausing, the aweing thoughts were interrupted with my beautiful daughter bringing me up a cup of morning java along with a sweet note which greeted me. Her gesture of kindness revealed what she had written to me, and that was how she embraced the morning to be...and that was 'good', along with a smiley face! :)



May we be reminded throughout our day of God's captivating embrace as He longs to cover each of our lives with Who He is!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Revised: Need A Gift Idea?

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

"The King is enthralled by your beauty."
~ Psalm 45:11 ~

God Is Enthralled By Your Beauty, is a book that I have self-published and getting to promote. Although some may think I am promoting myself, be assured, this is not the case. I truly believe in the message of this book while God continues to do an excavation of my heart; I have been awakened to the mandate and responsibility of rising up in that place of beauty knowing that not only I, but the other daughters who have been declared, 'Worthy' by the King of kings! This awakening has compelled me to not only rise up on my behalf, but also to see and to be moved with incredible passion to awaken the many daughters who have fallen asleep to their own cries of hopelessness, shame and thoughts of unworthiness.

If you are looking for a gift that will not only bring the reminder of significance but also bring to light the power of worthiness, then this book is just for you!

To order, please click here. Remember, 20% of the book proceeds goes to SCTNow.org which is an amazing organization actively and effectively fighting child trafficking both in our nation and the world!

Thank you for your support!

Love,
Teresa

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Stillness; the Beautiful Stance of Worshiping God

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

"Call unto me and I will answer you and show you great and mighty (remarkable) things which have never seen before."
~ God, as recorded in Jeremiah 33:3.



You may be going through grief caused by divorce;
an unexpected death of your precious child, or beloved spouse, a beautiful family member and friend.
Maybe you have just found out you have been betrayed by your spouse, friend or family member.
Or it is possible that you are the one who has betrayed someone and regret overwhelms you, you even feel that your life is over.
Perhaps you are torn with knowing that the relationship you are in is destructive, and you know you need to pray for that person, but you also know that you need the courage to leave.
Others may have experienced a job loss and with that, your identity unknowingly was wrapped up in that position you held.
You may feel stripped, exposed, naked and unclothed by any of these countless situations...but please know that this is your opportunity to cry out to Jesus Who clothes, embraces and comforts as revealed by the Holy Spirit.
Don't move.
Don't speak.
Listen.
Look and see.
He is right there with you.
Yet, not only is He with you, He longs to hold you and embrace you.
He desires to show you remarkable exploits which you have never seen or heard of before.
Open your eyes and listen...do you hear the whisper within your spirit?
He bids you to come to Him.
Will you come? Please, do so now.
In the middle of the chaos, just be still.
Breathe through your nose, all the way in and slowly. Now, exhale, meditating on the 'giganticness' of God. Watch and see how He tears down, annihilates and obliterates the intimidating giants that are insatiably drooling for your very life. God longs to dwarf every real situation that comes in the form of a giant and put them in their place.

In the midst of the whirling, destructive winds of life, stillness is your recognition of declaring "I know You are God; you are My God."

Stillness is a beautiful stance of worshiping God.

Scripture References:
Jeremiah 33:3
Isaiah 61:1-3
Isaiah 26:3
Psalm 46:8-10

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Submitted Article as a contributing writer for "Family Face Ministries"

Contributing Writer for Family Face Ministries


The Deceptive Battle Cry is Truly an Outcry
Written by: Teresa Criswell

"Women Rule!
"

When I saw this slogan a few months ago in a news article, my heart sank. I shook my head in sadness. If I would have seen this slogan ten years ago, I know I most likely would have held my head up high, arrogantly sniffed my nose, clearing my throat and saying, “That’s right! Women rule!”

Although, I am blessed to be a woman and I LOVE being a woman; this is a slogan I do not want to be associated with. For when we see a woman ruling alone, versus ruling with man, most of the time this is a sure sign that a man has relinquished his role and right as ruler. This deceptive slogan, “Women rule” is an outcry not a battle cry. This unknowing outcry reveals the neglect of man’s rightful role not standing in their God given abilities to be Protector, Conqueror, Provider and King.

Have you walked in the power that we as women possess? Look at Jezebel. Yes. I said, “Jezebel”. That almost sounds blasphemous, doesn’t it? Yet, because King Ahab relinquished the role of courage and bravery of holding fast to what was right and true, the role of the manipulating spirit of this woman was able to rule. This is a reminder that the power we hold must not be misused. We are to take this power that has been given to us, not for our glory. However, we must realize with action that we are to assist the men and awaken the Protector, The Conqueror, The Provider and The King that is within them. We must awaken the men, whether they are husbands, fathers, sons and/or brothers and with administrative power encourage and edify, resurrecting back to life the heaven meets earth power of what it looks like to truly have dominion.

So what does it look like to rule ‘with’ man versus ruling alone? As a wife, I must speak and declare that my husband is a mighty man of valor. This is crucial to those who may not see this at all. I must pray to God that my husband’s will bows down to the will of God, executing righteousness and justice for every situation assisted by God’s Wisdom. I must realize that the words that flow out of my mouth must be intentional words of life so that the temptation for my husband to relinquish or misuse his role would be zero.

If we look back just three or four generations as a whole; we see the dwindling role of man ruling effectively. Notice one of the number one attributes of a man is to be a protector. A protector keeps what they already possess. A protector guards what is precious and valuable and those who are valued seize the responsibility to maintain what must be kept. When the attribute of protection begins to dissipate, yet the role of conqueror remains, we find that the results can be devastating. When the ruler no longer sees the value of what they have or been entrusted with, then they do not see the value to keep or to guard, so they will leave behind and continue to conquer, revealing barbaric results.

Do you see the echo of this in our society today? We have seen the heart wrenching effects as many have been abandoned, left behind and deemed useless and invaluable because of the lack of being kept. What has been revealed in turn is the walls of the city have tumbled to the ground. A city with no walls, allow precious people to become prey to the warriors of death revealing the lack of protection.

So how do we hear what should be the God given slogan, “Mighty, courageous, protecting men rule as the virtuous women rule by their side”? We will see this as we hold up the arms of our tired warriors. We must encourage not nag. We must build up not tear down. We must have faith in God that our men will echo a glimpse of the All in All Protector, Conqueror, Provider and King, Almighty God.

Therefore, we are to assist in the dreams that our men have within their spirits as given by God. We do not want to break their spirit, but remind them of those dreams. Even though many times we do not know the how or when those dreams are fulfilled; we must actively assist the men in seeing the fulfillment of their dreams come to fruition, resurrecting new life for “a dream fulfilled is a tree of life”.

