Thursday, March 31, 2011

"Girls Just Wanna Have Fun"

I had to share this fun video of my daughter's 'flash dance' at Pizza Hut from last weekend. These girls had so much fun being silly. The theme of my daughter's birthday party was '80's..."Girls Just Wanna Have Fun". They did, and so did I!!! We hope you have some good laughs as you watch!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Monday, March 28, 2011

March 28, 2011, "Revelation through Intimacy"

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

"Let my prayer come before You; incline Your ear to my cry."
~ Psalm 88:2 ~

I want to encourage you with some beautiful gifts that I have learned in my intimate time with our Awesome God:
"The power of prayer is not what changes things. The power is from our awesome God Who utilizes prayer as a tool to change things." God so lovingly revealed to me that my focus was on His gifts...He was so kind and patient as he showed me that I must remain focused solely and only on the Gift-Giver!

Prayer is a constant communion with God. Whether it is us responding with words or responding by listening to His Words...this is true prayer."

"The jealousy of God is not about our perspective of sinful or angry jealousy. I truly believe that the perspective of God's Jealousy is driven by His loving protection.

God's Jealousy is His protective power that longs after us to not fall in love or lust with something or someone else that will only result in destruction. O how He is jealous for us!"

You are loved...if you 'see' someone in your heart and mind today, pray for them and ask God through His Holy Spirit how you ought to pray. If you need to call and let them know that God shared a glimpse of His thoughts with you over them...then do so. We never know what that could do for someone.

Encouragement allows others to be led to the Bridge of Hope...our Hope of Glory which is Jesus Christ!

I heard a great quote from John Bevere. "The highest form of worship is obedience."

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Hope in the midst of ruin...

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


(Photograph: Associated Press)

"You hear, O Lord, the desire of the afflicted; you encourage them and listen to their cry,"
~ Psalm 10:17 ~

I came across this unforgettable photograph from Yahoo News! The woman in the photograph was walking and shouting the name of a loved one who has been missing since March 11th. The road she walked on was surrounded by debris and hopelessness by the tsunami torn area.

Reading the words that described the photograph on the news page, gripped my heart and moved me to gut flowing tears. This woman's shouts had to believe that her loved one was still alive. The human spirit, especially amongst the beautiful asian people is unbelievably valiant. This asian woman dared to believe that she would hear her loved one answer back in the midst of the rubble to confirm her hopes and silence her fears. Sadly, the photograph said it all...there would be no survivors found.

Saddened by this heart wrenching photograph, it became painfully real that this was one 'still' frame of real life out of many. I looked at the photograph and began to scroll to the next frame when I refrained from clicking 'next'. I was reminded that this was not about being sympathetic and moving on; this was truly about being moved to do something...being moved to pray for God to reveal His glorious face and mighty hands. I am convicted to pray by faith in God that His peace ministers to the beautiful people of Japan as He hears their cries.

I can no longer allow a photograph to move me for a moment and then casually 'click' to the next frame.

There are many in the world around us who are walking along the ruins of life.
They are crying out with untamed hope .
Their ears desperate to hear the faint shouts coming forth from the mangled rubble of sins destruction.
Do I hear the voices?
The Rescuer, Jesus Christ, is willing and able...
however, will I shout for them in prayer?
Will I assist among the ruins?

Thursday, March 17, 2011

March 17, 2011, "Praise, Encourage and Edify our Glorious God and King"

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

"And my tongue shall speak of Your righteousness and of Your praise all the day long."
~ Psalm 35:28 ~

Circumstances began to build itself up.
My eyes allowed my soul to be overtaken with fear as they seemed to become larger and larger. Before I knew it, my mind was exalting the circumstances like a massive, giant tidal wave only growing stronger as it came closer to land.
Then, SUDDENLY! Yes! Suddenly! I could hear through the wind of howling circumstances the still small voice whispering with authority, "Praise your God! Encourage and edify Me, NOW! I long to hear the praises of My people!"

O! As soon as I heard this, my heart led my body into this indignant triumphal cheer!
The praises that came forth declared,
"God You are the Mountain Remover!
You are Strength over all strength!
You are Comforter and Joy to those who weep in mourning!
God! You are The Great I Am...there is NO ONE LIKE YOU! NO ONE! NO ONE!
When the world glorifies the famous ones, I can shout, "I know THE MOST FAMOUS ONE! I KNOW HIM! HE LONGS AFTER ME! HE DESIRES ME and I desire HIM!"
With joyous laughter, I declare, "I know THE MOST FAMOUS ONE!"

