Saturday, February 26, 2011

"Go, Fight and Win"

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

Today, I want to share a post I was able to write via Cody's wrestling blog. In writing him, it truly stirred up what I must continue to maintain...my faith in God...grabbing a hold of the necessary tools that God has so readily available for each of us...strength and courage!

I pray you are blessed and encouraged...the following link will lead you to Cody's blog, click here!

Be blessed and encouraged as we, "Go, Fight and Win!" in the name of Jesus...The Name of Victory!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Chapter Six: My Redeemer

Hello to my endearing and encouraging readers!

Today I have posted Chapter Six of God is Enthralled By Your Beauty...the chapter's title is My Redeemer.

I pray that you are blessed of the reminder of our Redeemer, Who Lives!

Click here for Chapter Six...
If you have not read prior to this chapter, you can do so by going to my blog at:
www.Godisenthralledbyyourbeauty.blogspot.com

If you know anyone who needs encouragement...please feel free to pass it on.

I am so grateful to God for each of you!

Friday, February 18, 2011

Chapter Five: Beauty for Ashes

I just posted Chapter Five: Beauty for Ashes.

This is probably one of my favorite chapters as it allowed me to fall in love with Jesus in a way I could never imagine or dream! As I re-read it today, this spark of unimaginable love overwhelmed my spirit, which began to overwhelm my mind to another realm of renewal. Our God is so awesome!

If you have not been able to read the book yet, please go to Godisenthralledbyyourbeauty.blogspot.com

Click here to read: Chapter Five

God bless you and please share with other women who could truly utilize this...if you want to purchase a soft back book, please contact me at Godisenthralledbyyourbeauty@yahoo.com

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Chapter Four: The Eye of The Beholder

Written by: Teresa Criswell

Today, I am posting another chapter from my book, God Is Enthralled By Your Beauty.

Click the following links to read the book in order, if you have not yet read:
Introduction
Chapter One
Chapter Two
Chapter Three
Chapter Four

If you would like to purchase a soft back book, you can do so by emailing me at
Godisenthralledbyyourbeauty@yahoo.com

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Letter from dad to son...

I will be posting another link in regards to my book tomorrow...however, I interrupt with today's 'letter' from my husband to his son. Our son, a senior, reached a level of success in wrestling as a state qualifier in the 160 pound weight bracket.

Some of you know a little of our story in regards to Tim's son, my 'bonus' son, and Tristin's brother...but here is another part. I was honored to dictate while my husband reminisced as tears rolled down both our faces talking and walking down memory lane.

I pray you are encouraged to keep on, keepin' on...no matter what we may be going through, as our Pastor Chris has been teaching, How To Stand in Tough Times. The tough times, the tests of life produce patience and endurance and we can count it all joy as we see what the tough times produce...a strength that we didn't have the time before by the power of the Holy Spirit.

Here is the link to Tim's letter of encouragement to his son, Cody:
http://codyiowawrestler.blogspot.com/

Friday, February 11, 2011

The Walk...

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

"And how shall they preach, unless they are sent? As it is written: "How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the gospel of peace, who bring glad tidings of good things!"
~ Romans 10:15 NKJV ~

Need clarity? Direction?
You have no idea how much I needed both. For over six months I felt this indescribable disconnect from the local fellowship of where I was. The word that I kept 'hearing in my spirit' was 'OUTREACH' - the tool for the Gospel to be the most effective is outreach by reaching out with God's loving compassion.

Why the disconnect?
You may be assuming the most frequent reason why people leave; offense, right?
No. Actually, the Lord has pierced my heart to never leave a fellowship of any sort because of offense. He has shown me that offense is not a gift from Him to receive, so if it is not a gift, then I can choose not to receive it. All in all, that reason - called 'offense' - can be crossed off the list in regards to the disconnection I had been experiencing.

Hmmmmm, maybe it was not liking how things were done?
No, actually it was just the opposite, things were good.
Showed up on Sundays, greeted, got to love on people, blessed by corporate worship flowing in the Spirit, a good word from the pastor, loved my family in Christ...but still an undefined, imaginary wall that seemed to be in the way.

The best way to describe it all...I'm going to use the classic cliche...'going through the motions.' Yes, 'going through the motions'. Until one prayer and one action changed it all...my prayer went something like this..."Lord, am I running away being led by my feelings? Do I need to persevere and stay with this local fellowship?" "What will my pastors think?" Of course, when I asked that question, I was reminded that I am not here to be driven by pleasing man, but to be driven by pleasing God and in turn people will take pleasure in what is done, no matter the result.