Scripture References: Proverbs 2:7, I Kings 18-21, Proverbs 25:28, Proverbs 13:21

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Giving thanks!

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



"Continue earnestly in prayer, being vigilant in prayer with thanksgiving."
~ Colossians 4:2 ~

Gratefulness. Thankfulness. Appreciation. These words reveal the state of thanksgiving allowing us to be reminded of what we do have; versus what we 'feel' we lack and don't have.

Thanksgiving is a great tool that alleviates the temptation to compare, however, complaining fuels the fire of comparison which leads to the thwarted reminders of what we don't have and what we uselessly long for.

On this beautiful day of Thanksgiving; let us do what this day is set aside for, which is living a life of giving thanks.

God bless you and keep you in all your ways. May your day that is set aside with your friends and family be joyous, filled with forgiveness, love and extended mercy as we have freely received from God; so we must freely give to others.


A great applicable way to live a life of giving thanks:
Write to God on a daily basis what you are grateful for and then read it aloud, "God, I am grateful to You for..."

"And I am grateful to God for each of you."

You are loved,
Teresa

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Confessions of a daughter of the King

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

"Those who love to talk will experience the consequences, for the tongue can kill or nourish life."
~ Proverbs 18:21 NLT ~

"I never do anything right."
"Just when I think everything is good; I'm broadsided with something else."
"If things are good now; I just know something bad is about to happen, I better brace myself."
"I can never get a break; people just don't understand me, and I don't understand them."
"It would have been better if I just didn't get out of bed this morning."
"When will I ever catch a break?"


Have you caught yourself confessing such things? I know I have caught myself in this vicious, cynical rhetoric.

However, there is hope even in the midst of the circumstances.
Really! There is!

Do you suffer with issues of wanting control? I know I do...well, we are in store for a cure...are you ready for the prescription?

Prescription:
Take every moment.
Cannot overdose.
'Changeyerperspective'


Here's the deal, we may not be able to control our circumstances; but we can control and bring change to our perspective.

Yes! We have the power to control our attitudes, which brings change in us through our circumstances and in that we allow God to set us up on high, versus being overwhelmed by the surroundings of despair.

This leads me to what our pastor has been teaching us from the book of Proverbs. To seek out God's wisdom. In this series, there is an applicable challenge that I have taken, and in that, here is my confession, especially when I don't 'feel' I am adequate to confess such things:

"I am a daughter of the King who seeks Wisdom."
"As His daughter, I must NEVER let loyalty and kindness leave me."
"I must bind loyalty and kindness around my neck as a beautiful necklace."
"As I cling to wisdom, as revealed by the Spirit of God, I am a fountain of blessing to my husband; for he rejoices that I am his wife."
"My husband is captivated by my love and I have his full attention."
"I am a wise woman who builds her home and I am also a woman of understanding, and because of this understanding; knowledge comes easily to me and when I arise my children call me, "Blessed"."
"As a daughter of the King I also acknowledge conviction and seek out reconciliation. "

These confessions are helping me throughout the week.

Do I feel like confessing it all the time? No, but once I do, my outlook changes on God, then myself. In that change, loyalty and kindness are extended to others.

Today, I am reminded that healthy confessions, bring health to our mental state and even brings health to our bones and allows others to experience what should be contagious and infectious...and that is health!

Scripture References:
Proverbs 18:21
Proverbs 3:3-4
Proverbs 5:18-19
Proverbs 14:1
Proverbs 14:9
Proverbs 11:25
Proverbs 11:27
Proverbs 11:17
James 4

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Contributing Writer for Sanctified Together Online Magazine Publication

Triumphant Victorious Reminders
Inspired by the Holy Spirit
Written By: Teresa Criswell
Excerpt from online magazine, November 2011 Issue-Life Lessons

Sanctified Together, an online magazine publication, consisting of articles filled with inspiration and applicable ways of living life has allowed myself and other writers the opportunity to contribute our nuggets of lessons learned through faith in God in this month's issue called, "Life Lessons" .

It is an honor to share an article I wrote for November's issue, titled, Teachers of Life:

angry girl

Interrupting her father's counsel, Catherine scooted her chair out from the table with indignation, stood up with frustration and said, "Dad, I already know that!"

Catherine's father replied with the rhetorical, "Are you sure you already know? Do you know what I was about to say?"

Ignoring his question as her voice became a shout, "Dad, why do you always treat me like a stupid child?"

Shaking his head, he slowly looked up at her. As if to control the raging volcano within, seated at the head of the table with his chair pulled out sideways, his left hand grasped the edge of the table, leaning forward, with his eyes piercing hers, causing her to sit back down. He said in a calm and steady voice, "My intentions are never to cause you to feel that you are a stupid child. As a matter of the patterns in your life, you have made some very childish decisions based on emotions, resulting in destructive consequences. It is not that you are stupid. Catherine, that is the furthest from the truth; however, because you 'think' you know 'everything' and in disrespect you interrupt my counsel, you are going to have to learn from your own experiences and consequences."

He continued, "My heart aches to know that you are going against what I know is best for you. My advice is to see you through the 'right now' and assist you to your destiny. This decision you are about to make is going to cost you. Are you willing to pay the price that you have priced yourself? I plead with you to know that I can foresee what you can't. It's called life experience. Many times, my daughter, experience trumps knowledge. Unfortunately with your interruption today, you have already made your decision. You are going to allow the little knowledge you do have to override both the knowledge and experience that I have survived and walked through. My daughter, I have many scars, and only by God's grace am I able to sit here with you today, still alive."


Humbled by his calm words for a moment, pride suddenly swept in taking her captive as the painted pictures of her mind led her away by the lies disguised in romance, success and invincibility, she made a decision in that moment to ignore the voice of wisdom and heed to the voice of what would become a path of shame and burdensome guilt.

Does this scenario bring back memories of your youth? It does for me.

Just as the fictional scenario, the life lessons in my youth were unfortunately based on ignored wisdom from those who loved me the most. I continue to have to learn even in my adulthood. It would have been one thing if the Holy Spirit had led me in an area that would have seemed absurd, yet without doubt was based on the Word of God, leading me to honor my parents and others. However, in my case the decisions I made were based on the inexperienced, romanced, unrealistic conjured up thoughts in my head leading me away from the Word of God, resulting in dishonoring not only my wise advisers, but also dishonoring myself.

Through these choices that I made, I was led to roads of destruction that I could no longer tread upon. The fear of knowing that I could not do it anymore my way led me in the turnaround on the road to repentance -- asking God for His beautiful forgiveness.

In this leading to the path of repentance, I know my heart has answered the call of God's voice, empowering me by His glorious, rich love to influence many young women who are about to make life altering decisions. I must echo His voice, leading them back to the unfailing love of God and His Glorious Word led by the Holy, Majestic Spirit of God.