God! You are The Creator...I am Your workmanship that needs not to be ashamed...if I don't praise You as Jesus proclaimed, then the stones will cry out! I don't want those stones replacing my voice!
My flesh will no longer silence me!
I will not be silenced! You are God!
You are my Triumphant God, Who is, Who Was and Who Is To Come!

God! I come to you and encourage You and edify You; I want to bring refreshment to You...for I know as it says in Your Word, when we refresh others, we, ourselves, will be refreshed!
I get to bring praises of refreshment to The Great Refresher with the praises of Who You are!
I am to be careful not to be a 'Promise digger' to seek out what I can get from You...but I am going to be a 'God digger' and 'God seeker', craving and seeking after Who You are and Your glorious righteousness!!!!!!

I must be a cheerleader for My God!
I heard as I was praising, "All My people whom I have created are instruments of praise!
Let your praises to Me be the 'fingers' that strum your life; exalting, edifying and encouraging Me!
No longer allow the 'fingers' of circumstances, worries and concern strum you, for that does not praise Me!
I Am your God and I Am MORE than Worthy to be praised!
My daughter, be My instrument of praise and no one else's!"

Praise is not only a weapon against our enemy...but it's a weapon against our mindsets and distorted perceptions.
The weapon of Praise to God refreshes the very core of who we are destined to be; designed by our Almighty God!

Let us be trumpets of praise; revealing our Majestic King who enters in...let us honor Him! When we are tempted to complain; let us turn and praise our Glorious God and King!

For remember when we complain, we will remain; however, when we praise, we shall be raised!!!!!

Scripture References:
Psalm 35:28
Ephesians 2:10
Luke 19:40
Proverbs 11:25
Matthew 6:33
Ephesians 6

Saturday, March 12, 2011

March 12, 2011, "Love covers..."

Triumphant Victorious Reminders
Inspired by the Holy Spirit
Written by: Teresa Criswell
Testimony of God through my friend's life.

"Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers a multitude of sins."
~ I Peter 4:8 ~

"For a propserous man is generous. He who refreshes others, will himself be refreshed."
~ Proverbs 11:25 ~

Betrayal. Infidelity. Adultery. Anger. Hopelessness.

"Lord, what is his password? I need to know. God, what is it?"
"Where is he?"
"Is he with her tonight?"

She finds receipts of purchases for this woman and her child.
The boiling hate of betrayal rises up out of her and towards him.
When she sees him, it is as though he can feel the weapons of every kind shoot like bullets from her eyes with disgust and shame.
Angry words stir up even more dissension.
The atmosphere filled with hate and anger.

Respect evaporates in an instant based on what he has done many times over.
Love evaporates in an instant based on the justified, condemning words she has spoken towards him.

In the midst of this war, their precious son, confused.
In his own turmoil, he asks himself,
"Did I do something wrong?"
"Why won't they laugh at my jokes anymore?"
"I want to laugh, but this house won't let me!"

Suddenly, she hears the whispers of the Holy Spirit, "Love covers a multitude of sins. The embrace of a wife covers the sinner. I forgave you and you received much forgiveness; now you must give freely what you have received much of."

Her fists clenched in anger as she screams, "God! Have you turned a blind eye to my pain?" Have you not seen what he has done? He is with another woman? Have you seen and heard the dialogue of these two? Everything I dreamed of, it has been shattered!!! God, why didn't you stop it?"
She hears the still small voice, "My daughter, I have also seen what you have done and I love you with My everlasting love. Daughter, he must see Me through you. I am faithful even when you were and are faithless. You are filled with my faithfulness from my Holy Spirit, now let Me pour out of you....I have never asked you to do anything I have not already done."

As she hears these words, she weeps with uncontrollable anguish.
She knows truth, but everything in her wants to do the opposite of truth.
Vengeance is easier; explosion is easier.
Pride revealed as self wants to manifest...yet, humbleness must be revealed through strength under control.

