Sunday, June 17, 2012

Happy Father's Day!

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

We were so young.  My sisters and I playing so freely in the park, while the brand new, large Minolta camcorder was in dad's hand, and mom by his side.  This particular memory is so vivid as I so happily remember dad declaring, "Girls, you will look back at this 20 years from now and appreciate this."  All the while, we were just having fun!

Another rich memory was coming home from church on Sundays in the old Volkswagen bug, being able to see the road below us as we traveled; parts of the floorboard of that old, yet faithful bug exposed. I even remember those moments while in that memorable old car of seeing dad's right hand holding onto mom's left hand; fingers intertwined with such love for one another.  I reminisce of dad's cheerful, yet deep voice saying, "Ok girls, are you ready?  Let's memorize..." This seemed to happen every Sunday as I so vividly remember dad saying on one particular Sunday, "Let's memorize Ezra 7:10.  Are you ready?"  In unison, the three of us girls would shout, "Yessssss!" As dad and mom would say a section of the scripture, we would repeat it.  With joyful glee, we would say it over and over again.  Dad would make it fun to memorize God's living Word.

As I got older, I remember so clearly 'til this day, it was very early in the morning, still dark outside. I was thirsty and coming down the hallway and noticed on my right in the other room, an image kneeling at the love seat.  That image was my dad, talking to our Heavenly Father. About what?  I have no idea, but I do know that this strong man I admired, became an icon in my eyes.

Being the oldest child, yet behaving as though I was the youngest; incredibly selfish, caught so many times in lies and repeatedly doing things that I knew were not only wrong, but knew it would disappoint my parents. This of course caused a regularly, seemingly scheduled talk with my dad.  On many occasions, he would first pray with me and then speak firmly yet gently, "Teresa, in the real world there are lions, tigers and bears. This is why I want you to take heed to what I say and what God's Word says.  Teresa, God has a great plan for your life."

As years flew right through us, realizing that everything dad had said for many years was beyond true, and in all the disappointments, my daddy CONTINUED to never give up.
He never quit trusting in God over my life.
I know there were many times he could have easily done so.
He could have disowned me, but he knew Who truly owned me and that is our Awesome God...and because of dad's training me up in God's love, I am now older and have not departed from God's Word (Proverbs 22:6).
I am walking in God's continual process...that glory to glory, life abundant walk with Jesus.

Do I still sin?  O yes.
Do I still make mistakes?  Yes. I thank God for His mercy...but I truly thank God for His abundant grace that has helped me to rise above those many weaknesses as His strength is made perfect making a way to escape temptation. 

But you know...there's a scripture, that very scripture from Ezra 7:10.  I still remember til this day that particular scripture dad and mom had us repeat, and I will share a portion of it as it declares, "For Ezra had prepared his heart to seek the law of the Lord (LOVE), and to DO IT..."

Dad, you did and continue to do the same as Ezra.  You prepared your heart and continue to do so, seeking that perfect law of the Lord, which is Who He is and that is LOVE.  But you  not only seek the law of the Lord, you have sought and continue to seek Him.

Dad, I have seen a man of integrity and character live out that which you have sought so fervently and that is our Awesome God.  And for that Dad and for so many other reasons, Happy Father's Day as you allowed our Heavenly Father to love through you over each of us and so many others throughout  your life.  You are beyond a good man.  You are great as you reveal a glimpse of our Awesome Abba Father and I know that my sisters and I are so grateful for this incredible example of what a man truly is.

Dad, you are strong in character, in might and more than anything you know from where your strength comes from!

I love you so much daddy...Twiggy
This ring was from my dad given to me 5 months before completely surrendering to Jesus as the Lord of my life, October 2002! The interesting thing about the number 5, is that it represents 'grace'.  God's grace was over my parents as they waited with great expectation for God's daughter to return to her rightful place!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Don't be afraid or dismayed!