Life lessons -- they are beautiful reminders of when we depend on God and His Spirit being confident in His Word knowing that He is our teacher, we become teachers of life; versus life becoming our teacher.

Experience may trump knowledge, but God's Spirit who guides us through His Word, trumps both life experience and knowledge leading us to the abundant life of what God longs for us to experience and know and that is HIM!

Do you know Him?

Monday, November 7, 2011

The Beauty of Gratefulness

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

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


A cloudy day embraces me as I imagine being accompanied by the fresh, steaming apple cider that bolsters from my favorite coffee mug.



Fresh baked pie, cooling down on a metal rack and Sweet Cake candles burning as the grey lit sky pierces through my windows.

I imagine sitting with you as we breathe in the moment of fresh, right now, today's present moment. The gift of today. The gift of right now. The beauty of the present moment.

With all that life and time within our life tries to suck out of us like an 'all you can drink' straw; what is it that we are truly grateful for?

As though I am gently holding onto the precious feet of my once upon a time baby...I grasp one toe at a time and say,



"This is what I am grateful for...
* Getting to talk to God whenever I want and hearing His voice through His Word.
* Getting to experience the unctions of His presence and seeing His voice displayed as pictures form before my mind.
* The moment that I can wake up my daughter with a kiss
* The ability to pray for my daughter, the words of God's blessings, as I echo the love of her God from my mouth to her ears.
* Getting to hear my husband snore for the first time in a long time.
* Getting to hold his gigantic hand as I feel protected and loved, whether we are in the car or walking in the grocery store.
* Catching a scent of his fragrance and feeling his presence come into the room, even when my eyes have not yet seen him coming around the corner.
* Refraining from childish arguments; and enjoying one another's company and laughter.
* Enjoying our son pay us a visit on his day off and seeing him enjoy one on onetime with his dad.
* Enjoying this moment right now, as my fingers dance upon the keyboard, accompanied by the melody of gratefulness to God."

What are you grateful to God for today?

For just moment; kick the distractions of technology that rob us of right now. Breathe in slowly, now slowly exhale.
Look around with great intention and be moved by the beauty of gratefulness.
Be moved, drawing closer to the One to Whom we get to be grateful to...and that is our Awesome God Who allows us this very moment.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

You are an Answer!

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

"...I have come that they may have life, and that they may have life more abundantly."
~ Jesus Christ, as recorded in John 10:10 ~

You are an answer to someone's breakthrough!

Does that seem arrogant? It may for the religiously minded...for I am reminded that as our spirit is possessed by the Holy Spirit of God, Who is the Answer, we are able to lavishly reveal The Answer through us!

Lisa Bevere said it best, "We are NOT a problem; but an answer to a problem!" Now the question is, "Am I willing to walk in this truth?" Instead, let me say it like this, "I know I am willing but am I able?"

This is so freeing to realize that it is not about my ability; but God's ABLE POWER through me to accomplish the ability of being an ANSWER...not just 'having' an answer...but BEING an answer!

What does it look like to be an answer?
Here are some ideas:
* A smile...
'What if' they don't smile back? Then, keep smiling!

* Opening the door for someone...
'What if' they are insulted, saying, "I can open the door on my own." Then, we must continue to err on the side of kindness...don't give up, because of one hurting person, who is unable to receive it.

* When led, ask if they need prayer...
'What if' they say, "No", then pray for them when you walk away.

* Be kind to the unkind and unlovable...
'What if' they...?

In these examples, and so many more not mentioned, we have the honor and privilege to be the seed planters...later on, some will water...but guess what? The Lord receives the INCREASE!

Today, I am triumphantly reminded that God is able, which confidently allows me to walk in willingness without fear of rejection, no matter the other person's reaction.

Let us show others Who Is Willing and Able to continue to love us, as we love ourselves. We GET TO freely and lavishly place God's Love upon others. We get to reveal God by being an Answer and Breakthrough in this journey called, LIFE! As we live, may we demonstrate in potent power the One Who gave us life and life more abundantly...Jesus Christ as revealed by the Holy Spirit!

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Need not be ashamed of what?

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

II Timothy 2:14-19

I think on a potential scenario, that has likely happened...

"I can't stand her."

"I know! Who does she think she is?"

"You know what? The only reason she got that job is because of her favors!" With their 'hyena like' gasps, it was followed by the ugly, head shaking judgement placed upon another person.

As I imagine the women's hateful words spewed out in a low whisper, revealing the sharp knife of hate, which permeated the atmosphere revealed this dark cloud of disgust and disdain for another human being.

The choice of their theoretical conversation causes me to lose my once roaring appetite...but then it brought me to a place of looking at my own life and asking myself, "Do I do the same thing?"

Today, as I read II Timothy 2:14-19, verse 15 stood out like it had never before, as I read in the context that Paul had written it specifically to Timothy.

Paul warned Timothy to remind EVERYONE to command them in God's name to stop fighting over words. He was urging them to realize that the arguments were useless, not profiting anyone and they were only ruining those who heard them. Then, Paul says, as recorded in verse 15, "Work hard so God can approve you. Be a good worker, one who does not need to be ashamed..."

The Holy Spirit stopped me.
Which led me to ask myself, "Need not be ashamed of what?"
Do I need not be ashamed of being a hard worker?

As I asked the question, revelation came! I began to see this scripture more clearly!

When I am a good worker, working hard so that God is able to approve me, I will not need to be ashamed of foolish talk or useless arguments. I always thought that it meant I didn't need to be ashamed of being approved unto God. However, it is more so that Paul was urging Timothy for the people to 'save face' from looking like foolish idiots, wrongfully representing Almighty God!


I am reminded today that when I focus on myself on being approved by God; I can take a hold of His heart and be ruled by His heart to love others because of His glorious strength through me. As His strength goes through me, my actions and the way I talk will follow, revealing my pursuit of who I want the approval from...and that is from My Father God, The Author and Finisher of my faith!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

"The Power of Remembrance"


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

"I will remember the works of the LORD: surely I will remember thy wonders of old."
~ Psalm 77:11 ~


The constant wind within my heart that stirs the fiery passion for God is consuming.

I remember that specific day in 2004 being in a women's bible study. Every woman was asked to share a brief testimony of how they encountered a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. The testimonies were incredibly amazing, revealing the power of God in ways the greatest novel could not romanticize.

I think back upon that moment. It was my turn to share God's testimony in my life's story. I had just surrendered my life to Jesus a year prior and there was a fiery zeal for the Lord that was exceedingly overwhelming. I can still remember that moment when one of the ladies I highly respected said, "O Teresa, that is so amazing. I remember when I had a zeal like that for the Lord. Just embrace it now, because one day that zeal will slowly fade away."