The power of hate that wants to spew out of control is controlled by the power of God's love, manifesting true humility.

The Spirit of God speaks to her heart yet again, "I am your Husband." "I am going to take this sin he has committed and use it as an opportunity to teach you what it is to have a husband who longs for you so jealously. As I teach you, he will learn from My respect through you how to be a husband I have called him to be, as you arise to become the wife I have called you to become. Remember Hosea, My prophet. Do not seek counsel based on what you want to hear; seek My Counsel, for you will hear what you need to hear. I will Restore; but you must do as I say."

Her head and eyes look up. This new found confidence rises up out of her and she says, "I will Arise out of this depression. My son and my husband need me. My husband is a soul who is in desperate need of Jesus." As she cries out she realizes her heart has shifted from selfish human love transformed by God's genuine love.

The Holy Spirit continues to comfort her as she hears, "My daughter, when your son is in the room, overtake him with a hilarious embrace. Kiss him, love him. Look into his eyes and tell him what a gift from God he is to you. He longs to laugh...let my joy burst forth bringing my strength in the midst of weakness."

"My daughter, tell my son, your husband how you appreciate his hard work. Embrace him."
"But God, what if he rejects me?"
"Focus on my acceptance of you, not mere man's rejection. Remember, he is not rejecting you but rejecting Me. Be my vessel. I will restore."

"God, what if I can't take it anymore?"
"Then, My daughter, I will reveal that My grace is sufficient for you. My grace will allow you to soar above what you can not walk through in your own strength. You cannot handle this burden alone; but I can and already have."

To see my friend walk out in God's strength is beyond admirable. It is truly seeing royalty at its finest. I am in awe to write a glimpse of her story as the testimony of God continues to unfold in her life, she is falling in love with The Lover of her soul, Jesus Christ. I asked her for permission to share God's testimony through this trying time...and without hesitancy she said, "Yes, share!"

As God allowed me to stand with her, I felt inadequate.
I told God, "I have no idea what she is going through. I am not qualified to pray with her, nor stand with her."
That is when the Lord pierced my heart.
It was as though I heard God say, "You will give Counsel from the Almighty Counselor.
Do not speak what you you want to speak, for when you hear what has taken place you will want to advise her to do what she wants to hear. You must arise and follow My lead, not your lead or the world's in this situation.
No more pleasing man with what they want to hear; but you must please Me and tell yourself and others what must be heard. Boldness shall arise. It is not something you summon on your own strength...submit to Me, abide and live in My Word and the counsel revealed in boldness will bring refreshment as My boldness is driven by pure, genuine love."

Scripture References:
I Peter 4:8
Proverbs 11:25
Ephesians 5:33
II Timothy 2:13
Isaiah 60:1
I Thessalonians 4
I Corinthians 12:9
Acts 4
I Timothy 1:5

Sunday, March 6, 2011

March 7, 2011 "Interview with my daughter"

This is hilarious and so refreshing! In my daughter's words, she said:
"Mom, I have a perma-grin, I'm so happy to be here (REACH Church). Mom, I can't explain in words how much I love it...my stomach tickles whenever I think about it." We giggled and giggled some more. Her enthusiastic, tickling response led me to the following interview with her and I believe you will enjoy it as much as I did!!!

Interview with my daughter:

Mom:
What caused you to want to return to REACH Church after the first visit?

Daughter:
Well, I love the people there and they are like really nice and kind and fun and full of the Lord. Another thing is I get to see my friends there, and I get to learn about the Lord in a FUN way, instead of just words. They don't treat us like little kids who don't know anything. We sing and jump up and down for the Lord. They do skits, they give you silly bands and the silly bands represent something that they are teaching. For example, I got a heart silly band which represents the Heart of God.

Mom:
That is really awesome. So when you come to church what is it that you look forward to the most?

Daughter:
O, that's easy...Ok...when I look at my silly bands I get excited and am reminded of getting to see Mr. Weiss, Mrs. Jody, and Mr. Isaiah and the reason why is because they do fun lessons about Faith, The Bible, and The Heart of Jesus.

Mom:
Awesome!
So, for instance, when you look at the heart silly band on your wrist, what are you reminded of?

