Tuesday, May 22, 2012

The Key to entering God's gates!

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

"Enter into His gates with thanksgiving; go into his courts with praise.  Give thanks to him and bless his name.  For the Lord is good.  His unfailing love continues forever, and His faithfulness continues to each generation."
~ Psalm 100:4-5 ~

Image from Google.com

Are you being seduced?
You know that moment where you are no longer focused on the abundant goodness of God, instead now focused on the fierce lack of this life (Consisting of difficulties in circumstances, people, trials, hardships)? 

Do you want to kick some major a@% in this area of discontentment, complaining and seeing with mere human sight of your facts and reality resulting in only seeing obstacles?  Do you want to begin living in the place of God's abundant, supernatural vision of Truth revealing faith seeing opportunities in the midst of the obstacles?

Here's an exercise for the remedy...are you and I ready?  Maybe the question isn't "Are we ready?" But more so, "Are we willing?"

I know and believe that in order to see the victory I must be willing to partner with God in obedience.

This is how I enter His gates...the key to 'entering' is with the key of thanksgiving, revealing my grateful heart toward Him, for Who He is.  As I enter His gates I can now enter His courts with praise.  The thanksgiving is my vehicle to get into God's courts, as I enter in I marvel at His greatness; it is breathtakingly difficult not to praise Him.  As I praise Him, my spirit leads my mind to a place of worship in which every circumstance, every growing seed of depression that was a mighty fortress and mountain is now brought down to nothingness because of His eternal majestic splendor.  His All Consuming Fire, for this is Who He is, brings it all down, consuming it to ashes and now we are able to operate in His unfailing love, drowning out the superficial, conditional love of my mere humanness.

Therefore, let us not be seduced away from our Author and Finisher of our faith.  No matter what we are doing, let us rise up, get ready, run, eat, and work knowing Whose side we are on.

In closing, today my Triumphant Victorious Reminder is that my partnership or lack of partnership with God reveals one of two things:  We either live in the world by our sight resulting in facts or we live in the supernatural world of vision because of Truth via the vehicle of faith in our God!

When hopelessness tries to whisper, speak or shout lies into you, then with the same measure; whisper, speak and shout God's hope over the people and situations.  Even if nothing changes, the truly powerful change comes from within the heart!

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Mother's Day!

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

Dear God, You are the most beautiful MOTHER, revealed by your Holy Spirit; our Comforter, Nurturer and Teacher...When we as mom's feel as though we are at our wit's end, YOUR SUPERNATURAL POWER TO NURTURE and TEACH is ever present in our time of need and when we recognize that power; your gifts, our children truly flourish! Happy Mother's Day to YOU LORD!

To my earthly Mom, you are a beautiful woman, hilarious to be around and amazing to listen to!  Your words coupled with that irresistible accent which flows out of your mouth with passionate wisdom is a blessing!  Your way of wanting to surprise us with your presence has become a contagious tradition in which we attempt to find ways to do the same for one another and for our own children!

Mom, the way you look at life, your perspective, is many times seen through the passionate love of God! 

I know many adult children are blessed to call their mother's "mom" and "mum"; but I feel as though I am enormously blessed beyond them all.  It is not out of bias, but truly from experience that I write this.  God knew He could trust you (and dad) to nurture and parent someone like me.  Your prayers of persistent faith in our God over me while I was yet afar off is what saved my life.  Even though with your sight you could not see what I was to become, with God's great VISION you were able to hold onto the GREATEST FATHER AND MOTHER OF ALL...ALMIGHTY GOD!

Flowers, gifts, a card and a hug are good; but my appreciation for you within my heart squashes even the beauty of those things.  Thank you for holding onto HIM while He held onto me!  

I love you Mom...I love that you are not only my mom, but also my sister in Christ, my Starbucks buddy, my butt pinchin', neck huggin', small but mighty embracin' mom!

Happy Mom's Day!

Love, Teresa - -
That's suppose to be a 'replica' of your Asian smiley faces that you placed on every note you wrote to us when we were little girls!!!! 

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Simple gift, yet profound in their delivery!

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

"God is my strength and power, He makes my way perfect" (complete).
~ 2 Samuel 22:33 ~

Moments ago, I was cleaning my son's old desk.  My mind stayed focused on the chore, when a familiar voice interrupted my fixed thoughts as I scrubbed away the dirt.  Hearing him say, "Mom" so playfully is quite a blessing.  Actually, altogether to hear the precious word "Mom" be said of me, by him, this handsome young man is beyond joy to my ears.

As he and his wife entered the room, their adorable grins never grew faint.  Cody looked over at his wife and then looked back at me and bashfully said, "Mom, we couldn't wait.  Happy Mother's Day".  Slowly getting to my feet I was beyond blessed noticing in Cody's hand, a long rectangular plaque and a card decorated with large letters, spelling "Mom".  Elated, I said, "For me?!"  With proud smiles they said, "Of course.  Thank you for everything you and dad have done for us."

My eyes began to sting as I could feel the tears welling up from within.  On their end, a bit startled, my daughter-in-law asked Cody, "She's crying?"  He nodded as he knows me all too well.  :)  All I could do in those moments was continue to happily cry and say, "Thank you", embracing them wholeheartedly.