I was so taken back by this saddening comment. I was disappointed as I thought, "I don't want this trust and belief in God to go away."

It was a critical moment. Sitting in my chair, I felt I was the only one in the room. That was the moment I told myself, "I will not lose this passion for God, this is not a man made passion; this is truly God's passion through me."

I must say that upon looking back on this, I shake my head laughing remembering that very moment. I was intensely on fire for God, yet many times I allowed the burdensome, religious lies to come in as I became insensitive to others.

I call to remembrance that very moment which allowed me to be intentional in serving God in ways I never thought possible. I can see God's faithful patience over me as I have continued to grow in Him, which is a constant and continual process with His ability through me.

Incredibly amazed, the pursuit of God's heart is more than I could have ever imagined for myself. I believe the key was truly realizing that God gifted each of us who believe in Jesus. The power of God's Holy Spirit reveals Jesus to us, in us and through us as we allow the Holy Spirit of God to lead us into all truth.

With that reminder and now, leading to right now, I was lovingly reminded of the moment I finally said, "Yes" to being rescued as I surrendered my heart to Jesus.

It seems that as I take a moment to look back on that momentous day; the falling in love with God is rekindled all over again. I love His reminders, so that as we remind Him of what we are grateful for; it is not only a passing thought of His goodness, but I remember that He is The All-Consuming fire that burns so fervently on the inside of us as we are powerfully reminded of Who He Is.

This dynamic tool of remembrance reminds me of how we can do the same for the ones we are married to. Many times the daily grind of life, the difficulties of life, and the what seems like 'mundane' routines of life can be a vice which can strain a marriage; especially when allowed. May we intentionally think back on the day we fell in love with our spouse. As you remind yourself of that day you fell in love, may it rekindle that love that has fallen asleep; and let the remembrance become the kiss that awakens the deep sleep of your love for one another.

Remembrance is also a great tool to utilize when it comes to our children. Even through the bickering, arguing, whining, crying, the tugging, the sassy'ness', and the abrupt disrespect, the daily vices that ware on our last nerves, may we intentionally remind ourselves to look back on the day we first met our children. As we remember, may it awaken the love deep within the reservoirs of our hearts as they come home today from school, or if they are in the other room destroying your 'Tupperware' cupboard, or clanging on the pots and pans. Perhaps they just started to drive to and from school. Wherever they may be, no matter the season of their lives; may we embrace them as we did the first day we met them.

Let us embrace our God and bless His heart to desire Him, because of Who He is. Desiring Him, to be more like Him and to run after Him! Let us utilize the tool of remembrance for God's glory;. The purpose is so that we progress, advance and proclaim through our lives and with our mouths the greatness of God!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Abandoned Yet Chosen

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

"Father to the fatherless, defender of widows-this is God, whose dwelling is holy. God places the lonely in families; he sets the prisoners free and gives them joy..."
~ Psalm 68:5-6a ~

She stood before the mirror, staring at her saddened reflection. The thoughts entering her mind, whirling about at catacosmic speeds as she was on the brink of making the biggest decision of her life.

Torn by the news of her pregnancy, her mind led to the unknown experience of adoption. The thoughts invoked fear, which led to the 'quick fix' lying thoughts of abortion. The more she allowed that destructive thought to burrow into her mind, it dangerously became a 'logical' option. She would not only have to experience seeing her baby at the appointed birth, but she would not have to feel the aching pry from her arms as she delivered a beautiful gift into the world. The turmoil haunted her. The quick fix would have a more tragic outcome as she might hear haunting whispers of, "What was I suppose to be?"

As she warred with the decision of adoption and abortion; she knew that she could not kill the child growing within her womb. Suddenly, the nurturer, the warrior and the mother rose up on the inside of her and said, "I will see to it that my baby lives and does not die, and will be 'chosen' by a family who will see the desires of their heart fulfilled! Not only will this beautiful life live; but my mandate is to pray continually for my child. My beautiful gift from God, no matter how the baby was conceived, will live an abundant life in Jesus, revealing God's power in this earth."

I interrupt this with the thought of the many who have experienced abandonment in this life. Whether you were the one who abandoned someone, or the one who was abandoned. Perhaps you were adopted, and you have dealt with those real feelings of abandonment. It is a possibility that you are one who was treated worse than an animal, even left for dead. It may have been that you have experienced the life as an orphan, tragically losing your parents.

The circumstances are innumerable; but God's powerful love that king's cannot speak of, who can only weep from such Power, is before you in this very moment. Holding out His glorious hand, encouraging you with His desire that you receive His irrevocable, unconditional love.

We must rise up as the woman did who was at a crossroad in her life. There will be times where the decision on either side will be difficult. However, in our decision making, we must be a warrior for someone else, seeing life comes forth because of the obedient decision, no matter how incomprehensible the situation.

Will we receive the One Who allows us to dream BIG?
Will we receive Him, moment by moment, the One Who is Love?
As we do, how can we not be willing to share His love that is continually being lavished upon us with others whom He lavishly loves?
Will we lavishly reveal God's love, expressed through Jesus by the power of the Holy Spirit, upon someone else who is in desperate need of God's love?
Will we be assistants in the breakthrough over another individual, who is similar to us, allowing them to see God's love expressed through a person?

I don't know what God has in store with the following, however, I am led to write:
If you have a dream, see to it that it is developed. In the development, do not be solely focused on the development of the dream, but envision the people who will be forever changed by the dream. Most importantly, to ensure you don't abort the dream, is a direct result of not giving up...in other words, as Nike's slogan simply puts it...just do it!

Monday, October 17, 2011

The 3 D's...Discover, Develop and Disciple!

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

"The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is upon me, because the Lord has appointed me to bring good news to the poor. He has sent me to comfort the brokenhearted and to announce that captives will be released and prisoners will be freed. He has sent me to comfort the brokenhearted and to announce the captives will be released and prisoners will be freed."
~ Isaiah 61:1 ~


The sadness overwhelmed her. Yet, she arose out of her depression. The heavy dark cloud that consumed her for way too long; in a suddenly moment, disappeared.

The result was from the whisper she heard. The rescuing still small voice which beckoned her to come.
With hesitancy, yet with humbleness, she was brought to her knees.
In that moment, she heard the freeing words of victory:
"When you need encouragement...go and be an encouragement."
"When you want someone to smile at you...go and smile at someone."
"What you pour out; it shall, it will, for sure be reciprocated."