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

Photograph from Google

 "Don't be afraid, for I Am with you.  Do not be dismayed, for I Am your God.  I will strengthen you, I will help you.  I will uphold you with my victorious right hand." ~ GOD, as recorded in Isaiah 41:10

The Lord God is with you!
He is your God!
Almighty Lord God is your Strengthener!
The Lord is your Helper!

He is our God, Who is Truth!
In Truth, we must remember that He is the Upholder; upholding us with His victorious right hand!
Notice Who is on the Right Hand of the Father...JESUS!
As we remind ourselves Who God is, there is a very little chance to be afraid or dismayed.
Can you imagine when we begin to practice and exercise such Truth? The circumstances, tests and difficulties of life become afraid and dismayed of the incredible Faith in our God that squashes any attempts of those defeated tactics being triumphantly and victoriously reminded that our God is BEYOND ALIVE!

Monday, June 11, 2012

Mind boggling amazement!

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

Mesmerized, awestruck and elated by the incredibly powerful, Majestic, God of all! I am profoundly shaken as I read Second Chronicles 6:18 and the conclusion of the Gospel of John 21:25. The phenomenally beautiful proclamation is this: "And I suppose that if all the other things Jesus did were written down, the whole world could not contain the books." Reading the conclusion over and over again, I shake my head quickly as I feel my eyes crossing and spinning in my head as I am not capable to imagine the many things Jesus did that weren't recorded.

I look at it this way, "Have I documented in writing every moment of my own life?"  Of course not. Do I journal?  Yes, I journal, but in my journaling they are only glimpses of my life, not the wholeness thereof.

I have unknowingly limited God based on this amazing book I get to read and study called The Bible.  I laugh at myself, for I cannot limit God, for He is limitless, but in my mind's attempt to do such a thing is quite hilarious to say the least.  The Word of God that we read is so powerful and amazing because all day long it reveals glimpses of our Mighty God through the timeline of lives that have lived upon this earth, leaving a few handprints of their existence.

Today, this amazing awakening has taken place.  I have realized that I have looked at God's tools as a 'god'.  For instance, we say, "Prayer changes things."  But really it isn't the 'tool' that changes things, it is the ONE WHO holds the tool that changes things.  In prayer, we get this amazing opportunity to partner with God, utilizing a tool called prayer that allows us to see His glory revealed as HE, our Awesome God changes things, not prayer on its own.

This amazing freedom reveals this incredible, indescribably awesome God that not only lives in the supernatural realm but HE IS SUPERNATURAL!  He is revealed as He possesses us by His Holy Spirit, and then I ask, "Is my life continually revealing Who possesses my spirit?"

Shaking my head by the audacity of my unintentional attempt to contain Almighty, Majestic Holy God pulverizes my very heart.  Struggling with pride no longer has to be an occurrence when we set our sights on such incredible truth...that not even this Bible we go to for guidance by His Holy Spirit teaching us with His beautiful love would ever dare to contain Him.  Holy God, The One and Only God cannot be contained even within this astonishing,  life abundant changing book of scriptures. The scriptures point to Him, declaring that He is Who He says He is.  But even these scriptures itself do not even attempt to contain the glorious majesty of our God.

With all this said, I am triumphantly and victoriously reminded that no one can articulate His glorious splendor and majesty into words, not even the Bible or any other book written pointing to Him.  His glorious splendor and majesty is also to be revealed through us as He waves His mighty banner of love over us, so that we may reveal the standard by which we have been rescued from, sharing His glorious love with the world...His amazing love revealed through Jesus by His outstretched arms!

I am experiencing the Wind, The Holy Spirit of God Who reveals Jesus Christ, waving with great force the gorgeous banner of love.  His Amazing Refreshing Wind of His Holy Spirit will for sure, without an ounce of doubt, guaranteed, with ABSOLUTE CONFIDENCE, NEVER will our God be contained by anyone or anything.  Let's get out of the box and truly live as His light shines brighter than the greatest natural light could ever shine!