I was finally praying more specifically, something like this, "Lord, show me where to go, confirm in me what I need to know and then in that knowing from You, I know I am led with Your Wisdom and Understanding to know what to do, how to do it and where to go."

A few days later, a beautiful Sunday afternoon on January 30, 2011. It was a beautiful 80 degrees and all I wanted to do was take my Sunday nap. I was imagining myself gracefully and in slow motion flying through the air onto my fluffy bed resting my head upon the pillow, closing my eyes and allowing the afternoon to slip away, that is when I heard a sweet voice, "Mom, let's go for a walk." When I responded in a whiny, grudging voice, "O, not now, I'm soooo tired." Looking back on that moment I was acting like a spoiled adult. Immediately upon my grudging reply, I was immediately convicted, "Go and go now, make a memory bank moment with your gift, your daughter." So, of course, I said, "Honey, let's go, but we better go now before my laziness tries to take over." She smiled so big, ran upstairs to get her running shoes on, ran back downstairs and in her 'ta-da' move, there she was with her arms extended to the ceiling, standing with her legs apart as she posed with laughter. I laughed with her and we were on our way out the door. As we stepped outside with purpose we breathed in that crisp air and started on our walk.

Divine Appointment: Now on our way back is the miracle in the making that only God could perform. As we turned around and were a few houses away from our house, we saw one of "Little T's" friends outside standing in the front yard with a huge smile on her face. Her excitement was contagious as I asked, "Hi Isabella, what are ya doin'?" With excitement, she said, "I'm waiting for my pastors! We're having a whole bunch of people from church come to our house." That is when I saw a black SUV pull up and witnessed Isabella so kindly greet her pastors as they embraced her with so much love. I almost walked away to go towards the house when I was led to stay to meet the pastor and his wife. As we introduced ourselves, we were invited with a great welcome to come inside, and as they invited us in, Rachel, Isabella's mom came out and confirmed the invitation, in which we went home, changed and came right back. As we came back to their house, we were so excited by the 'buzz' in the atmosphere driven by people who love the Lord and one another.

After some fellowship time, the pastor had everyone come together, he led in prayer and cast the vision that God had given to him and his beautiful wife. I stood there with my heart in my throat when I heard the name of the church was none other than, Reach Church and their heart from God is wrapped so beautifully in this motto, "Reach up in worship, reach in for purpose and reach out in love." The testimony of God over their lives in their journey as they were led by the Lord to Austin pierced my heart with confirmation. As the pastor spoke, I said to myself, "Why does he look familiar?" That is when I realized I saw him on tv over the weekend advertising for the 'grand opening' for Reach Church. I was blessed to find out as he spoke more of both he and his wife's reliance on the Lord through fervent prayer and fasting. The excitement had to be contained for a moment because I wanted to be sure I wasn't being led by my emotion.

I went home that night with a knowing. I had great temptation to walk away from my local fellowship and not let anyone know. I tried to justify within myself, "Hey, once I start not coming for a couple of weeks, they'll get the 'hint' that I'm not returning."

How rude, right?

Well, thank the Lord my justification was interrupted by loving conviction on behalf of my pastors. I heard, "You came in with honor and you will leave with honor." Five days later at about 2:00 pm I text my pastors to see if we could meet right away. They responded immediately and four hours later they were in my home at our dining room table as we were able to share our hearts with one another and I let them know that I felt a release to leave. They prayed with me and were saddened and disappointed but at the same time were blessed that they had clarity and released a blessing over me as my former pastor said, "Teresa, we pray God's blessing over you as you will be a blessing wherever you go." They are such wonderful pastors who have hearts of worship towards our Awesome God. They prayed with me and encouraged me in the midst of their hurt and they left. Now, just because I no longer go to the same building to meet with them, does not mean that our relationship in Christ is over...we are connected by the Spirit of God and I am so grateful to know such beautiful people who love their God.

Well, anyways, I know this has become a longer story than I anticipated, but I wanted to take you on the 'scenic' route, versus the shortcut.