Our perspective is gained when we focus on the needs of others. I have found this to be truth. While the truth and the facts are different, the fact is that we can easily slip into depression, caught unaware and suddenly consumed is a reality. However, the truth is that the potential within us to praise God for Who He is, in the midst of our life is a weapon that we will not understand...yet, just know it works!

In this knowing, we realize by experience, it is not by our power or our might but by the Spirit of God that we can live a life of POTENT POWER to deliver us out of depression which causes us to see the potential; the POTENT POWER within ourselves and others to do the same and that is living in refreshment.

We know our focus - must be on God - we know this in our heads. But is it a revelation? Often times we know the 'right' answer, but have we experienced the 'right' answer?

What does focusing on God look like?
What has been your experience when you took your focus off yourself and placed it intentionally upon someone else?

These are questions to really ask ourselves.

When we see people as valuable, the bottom line will change.

I must confess, my passion in the 'someday' is to discover, develop and disciple people who manage companies to shift their management skills into managing people. The reason is because there is a discovery of great potential that takes place. The product does not move on its own, it is moved and consumed by people. In that discovery we find out the strengths within people are so great and can be utilized effectively in ways never imagined. Just imagine, we get to be a part of not only a success story, but a significant one!

For instance, you want to be profitable?
If you are a business man or woman, then, we can no longer see the 'product', the 'numbers' or the 'profit margins' as the bottom line. Instead, we must see people both within the company and the consumer as valuable and by default we will see the manifestation of those 'numbers' and 'profit margins' soar. When your people are soaring in their talents and gifts, everything else follows.

Do you know who the first person in my life to expose this truth was? My awesome, earthly Dad and the second is my 3D small group leader, Terry...and guess who they learned it from? JESUS CHRIST! He is the perfect example of leading people into discovering, developing and discipling others!

I have learned NOT to be threatened by someone's talents, but to constantly excavate that which is within them, because when they soar, so will I. Another lesson learned in life, is that when a manager leaves, and the place falls apart, this is not a compliment to the manager; it is sadly a sign that the manager has not empowered the people to lead.

We need to stop training people on the successes of others, but develop people in their own successes. We have done things the opposite of God's ways. For instance, God didn't provide a training manual for David based on what Moses did...He provided His significance upon David that was already in David, and as it was discovered, David developed into a man that has left a legacy based on his best in God...not Moses' best in God.

Finally, the summary of today's reminder is to focus on what God's focus was, is and will always be and that is on OTHERS! As the focus of what we need is shifted to what others need; our needs will automatically be fulfilled.

Remember, we may not see results right away; but realize that life is a marathon, not a sprint...this principle is applicable to every part of our lives; from raising children, to being married, building and maintaining relationships within companies. As we discover, develop and disciple from this day forward; watch our 'world', our circle of influence radically change!

Friday, October 14, 2011

Are You Protecting or Violating?

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

"Such love has no fear because perfect love expels all fear. If we are afraid, it is for fear of judgment, and this shows that His love has not been perfected in us. We love each other as a result of His loving us first."
~ I John 4:18-19 ~


"How dare you!" followed by the sound of a heavy slap across his face.

The quietness became louder than the disturbing slap. His whole countenance slumped over as though he died. All that remained was a zombie of 'going through the motions'.

Her loud cries of offense revealed the distorted perspective of her past betrayals. His quietness of frustration and at his wits' end, followed by the continual thoughts, "I can't do this anymore. No matter what I do or say, she is not convinced that I am true to her; that I love her."

Every attempt to cover her with his love; she rejects with hateful words, belittling him. She was a victim who is now the perpetrator.

She believes she protects herself; yet, she is a victim of none other than herself. The charge? Victim and perpetrator of theft and robbery.

She has robbed herself from the very act of love.

Not only has she robbed from herself, but also this man, her husband. He has been robbed in the act of receiving from her; a daughter of royalty, who only identifies with peasantry.

Is this you?

Have you been rejecting others unintentionally as you truthfully assumed you were protecting yourself. What you thought was protection was truly violation from receiving what is rightfully yours. Could it be possible that you may experience rejection? O yes!
But the risk is beautiful.
How could this be? It is beautiful because relationships are formed.
Will those relationships be hurt proof? Absolutely not...but you know what comes forth?
The beauty of getting to know another human being, who God knew before they were ever formed in their mother's womb. Enduring with them in love. Working through in love. Allowing love to triumph in ALL situations.

I urge and beg you and myself to break down the walls of seclusion and be vulnerable to one of the most beautiful gifts that God designed...the beauty of relationships.

Let us not slap the One Who loves us the most, by rejecting those He loves...yes, even the most unlovable. For I was once the one who many ran from...yet, I needed someone to run to me. When the 'Christians' had given up on me, there were good people in the world who God utilized to open my eyes to see my selfish ways.

I needed someone to say, "You are worth fighting for. You may drain me more times than you fill me up, but I am still here." I want to be the one who echoes the words of my beautiful Savior, the Lifter of my Head when everyone else saw that my head should remain hanging in shame. Praise God there was the One who spoke forth, "You are worthy". The shame I carried was from my own doing; but who will stand for the ones that I once was?

I am grateful for my parents and my sisters who truly loved me unconditionally...they didn't rescue me from myself; but they loved me in spite of myself.

Will we discover the potential within ourselves to love?
As we do this, we can then properly discover the potential within others, not rescuing them, but showing them how they can be rescued.
As we discover, we then develop others by the power of the One Who develops us...Jesus! This is true discipling.
We can then teach others how to discover and develop; constantly paying true love forward.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Imagine a little boy...scared...

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

This was written to a friend of mine; and when I wrote it out being led by the Spirit of God, O how it ministered to me BIG TIME!

I Corinthians 13:13, Proverbs 17:9, I Peter 4:8

Imagine a little boy...scared.
He knows what he is suppose to do...but the distractions of 'right now' blind him. He feels alone.
He needs help.
But, doesn't ask for what he needs because of the fear of
"What if they think I'm weak?"

Surprisingly, many times this can be our husbands.

They are the provider,
the conqueror,
the one who extends the boundaries,
the one who is the husband,
the father,
the one who others work with.
They feel the pressure of splitting their time among
so many people and things as so much is required of them.

We must cover our husband with the same love we have so lavishly received from our awesome God.

Praise the King of kings,
so that you can encourage the king of your home.

Let us cover our husbands with love in both word and deed.

Friday, September 30, 2011

Prayer for Iranian Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani

Father God in the Name of Jesus, the One Who Was, Who Is and Who Is To Come, we pray your uncommon protection over Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani. Father God, I thank You that Your angels heed Your Word as they keep Pastor Youcef in ALL His WAYS! Father, we know that the prayers of the righteous avail much...we are not righteous on our own; BUT because of WHO YOU ARE!

