Monday, April 23, 2012

Awesome God

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

"You are my hiding place; You shall preserve me from trouble; You shall surround me with songs of deliverance."
~ Psalm 32:7 ~

I asked, "Lord, why is it so many of us get delivered, but then we feel we need to be delivered multiple times?"  That is when I heard in my spirit, "Desiring deliverance is not only a one time experience, it is experiencing a moment by moment relationship with Me the Deliverer".

Deliverance isn't just a one time, magic potion moment.  The beauty of deliverance is not about an experience but Who we get to experience it with.  Making ourselves aware to His presence and being awakened to the One Who sings songs of Deliverance over us, is incredibly right there with us.

Some may ask, "That sounds good, but what does that look like?"  I heard it said best from Terry, one of my mentors, "Teresa, you and your husband could be in the same vicinity of the house.  He may be in his chair watching television and you are doing something in the kitchen.  You both are there, but you haven't made yourself aware to one another's presence.  However, as soon as you intentionally become aware of one another, dynamics change, the atmosphere it is us with God.  He is right there with us, His presence is everywhere, but until we take notice and acknowledge Him that is when we are able to experience Who He is moment by moment being aware of our Amazing God.

It goes back to having a relationship with our God Who is eternally faceted.  For instance, there could be some who are incredibly content and know how blessed they are and if you allow Him, He reveals Himself as the Lover of your soul.  We get to have fun with Him, joyfully communicating with Him, looking up at the sky and even saying, "Wow God, You are so cool, even the heavens declare Your glory."  Maybe there are many reading this who feel or even were abandoned and yet Almighty God reveals Himself as your Father that no earthly man could ever come close in comparison.  Meanwhile, we could be in a situation filled with confusion and anxiety, yet even in that circumstance as we make ourselves aware to the Almighty Counselor and Teacher, He Who is Peace comes in and blows us away as our mind is unable to comprehend such an incredible feat. Perhaps in life we feel alone, yet if and when we allow Him, He gently reveals Himself as our Comforter...not comforting us in a 'coddling', or enabling way, but showing us that He has put bravery and courage within us to keep going as He assures us, "I Am here."  The innumerable amount of circumstances cannot hinder Him from being Who He is in our lives, will we allow ourselves to be a part in relationship of this amazing God? 

So today, let us be aware, 'triumphantly and victoriously reminded' of our God The Father Who is revealed as Father and Protector.  And Jesus Christ who came to reveal the Father, is The Son Who is our Companion and Friend.  And the Holy Spirit Who came to reveal the Son, is The Promised One revealed as a Mother, a Comforter and Teacher.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

The Beauty of Forgiveness...

Triumphant Victorious Reminders Inspired by the Holy Spirit Written by: Teresa Criswell Excerpt from post in

Photograph excerpt from Google Images

"As far as the east is from the west, so far as He removed our transgressions from us." ~ Psalm 103:12 ~

The beauty of God’s love is indescribable. Even in the attempt to describe such massive, exploding and delicious truth, where does one begin?

Today, I am made aware of the beauty of forgiveness.

A simple truth that God revealed to me was truly experienced in an unforgettable way. Proper forgiveness does not validate the wrongful hurt and betrayal; it validates the person who has committed the act of hurt and betrayal.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Don't give up!

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

"So don't get tired of doing what is good. Don't get discouraged and give up, for we will reap a harvest of blessing at the appropriate time. Whenever we have the opportunity, we should do good to everyone, especially to our Christian brothers and sisters."
~ Galatians 6:9-10 ~

A young man, 25 years of age, enters the Military Entrance Processing Station (MEPS) in San Antonio. Every Monday for months, labeled as a 'stand by', he drives several hours with hope that there is an opening to enter basics for the Marine Corp. Every Monday, like clock work, he goes in with an attitude of, "This time they'll say, "Yes". Upon his head held up high entering the station, he hears the disappointing words, yet again, "No openings, come back next Monday."

I have to ask myself, "Upon all those no's, was he temped to say, "Maybe this isn't for me. Maybe I'm just not meant to join the Marine corp."? Yet, something inside him; everything from tenacity, destiny and purpose compelled him to keep his hope alive.

In another city, another young man, our son Cody, ready to depart Monday, March 26th for Camp Pendleton is ready to go. Although newly married to his young bride, they have readied themselves, prepared themselves for a life of sacrifice just like any other military family. Upon his goodbyes, his young wife takes him to the recruiting office where the young men await being transported to San Antonio.

All the while, the dreams our son had possessed of being a Marine since he can remember was becoming a reality. Upon his arrival, all the young men were constantly reminded of their own decisions to want to be a Marine. They allowed anyone who were to have second thoughts to let it be known now and if they didn't, once they stepped on that plane to depart for Camp Pendleton, they were no longer their own, but now they belonged to the United States military. This reminder seemed to haunt our son as his anticipated reality was being dissipated with second thoughts outweighing his initial dreams.

Hearing the reminder in his head over and over again, "Once you step on that plane you are now ours", he realized his mind wasn't ready. Although he 'fit the bill' of a Marine; from stature, intelligence, the look, but when it came down to it, he realized he wasn't ready.