Daughter:
Well, first when I look at the silly band....I don't just look at it as a heart silly band and say, "O, that's cool"...I look at it and I think of God's heart and how His heart is pure and loving towards us.
The second reason why I like the silly band, is because I think of the day I gave my other heart silly band to my friend and got to share the message of Jesus with her on the bench at recess. It was really cool. What was awesome, was that no one was on the bench.

Mom:
That leads me to ask you, are there usually people on the bench at recess?

Daughter:
O Yes, lots. It was such a "God" thing because nobody was on the bench, it was just me and her...she wants to come to church with me.

Mom:
One last question, throughout the week, I have noticed you reading the Bible and you get really excited, so tell me why?

Daughter:
Well, the reason why I get excited is I get to read the Bible. It's cool, they give us these bookmarks and the bookmark gives you scripture to read everyday. We read it out loud to our mom and dad and what I think is really cool, is I get to read something new every day out of the Bible but even though it is different it all comes together.

Mom:
You really are a blessing and I can see through your excitement that the Lord has really blessed you at REACH Church. Thank you for your time, have a blessed evening.

Tristin:
Thank you, you too mom. Ummmm, mom, I live with you. (giggle). Good night mommy (The room filled with giggles).

Mom:
Good night sweetie.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

March 3, 2011, "All Consuming Fire that Never Goes Out"

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

"I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance, but He who is coming after me is mightier than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire."
~ John the Baptist as recorded in Matthew 3:11 ~

Consumed. Ashes. Destruction. These words describe the outcome of what a fire does. This is incredibly awesome that the fire we are baptized with through Jesus Christ consumes our spirit, resulting in the death and destruction of the old man (II Corinthians 5:17) and revealing a life consumed by Him. Our lives become a revelation of God's beauty and effervescent life that is abundant in Christ Jesus (John 10:10).

Encouragement, refreshment and restoration is made available to each of us through our Father God, revealed in the obedience of Jesus Christ. In His obedience even unto death (Philippians 2) and yet another step of His obedience was by leaving so that the Promised Holy Spirit of God who Comforts and Strengthens could be made manifest. This powerful manifestation of the Holy Spirit causes our spirit to be reborn when we receive Jesus Christ. The Fire of God that is set ablaze is revealed by God's Holy, All Consuming Fire! This passionate experience must be constant, moment by moment. God's uncontainable, indescribable Holy Fire does not go out...there are no embers that go out in the midst of God's Holy Fire! Our head, our eyes, our face, our everything must stay fixed, focused on our Awesome God!

As we come to God as we are; and allow His Spirit to overshadow us, this Fire causes a disintegration of our old ways. The cohesion of the burden of sin is loosened and there is an integration of God's powerful Fire that must spread beyond the power of a man made wildfire. The accelerator of this Fire is GOD'S LOVING PASSION! Not our human nature's passionate love, but God's genuine love.

O how this is a fight, isn't it? Initially, there are no logical 'how to's' on our part on being on fire for God...it is God's impartation of His Holy Spirit that blows and beckons us to His Word that flames His Holy Fire within us. The 'how to' comes in with our obedience in answering the blowing, beckoning call as the outcome will be an everlasting flame ALWAYS motivated and moved by GOD'S LOVE bringing about supernatural transforming change!

As we RUN to His Word, revealed by the Spirit of God, we are then able to be 'fire accelerated agents', spreading God's passionate love upon others. The acceleration will only intensify.

I want to close this post with an excerpt from an email I received yesterday from my friend Julie. I am stirred up by her seeking God to trust in the Holy Spirit like never before:

20 But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. 21 She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus,[b] because he will save his people from their sins.”
Matthew 1:19-21

When I gave this deep thought/prayer, really taking in that a human being was created by God's HOLY SPIRIT inside of Mary (without sperm which is the way each one of us has had the ability to be), wow. What an amazing miracle that I often miss or at best don't focus on..... we usually focus on the miracles that Jesus himself demonstrates, but how about the miracle of Jesus himself?

Praise be to God!

Julie


Be set ablaze!!!

I want to extend an invitation that when you need prayer, please contact me via email at bravelyrescued@yahoo.com and I would be honored to go with you boldly to the Throne of Grace and lay those burdens with you at the feet of Jesus. We are loved, so let us show our neighborhood and community what we have received much of and lavishly place it upon them!