Lord Jesus we pray as He is an Ambassador of Truth, that He shall not be touched...for we know the rights of any ambassador...their EVERYTHING is taken care of...if anyone touches an ambassador of this world, it is an international incident...so Father God, Pastor Youcef is much more than an ambassador of this world, he is an ambassador of Your Kingdom....so in this Truth, we thank You Lord that He shall LIVE AND NOT DIE, declaring the Works of You Lord! Father, we thank You that as the eyes of the world watch...may YOU INTERVENE...a thousand may fall at Pastor Youcef's side and ten thousand at his right hand, but it shall not come near Him. Father, He knows Your Name and He will not deny You and as He has not denied You, You will not deny Him. Father, thank You for your peace that surpasses ALL UNDERSTANDING as his family begs, interceeds, pleads with You to set Him Free!

Father, we Love you and this is a brother in You, Lord! In this Truth, we thank You Lord that praises come forth out of His mouth confusing the enemies and the songs of Your deliverance be sung out and declared right there, right where he is...may there be men and women who are near him who with zeal believe they are doing the right thing, may their eyes become unveiled and see that they MUST SERVE JESUS CHRIST! Lord, encounter these people like you did with Paul as he was on his way to Damascus...God we pray a Supernatural, Heaven meets earth pardon over this man's life in Jesus Name!!!! We declare that You are God, forever and ever...As we complain about who wronged us, may we remember the ones like Pastor Youcef who are truly suffering for Your names sake! In Jesus Name. Amen!

Pastor Youcef's Sister in Christ,
Teresa

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

The One who could have...did not.

TRIUMPHANT VICTORIOUS REMINDERS
Inspired by the Holy Spirit
Written by: Teresa Criswell
(A re-post from May 1, 2009)

"So when they continued asking him, He lifted up himself, and said unto them, He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her."
~ John 8:7 ~


This is the scene played out in my mind:

The door swings open by FORCE as they are caught in the very act of adultery. She screams in horror as she not only knows her demise of death at this very moment but they are dragging her outside like an animal being led to the slaughter. As she screams she does everything in her power to hide her frail naked body. She kicks and screams, weeping with little dignity she had.

As they drag her, she tries to defend herself as the men pull her by the hair, and beat her, cursing her. She experiences one of the lowest blows of disgust upon a human being as she is spit on. I can just hear the 'stone' blood thirsty voices shouting at her, "You no good, waste of trash, you are a dead woman!" They throw her around like a rag doll, not caring that she might be someone's daughter, someone's sister, even someone's mother.

As they scream and taunt her, they throw her at the feet of Jesus. Their judgement setting forth her death sentence. They say with their noses in the air, as though they had never sinned before (John 8:4-11), "Teacher, this woman was caught in the very act of adultery. The law of Moses says to stone her. What do you say?" They wanted to use this moment against Him, however Jesus stooped down and wrote in the dust with his finger. They kept demanding an answer, so he stood up again and said, "All right, stone her. BUT let those who have never sinned throw the first stone!" He stooped down again and wrote in the dust. When her accusers heard this, they slipped away one by one, beginning with the oldest, until only Jesus was left in the middle of the crowd with the woman. Then Jesus stood up again and said to her, "Where are your accusers? Didn't even one of them condemn you?" "No, Lord," she said. And Jesus said, "Neither do I. Go and sin no more."

I love this story, knowing that they watched mercy unfold like they had never seen before.

I am intoxicated by Jesus' comment. "You who have not sinned cast the first stone." Yet, the only person who would have been able to cast the stone would have been Jesus. He was the only One who had no sin, who could have exercised His right to cast it. Yet, He did not. Instead He chose to mercifully take her hand, dust the dirt off her tear stained cheeks and I would imagine He took the cloak off Himself and wrapped it around her, embracing her as he held her head close to his chest, comforting her.

Something she had never experienced before, a warm embrace with no intentions of wanting her body in return, she received a pure embrace from God in the form of a man. She experienced unfailing love from someone who could have rightfully stoned her, yet He chose to stand up for her. He didn't embrace what she had done; He embraced her.

I want, need and must do the same. I want to embrace the hurting, even though they may be called the 'throw aways' of society or labeled as 'skum' even by the world. I must do as Jesus did. He is such a wonderful example of loving the person, BUT not the sin. For He is righteous and just.

Lord, I don't want to be the voice of condemnation when I was shown mercy and compassion. I want and know I must be the voice of love embracing the hurting, who long to know what it is like to be held for a moment finding out that nothing will be asked in return, resulting in change for the better.

This life must be about paying it forward to someone else, the love that was shed upon me must be revealed over others because of my Source of Love, Jesus Christ.

The morning after...

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

"To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that He might be glorified."
~ Isaiah 61:3 ~


From yesterday's devotional, I ponder the woman that encountered Jesus as she received her pardon from the sentence of death by stoning. I would like to wonder what became of her?

The touch of the gentle, strong hands of The Word made flesh; Jesus Christ. I sit here and wonder, "Was she grateful beyond her wildest imaginations?"

I imagine that never before seen love that overwhelmed her as He held her close to his chest.  Gorgeous, attractive love forever changing her destiny. Can you imagine that moment in which Jesus perhaps wiped the dirt from her tear stained cheeks as she uncontrollably wept. Experiencing His unbelievable, indescribable mercy, He must have looked at her with those piercing eyes of pure, untainted, selfless love placing His hands under her chin with gentleness as He lifted her head. I can only imagine that for the majority of her life she had only seen the ground as she walked in seemingly constant shame. I would love to imagine that He said, "I am the lifter of your head, you can now freely go and love others the way I have displayed The Father's love toward you."

With the cloak of Christ that was wrapped around her; hiding her frail, naked body, I believe from that day on she had a different walk. She saw the path before her. It was all brand new to her. It was as though she truly "saw" for the first time. Imagine the market she passed through for years now she seeing with vivacious colors of the fruit and vegetables on display. I can even imagine  she notices the gorgeously vast, endless sky beautifully revealing the majestic, glory of God.

Now imagine the following scene the day after her encounter with Jesus:

Morning came. She awoke. Yet, this time, there was no man sleeping by her side to fulfill the void within her heart.

She was awake...truly awake and aware of new life! This time she awoke with a smile of joyful, overflowing gratefulness.

She inhaled and exhaled on purpose, no longer holding her breath in shame. She rose up from her bed imagining she would have a new garment to wear. As she turned she noticed something that causes her to place her hand on her mouth in shock as she sees a beautiful white dress carefully draped over the stone chair. She was stunned, for the only garment that she seemed to ever wear was a heavy, black dress that revealed what she was known for; an adulterer. The dress she had worn long enough had reminded her of her life of mourning. Yet today her garment was forever different.