Now to the destination. On Sunday, February 6, 2011, "Little T" and I visited Reach Church and were welcomed with the Love of God's embrace. O, how wonderful. This incredible connection with family in Christ that I had been longing for was sealed in that moment. The message from the pastor, a right now, applicable word to walk in the ways of God, declaring His glorious works in the midst of tough times was spoken. I wanted to stand up and cheer for my Lord, my Triumphant Victor, my Teacher and my King of kings. I am continually being blessed and impressed by the family in Christ at Reach Church.

O my goodness, the bonus...it is when I picked up my daughter from class when I heard the first words out of her mouth, "Mom, this is the best church ever!" I was shocked...the reason? Well, right before we came in, she did not want to go to a new fellowship because she was going to miss where we had been fellowshipping. My prayer was that God would confirm in her heart, what He had already confirmed in mine. He did so much more than that inside of her!She was beyond excited, she was ready to evangelize. The teachers that day, so beautifully led by The Spirit of God as a ballroom dance, pulled the gift of outreach out of my daughter. You have no idea, "Little T" spoke to me for about 20 minutes of what she learned, what she received and what she was going to do with what she had received. She told me how the kids welcomed her as she had met some of them the previous week at Ivan and Rachel's home. She was amazed by the participation of all the children, she emphasized, "even the 6th graders" were praising God during worship mom." You have no idea how much this blessed my heart as an earthly mother, as I know more than anything this blessed The Father God's heart!

Finally, I have to say the bonus, bonus was finding out that Pastor Chris is a retired high ranking U.S. Marine and a former high school wrestler. Why is this so significant? Well, I'm glad you asked. We have been praying for our son to be impressed by God in a way we could never imagine. His pondering desire has been to become a U.S. Marine and he is currently a Senior in high school, a wrestler whose goal is to qualify for state. I am not going to speculate or assume how God is going to work, however, it is pretty exciting as our son has not stepped into a church on a regular basis in a few years. He is a good young man, yet, there is so much more to be received in the great destiny that is to be had by the spirit of God, beyond our son's power, might and vivid imaginations.


More than anything, as I close, I praise God for Who He is; The Great I Am. I praise God for how much more I have learned from Him, yet still it is only a 'speck' of the eternal things that must be learned from Him. As I heard so powerfully, yet simply a few years ago, "The more I learn who God is, the more I learn I know nothing at all." God is awesome...He is more than good ALL the time, He is Awesome in every dimension of time, beyond what we could ever hope, ask, imagine or dream.

I am so grateful for the vision that Pastors Chris and Melissa have received from the Lord following His leading as they lead others by "reaching up in worship, reaching in for God's purpose and reaching out in love" to the glorious throne of God. Let us run, run and run some more, not holding back to our Greatest Reward; the King of kings and the Lord of lords.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Chapter Three: The King Adorned In Peace

Written by: Teresa Criswell

Today is the fourth day in which I post another chapter from my book, God Is Enthralled By Your Beauty. Today's post is from Chapter Three, The King Adorned In Peace.

Click here to read Chapter Three.
Click here to read Chapter Two.
Click here to read Chapter One and
Click here to read the Introduction.

Thank you for your encouragement to press on for it is all to see the glory of God revealed upon and through each of us.

If you would like to purchase a soft back book, you can do so by emailing me at:
Godisenthralledbyyourbeauty@yahoo.com
Please Note: I will let you know when the re-edited version is printed.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Chapter Two: The Place of Secrecy

Written by: Teresa Criswell

Today is the third day in which I post another chapter of my book, God Is Enthralled By Your Beauty. Today's post is from Chapter Two, The Place of Secrecy.

Please click here to read chapter two. If you have not read the Introduction, please click here. And, if you have not read chapter one, please click here.

Thank you for your encouragement to press on for it is all to see the glory of God revealed upon and through each of us.

Remember, if you want to purchase a soft back book, you can do so by emailing me at:
Godisenthralledbyyourbeauty@yahoo.com
Please Note: I will let you know when the re-edited version is printed.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Chapter One: What Mirror Are You Looking Into?

Today is the second day of introducing my self-published book,
God Is Enthralled By Your Beauty
Finally Looking Into The Mirror He Sees You In
Written By: Teresa Criswell


For those of you who have already read the Introduction,
please click here for
Chapter One,
What Mirror Are You Looking Into?

If you did not read yesterday's post, please note that the new blog is not replacing
Triumphant Victorious Reminders. Again, with great excitement I want to 'sow' this book 'online' via blog into whomever is willing to realize their worth before the Mighty Eyes of God.