Moments later, with a huge smile, Cody looked at his wife, his chest sticking out, saying, "See, I told you she would like it."  Within moments, I excitedly found a perfect spot for the plaque that declares, "God is my strength and power; He makes my way perfect."
~ 2 Samuel 22:33 ~

You may think, just as they did, "What's the big deal?"  But little do many know the regrets I have had, wishing I would have raised him better.  Wishing I could get back those years and really show him my enormous love for him.  I must allow you to know that these regrets are no longer heavy weights of condemnation, instead, they are only that I wish Cody knew what a blessing he truly was and is in my life. 

As I was honored this evening in being one of the mom's in his life; a son not from my womb, but from my heart; the 'bonus' son gifted to me from God through my husband from his previous relationship was truly humbling.  To experience Cody and his wife's honor and kindness toward me is a head shaking honor.  To know such beautiful people, such as them, calling me that beautiful name, "Mom" brings me to my knees with extreme gratefulness.

In this moment, getting to have our son and his beautiful wife stay with us for a while is seen with new perspective.  I no longer am experiencing the news as a burdensome sigh, but rather an exciting moment to be a part of their story in this season of their lives.

Upon receiving their gift and heart felt words within the card they gave me, I was overwhelmed by their generosity.  They revealed a glimpse of God's faithfulness even when I was faithless.

Beautiful Mom's!  Remember, even though we are being honored and held to high esteem this Mother's Day, may each of us remember that it is our duty, honor and mandate to nurture, love, and embrace God's beautiful children; as many of you know from experience, they don't stay small for long.  The greatest assignment for a mom is to impart hope and faith in God in the process of their lives.  Just as we didn't develop in a day, as we are still going through the process, so we must remember the same for our children.

Their precious gift may have been simple, yet so profound in their delivery!

Thank You Lord for the reminder of Your strength and power when it goes through us as mother's, utilizing and exercising your grace to parent; causing our ways to be made complete for your beautiful gifts, our children.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Contributing Writer, Poppa C.O.

Triumphant Victorious Reminders
Inspired by the Holy Spirit
Teresa Criswell

Today's 'TVR' Contributing Writer: Poppa C.O. Farmer

Let me introduce you to a wonderful man of God.  His name is Poppa C.O.  Yes, that's right, we call him Poppa.  He is a man who spoke God's faith, hope and love revealed by God's wisdom into my parents when I, their daughter had gone astray for many years. Many of you know about God's testimony in Poppa's story...please read on as Poppa has had an online daily devotional for many years now.  Thanking God for His blessings as we partner with Him in our obedience revealing our love for Him as He first loved us!

Good Day to you, my Brothers and Sisters in Christ Jesus.
This is the day the Lord has made;
let us rejoice and be glad in it.

As we continue our journey through the Gospel of Luke,
we pick up in Chapter 13, verse 10.

The Word says:

"On a Sabbath, Jesus was teaching in one of the synagogues, and a woman  was there who had been crippled by a spirit for eighteen years.  She was bent over and could not straighten up at all.
When Jesus saw her, he called her forward and said to her,
"Woman, you are set free from your infirmity."
Then he put his hands on her, and she immediately straightened up and praised God."
Luke 13: 10-13

This parable is about healing on the Sabbath, and the reaction of the people involved.
We will discuss part of it today, and  continue the teaching from the Lord in the next message.

My heart goes out to the lady who had been crippled by a spirit for eighteen years.
The Word says, "She was bent over and could not straighten up at all."

I have been there.
When I was in my early thirties, my children and I were horseback riding. My daughter was riding ahead of my son and me.  We went down into a ravine, and as we started up the incline the horse we were on pitched us off.  I landed on my back.  After I could breathe again, we went on.
Within a few weeks I began to have pain in my neck, and back, and legs.
A rare form of arthritis had been activated by the fall, and it began to take it's toll.
It is called Ankylosing Spondylitis.  It fuses the back by causing the spinal area to become bone on bone,  and ultimately bends you over making it harder to breathe, and of course difficult to hold your head up to see.  The pain was more than I can explain.  It was horrible.

Fast forward to my late sixties, over 30 years later, and another accident.  I fell across the edge of the tub as I was taking a shower one morning, and broke my lower back.

Through circumstances being controlled by the Lord, I was taken to a Dr that operated on my back.
Ultimately to get the hardware to work in the back, he had to fix the neck as well. This straightened me.
I feel better in my seventies than I did in my late thirties.
I can breathe so much better, and have more energy than I have had in years.
Praise the Lord.

My point is to say, God is good!

When Jesus saw our lady in the synagogue with a big need, He took care of it.
When He saw me with a big need, He took care of it.
When He sees any of us in a big need, He wants to take care of us.

It is in His time.
It is in the place and the way He chooses. 
The lady was in the synagogue, mine was in a hospital. Both were miracles.

When we have a need, let us be expecting the Lord to take care of it.
In His time.  In His way.
He loves us dearly.
He IS love.
Let us trust Him for our needs.  He will provide.

Blessings and Love to you, and yours, my Friends.

Mercy, grace, and peace be yours in abundance.


Abundant Life Christian Fellowship, On Line 
To receive this devotional via email, please contact Teresa at bravelyrescued@yahoo.com