She ran to the stone chair and hurriedly placed the new dress on herself. She surprised herself as she giggled. She was taken back by the sound of her own laughter. The sounds of pure laughter ringing in her ears was a refreshingly yet foreign, delightful sound that came billowing forth with freeing power.

Her heart led her mind to the thoughts of yesterday. She thinks about this amazing man. A man like no other she had ever encountered. Her Jesus, who forever changed her life in history. She thought to herself, "No one had lifted my head like that before. I know what that word means now, the Word called Love. That's Him, He is love!"

Upon remembering, she dared with boldness to open the door to the world outside her home. She was okay...no matter what the onlookers would say or do, she experienced His love and that was all that mattered anymore.

As she stepped foot into the world outside her humble abode, she must have noticed the beautiful creation around her. She remembered how she saw the past in a seemingly gray tone before her encounter with Him. But today she sees everything in "technicolor"; the colors magificently beautiful and breathtaking.

As she walks by the people in her village, she hears them snicker and whisper with sarcasm, jealousy and disgust, "That's her, she's the one who deserved to die and that Jesus who calls Himself the Son of God, let her live. Look how she walks now. I can't believe she can lift her head so high. She is a whore, yet she acts like she is a virtous woman, HA! I wonder who got her that dress?" As they mockingly laughed, making fun of her.

I believe at that moment, she looked at them with eyes of love even in that moment. Like the Man she encountered, she smiled at them with compassion. They were shocked and insulted realizing that shame had no chance.

I would have to think that there were others who would look from side to side with caution to see if anyone was watching as they ran to her. They had to know as they asked her in desperation, "Why are you different?" In that very moment, with her mouth, she was able to reveal that she was redeemed, and she had to say so! She was able to have the opportunity to share as she might have said something like this, "I had an encounter with my Lord, He freed me from my death sentence..."

As she shared her encounter with Him, those that knew of her, wanted what she had. They had to have this life-altering encounter with Jesus, no matter what the cost.

This leads me to ask, "Lord, do those around me know that I have encountered You? Have I continued to lift my head, when You lifted it the first day I met you? Or, do I still walk in shame? Do I walk in Your freedom that You so lovingly provided? I want to be grateful as I display your love Lord, not just by my actions but also by my words of love. Help me Father God, let me walk in daily rememberance the day I encountered you.

Will the world run to Jesus by running to me as I display the freedom I have in Him?
I desire to be like her after her encounter with Jesus; forever changed by THE ONE WHO IS THE SAME YESTERDAY, TODAY AND FOREVER!

Monday, September 26, 2011

Triumphant Victorious Reminders
Inspired by the Holy Spirit
Written by: Teresa Criswell
Feedback comment by: Kristen Eggers

"In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation (atonement) for our sins."
~ I John 4:10 ~

Need to be inspired?

Then, you're right where you need to be...
You are an inspired thought from God as He placed into this earth to reveal His glorious beauty!

Do we need inspiration?
Then, we must inspire ourselves to inspire someone else because God first inspired us!

Do you need encouragement?
Then, we must encourage ourselves to encourage someone else because God first encouraged us!

Do we feel the need to be loved and appreciated? Then, we must love and appreciate the gifts within us that are from the Lord so that we can love and appreciate the gifts of God within others because God first loved us!

Please go to the following link that inspired me this morning. It is feedback from a very dear sister in the Lord:
http://godisenthralledbyyourbeauty.blogspot.com/2011/09/inspired-feedback.html

Saturday, September 17, 2011

What are we nurturing?

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

"The Peter said, "Silver and gold I do not have. But what I do have I give you, in the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk."
~ Acts 3:6 ~

Beginning in verse 1 of Acts 3, the setting brings us to a man who was born lame. He was carried daily to the gate of the temple called, Beautiful. The purpose for his being carried by others to this place was to collect alms from those who entered in. As this man saw Peter and John entering into the temple, he had also asked them for alms. Peter then said, "Look at us." As the man turned to face them, he expected alms when Peter said, "Silver and gold I do not have. But what I do have I give you, in the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk."

This story leads me to what the words I awoke to this morning, "Nurture only warts the problem..." I was stunned and quite frankly upset. I thought, "No, 'nurture' doesn't do that; that can't be true."

As I prayed about this, I said, "How can this be?" That is when I heard more, "What are you nurturing?" I began to think about this poignant question. I realized, "O my goodness, I see it more clearly Lord." The Lord was helping me to distinguish the "what" to the "who". Does that make sense?

Let me further explain. Notice the man who was born lame. He was carried daily by one or more people to the gate of the temple to collect alms for himself. The people really thought they were doing what was right. Upon this eye opening moment, I realize that when I nurture the "what", I am not focused on the person, whether it is me or someone else, I am focused on what the need is, versus the one who needs. Notice how Peter addressed the true need, it wasn't the alms that he truly needed; it was the potential of healing that was within him. Peter addressed it immediately and then with boldness nurtured the man's need to walk. He walked away that day no longer lame but whole.

Praying more about what I had awoken to, only confirmed what was being brought to the light. Terry, our small group leader was helping us last week to distinguish the difference between what small group focuses on and what it does not focus on. The tool that small group provides is to focus on discovering the God-given potential within people, developing them to become leaders by the power of His Holy Spirit and His Word. As they discover they are a leader, they are then able to disciple their nation (sphere of influence) by the power of the Holy Spirit and God's Word. It was an eye opener to realize that small group is not about discovering potential within a program, developing a program and then discipling others with the program. We as a whole must shift from developing programs to developing people.

When we nurture a program and not the people involved in the program; we only cause the issue that people are dealing with to fester; causing setbacks as they continue to experience the vicious cycle of defeat. The program draws the people with their issues; but it doesn't draw the 'defeatism' from the issues out of the people.

I am reminded that Peter no longer nurtured the man to remain in his state of being lame; but he nurtured the need for this man to walk away from his state of being lame. By God's Spirit and the authority of the name of Jesus, Peter knew to draw the issue out of this man as he experienced what the 'program' of alms never provided; the ability to walk.

The rest of the word came to me, the word that I had awoken to was 'buttoned up' like this:
"When I nurture people's problems, it only warts and glorifies the problem. However, when I nurture people, they become thrivers in their discovered God designed destiny. Take notice! God does not nurture sin; but He does nurture the person with the sin. He calls them forth as Redeemed, Liberated, Victorious, Free, Triumphant and Restored because of what He has done."

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

We are His!

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

Micah 6:8

This morning, I have been reminded of the call within each of our destiny's.