If you are wanting to purchase a soft back book, please email me at: Godisenthralledbyyourbeauty@yahoo.com
Books will be available for purchase in 8 to 10 weeks.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Introduction to new blog for self-published book

I started a new blog for my self-published book,
God Is Enthralled By Your Beauty
Finally Looking Into The Mirror He Sees You In

Please click here for the first post to:
Godisenthralledbyyourbeauty.blogspot.com

Please note that the new blog is not replacing Triumphant Victorious Reminders. With great excitement I want to 'sow' this book 'online' via blog into whomever is willing to realize their worth before the Mighty Eyes of God.

If you are wanting to purchase a soft back book, please email me at: Godisenthralledbyyourbeauty@yahoo.com

You are loved and adored by the King!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

February 2, 2011, "Praising Him No Matter What"

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

"But I will hope (have great expectancy) continually, and praise you yet more and more. My mouth shall tell of Your righteousness and Your salvation all the day, for I do not know their limits."
~ Psalm 71:14-15 ~

This morning I was so aware of desiring the presence of God.
The awareness was such a revelation to WHOM lives on the inside of me.
Looking inwardly to my Great Comforter and Helper, the Holy Spirit of God.
In this awareness, there was this praise that was purposefully coming forth, arising up out of me. The amazing power to realize I no longer wanted to unintentionally 'use' God as a 'lucky charm' but knowing He is to be feared. No longer attempting to 'work the Word' to benefit me, but to allow the Word of God to work IN me.

I was reminded that I must fear God; beyond a reverence and an awe, but an unaltering, unknowing, indescribable fear in being aware of my nothingness in comparison to His everything'ness'.

As this revelation was coming forth, transforming by thoughts towards God, it instantaneously drew out the praises unto The Great I Am, out of my mouth. As I thought about the great dissatisfaction I have been experiencing, I realized I was being driven by selfish agendas. Agendas of the vision that God has given me and 'trying' to figure out how 'I am' going to get them accomplished.

Upon realizing my selfish agenda, there was this great understanding that there is no way I can get something accomplished that is of God without His leading. The vision that He has given to me is not my possession, but His. Immediately the need to feel the burden to be responsible for His vision was so beautifully removed from me. I no longer bore the unnecessary burden to see the vision come to pass. I realized in that moment that I needed to cast that vision back to Whom it belonged to and hold onto it, waiting for His call to action. When He says to go...I know that the vision will be backed by His great, unimaginable PROVISION!

In all of this, as I was getting ready for the day, the declarations were arising up and out of my mouth, praising the Lord when SUDDENLY the electricity went out. It was quite interesting...everything was trying to shift to panic, when in my spirit I heard, "Will you still praise Me?" That question itself altered my attitude towards God in the midst of an annoying circumstance. My spirit was allowed to lead my mind away from complaining. When frustration attempted to arise; the praises arose instead towards my Awesome Provider. About 20 minutes later the electricity came back on and we were able to do the things that needed to get done.

A few hours later, I was running an errand, driving my car going about 65 miles per hour, when suddenly it sounded like an airplane was hovering over me. I looked down at my dashboard and realized my RPM's were bouncing around. When I placed my foot on the brake, the overwhelming sound stopped. I pulled over to the side of the highway, came to a complete stop and placed the car in park. I stayed on the shoulder for a few minutes, and while I sat there, panic attempted to arise with every question swirling around me; when a 'rescue' reminder came to me from earlier that morning. "Will I continue to praise the Lord?" At that reminder, on purpose the praises were coming forth again and this is what was declared with great faith towards The Great I Am; Awesome God:
"Father, this has not taken You by surprise, You have already made a way, I don't know how and I don't know when, but I know You Lord. You are the Way Maker; especially when there seems to be no way. I will see Your provision. I will see You!"

I was able to get the car home, I called my dear friend Lori and she gave me a ride so I was able to get my errands accomplished. We were able to laugh together and she shared with me how the pipes in her house froze, her husband's brakes went bad and she told me how she was tempted to get upset and complain. We laughed even more at the greatness of God and how He must be praised. We must echo the praises of the angels in heaven that gather at His throne.

The reminder in all of this today; I must declare the praises of God no matter what I see before me. He is to be praised AT all times...my attitude must come in line with who He is.