Cody later said, "I didn't realize how much my priorities changed until I got there." As he made his decision, little did he know what was about to happen next. Because Cody had scored quite high on his testing, he was going in as an aviation mechanic. To be able to possess this type of job would be considered quite successful.

So, with that said, it brings me back to the 25 year old young man, who on that Monday morning, the 26th of March, drove down to San Antonio, yet again, his head held up high, knowing that maybe, just maybe, this would be the day he would hear, "Yes!" As he walked into the station, he was greeted by one of the men who worked there and was told, "Well, you will be going to Camp Pendleton today and you can thank this young man." The man in the office pointed at Cody. With restrained excitement he came over to Cody and said, "O man, thank you, I don't mean to be so happy, but I have been waiting for months for this day!"

Tears welled up in my eyes as I heard this story, realizing that everything Cody had was transferred over to this young man. This young man's persistence, perseverance and tenacity outweighed every "no", every temptation to give up and trumped every assumption and speculation that "Maybe this wasn't meant to be."

To reminisce of this moment, I wonder did he ask God for a miracle, or did he ask God for the grace to be patient and persevere?

This leads me to the Triumphant Victorious Reminder, that even when others we pray for and see no hope in or it seems like there is nothing left to live for, we stay fixed on our God Who is The Way and has a way already made, even when there seems like all hope is lost. Don't give up in doing this young man who went to that station, consistently every Monday, he was unknowingly growing in character and now possesses a story, an experience that no one can take from him. For his experience will trump every doubt and fear in the things to come.

I must not give up, but give in to what is good and that which leads to perseverance assisted by patience resulting in being whole in character.

I often think, "Wouldn't it be interesting if God utilized Cody as a vessel to get where he was to pass it on to who it was truly meant for?"

Monday, April 9, 2012

Perspective Challenge

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

"This is the day the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it."
~ Psalm 118:24 ~

I am challenging myself to see things differently. Being more aware of the perspective from God's abundant 'vision', versus my mere human 'sight'.

Okay, so here's the challenge:
When I crave more food, want another purse, outfit and another pair of shoes, complain to myself about my husband, kids or the chores I must get done, etc. I will then go get a snack out of the pantry, wearing a purse I already have, an outfit that fits and a pair of shoes I am already blessed to own and notice the husband that I couldn't live without in my youth, embrace the child I never dreamed I would have and whistle as I have things I 'get to' pick up, wash and fold and be aware of the vast wealth around me. I will then go outside, look up at the sun lit sky, be enamored by the skies declarations of God's glory, intentionally hear creation sing, and delightfully take notice of the detail in the leaves and flowers around me, intentionally focus in on the intricate detail of His glorious creation, humbling me to a place of majestic and incredible awe.

And when the craving, want and complaining starts up again...then yet again, I will be incredibly grateful for Who I am loved by, what I do have, looking through the eyes of abundance and no longer seeing through eyes of lack.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Jesus Is Alive!

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

May our life declare:
The 'Triumphant, Victorious Reminders' that Jesus is Alive;
That Jesus came to give us life and life more abundantly;
And as we live with abundant joy, may we declare the love of God over ALL, including especially the ones we have offended and those who have offended us.

I am reminded today that His LOVE declares that He is ALIVE!

He is the Most Famous One, and in spite of all His fame, He knows you and longs to rescue you. Will you let Him?
Call on His name, the most beautiful name, the Name of Jesus!

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

A great man of stature, called Dad!

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

"As a father has compassion on his children, so the Lord has compassion on those who fear him;"
~ Psalm 103:13 ~

The moment she was born, he called this baby girl 'his'.
Resting on his chest was undeniably her place of safety and rest.
A man's man, yet not moved by his own stature; only moved by love for his precious little girl.

As she went to school, the reward when coming home was awaiting her father's arrival so he could twirl her in the air.
Every insult at school as she became filled with despair,
his loving twirl, as he lifted her in the air cast off her every sadness and every care.

Growing older and more concerned with the cares of her own,
she came to a crossroads and took the path many footprints shared.
The reports of her travels, reached the ears of her father as he would fall to his knees in prayer.
The disappointments that caused his heart to ache began to see the hope within to dissipate.
As he was tempted to give up, he would give in to God on her behalf at 4 am every morning since before any of his family knew, he would petition his requests to God.
This man of stature, strong and mighty, filled with quiet strength, his prayers along with his passionate wife shook heaven and the altered destiny his daughter would take.

This girl is now a woman, who loves God with all of her heart, soul, mind and strength.
She has a husband who provides, protects and strengthens along with two children by their side.
You may wonder, who is she and what did she become?
'She' happens to be me who lives in her true destiny by God's majestic grace.

Because of my earthly dad who gave me a beautiful way of how to see Father God, I honor you for loving me in spite of my actions that would cause you to shake yet you stood still because of God's unshakeable faith.

Today is my dad's birthday and I am so grateful that God allowed me to have a dad such as him. To be placed in a family so blessed even in my actions of disappointments and head shaking shame; the unconditional love of God was revealed with such grace through my dad who had every right to forsake.

Daddy, happy birthday. I love you so much!
Love, Twiggy