My destiny must be assisted by The Holy Spirit and what is recorded in Micah 6:8, "What is it the Lord requires of us? To do what is right (no matter the wrong that has been done to us), to love mercy (as though it were the air we breathe), and to walk humbly before our God (the Awesome Alpha and Omega, The Beginning and The End. As I am reminded of Who He is, there's no room for pride or haughtiness. The reason is because of His glorious Majesty puts me in my place of my nothingness without Him!

We are His beautiful daughters.

The King's daughters.

What a powerful knowing...WE ARE HIS. HIS DAUGHTERS!

As His daughters we must reveal the King! Not the peasantry life we were rescued from.

Let us allow this reminder to lead us in doing what is right, to love mercy and to walk humbly before our God; Who just so happens to be our Daddy, our King! This is where I scream...Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!!!!

Friday, September 9, 2011

He used a necklace to share His great love?

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

Romans 8:38-39

Ann had a great thought, "Go into the store and you will find some great deals." She warred with her thoughts, thinking, "Yeah right", yet walked in anyway...and as though she had a shopping epiphony...there they were...confirmed deals galore!

She found three beautiful necklaces; $1 each...yes...$1 each! The price and the necklace were a beautiful contradiction, to say the least. Ann thought, "Wow! I know if I received these necklaces as a gift, I would really like them. These will make great gifts!"

After making her gorgeous, yet, more than affordable purchase, she walked out of the store, and began to crave an ice cold frappucino, filled with java chips and a pump of rasberry topped with whip cream and chocolate syrup. The very moment she craved it, she knew it was meant to be...LOL! Right there before her, stood none other than...you guessed it...a Starbucks!

Upon ordering her amazing drink, she walked over to the condiment station to grab a straw, when she heard in her spirit, "See the blonde girl in the corner? Give her one of those necklaces." Ann thought, "Really? Well, ok." She opened her bag, carefully opening the wrapped necklace, peeled off the price tag and folded it gently back into the tissue paper.

As Ann was about to approach the young lady, she noticed that she and a gentleman seemed to be in a deep conversation in which it almost moved her to turn around and say, "Maybe not." Simultaneously as she was tempted to walk away, she knew what she must do; interrupting their conversation she gently said, "Excuse me, I apologize to interrupt." The man turned with a puzzled look, then a smile as she with a smile and yet hesitancy said, "That's fine." Ann continued, "I know this seems awkward, but I feel led to bless you with this necklace, God bless you." As Ann was about to walk away, the man seemed dumbfounded. He asked slowly, yet with a gentle smile, "What moved you to do that? This is so amazing, we were just talking about this very thing. What you have done means more to her than you know."

Ann, choking back tears said, "My husband and I have been blessed; not extravegently, but we have been blessed and with all that is going on in our community and in this world, I must reveal the God kisses as much as possible."

He shook his head in amazement and said, "You have no idea what this means." Ann also shaking her head in disbelief, placed her hand on her chest and said, "I'm going to cry." She couldn't believe that God was allowing her to be a part of such a moment.

In that moment, Ann leaned over introducing herself, she found out what the young lady's name was. Ann couldn't believe what was happening next. She squatted down to her level and said, "May I pray with you?" When the young woman replied with gratitude, "Yes", Ann gently said, "You do not have to tell me what is going on, for God already knows", and she proceeded to pray, declaring that which the Holy Spirit knew which was beyond significant.

Ann told me that as she opened her eyes after praying over this young lady, she witnessed this handsome man; muscular build, with a barbwire tattoo on his left arm, had tears streaming down his face.

He was moved by God in this experience that Ann got to be a part of, and I got to hear about; and what did God use? Yes! None other than a dollar necklace.

This testimony of God's love through a small monetary thing moved me to know, that He wants His message of Love to be spread; especially in ways that we could never imagine. I am reminded of God's unfailing love and how truly NOTHING, NOTHING, NOTHING shall separate us from the Love of God!

I am reminded today that what we may think is insignificant; God will mess us up and show us His powerful greatness even through the smallest things that we would deem not usable; He not only uses but reveals His great love through what we call nothing in His everything!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Enamored!

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

"You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in You, whose thoughts are fixed on You! Trust in the Lord always, for the Lord God is the eternal Rock."
~ Isaiah 26:3 & 4 ~

I believe this scripture as recorded in Isaiah says it all. Verses 3 & 4 are part of a song of praise unto the Lord that was prophesied would be sung by everyone in the land of Judah.

Our God is so Awesome! We are surrounded by the walls of God's salvation as stated in verse 1.

I do not have words to articulate such power as I am humbly awed by God's glorious, incredible presence.

The only words that come forth, are words that form sentences of powerful questions.

Do I truly know Who I am allowed to worship?
Am I enamored by the One who bids me to come into His glorious embrace?
Does this knowing move me to a place of humbleness?
Does that place of humbleness move me to reach out to others with His glorious love?
What about the ones whom I deem undeserved?
What about the ones who struggle in their walk not knowing the power they walk in?
Will I judge them in their struggle, turn my nose up in disgust and walk away?
Or will I stop and by God's Spirit be impressed as I have been impacted by God's glorious love to assist, love and pray with and for?
They are not the only ones who struggle; for don't we all? I know I struggle. Now I may have strengths that others don't have; BUT I am humbly reminded that OTHERS have strengths that I don't have.

We are a great and mighty force by God's Spirit to be reckoned with in this world...we may have heard this, but do we know it?
Do we have such a revelation of this power from God that we could not be convinced otherwise?
Are we moving and seeing that power revealed that it shakes the foundations of the earth as the earth applauds His glory?
Do we know our God and His power like we know our own name?
If someone came to you and attempted to convince you that your name was not yours; would you be able to confidently rise up and say, "No! My name is_____________!"

I long to get to that place with the power of God that is on the inside of me because of His glorious, Holy Spirit!

How can we know it, if we don't have a revelation of our amazing, awesome, eternal, glorious God?

Am I digging in the Word of God, the Treasure of all treasures?
I say I know Him; but am I living out what I know. It is not only what I know; it's what is revealed in the knowing as I get beyond the hindrance of self and into the freedom of our Glorious God and King!
I want, desire and long to be moved by Who He is as I read the many accounts in the Word of God of the ones who have gone before us. They were regular, sin-filled human beings; who were great at 'being human', allowing the God of the Eternal Universe to touch them in such a way that could move heaven and earth in ways they could never dare imagine!

My spirit is reminding my mind by the Word of God to trust in God Who will keep us in perfect peace IF and WHEN we trust Him as our thoughts are FIXED on Him! I must ALWAYS trust in the Lord, for the Lord God is the eternal Rock Who is more than worthy to be trusted!