Saturday, July 27, 2013

Life!

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



c. 1980 Stevens Family (L to R: Dad, Joanna, Mom, Mary Kay & Teresa)

2012


Dusting off the old VCR - placing it on the entertainment center - plugging in the proper components and finally ready to watch none other than the old family home videos from 1986.  The setting took place in the family room downstairs, adorned with that 'ever so charming' brown shag carpet and paneled walls sitting on the floor in front of the artificial Christmas tree as my sisters and I eagerly opened presents from mom and dad.


Watching the video, I noticed something I hadn't 'seen' before - and that was the subtle flirting between our parents as us, their daughters, ages 12 and younger were in our own world opening those presents we eagerly anticipated to receive.  As I sat on my couch, the atmosphere permeated with charming nostalgia.  The lack of worries we had as our parents bore the brunt of balancing and blending our lives along with dad's hard work, was nothing short than seeing and recognizing the evidence of God's grace on our parents lives as they beautifully enjoyed us and one another.

As I watched the old home movies I was reminded that in the midst of working hard, the hustle and bustle of life -  it is never too late to enjoy your spouse, your children and your family.  Sometimes we have to be creatively intentional in how we do that as some husbands/dads travel, perhaps there are wives/moms who work and/or travel, but no matter what - instead of regrets let's begin to experience contentment.

Today's triumphant and victorious reminder in all of this:
Remember your kids will vaguely remember how the bills were paid - although important - we want their greatest memories to be how their parents enjoyed one another, speaking respectfully to one another, laughing with one another - when stressful times came they knew how to laugh in the middle of it all and with intentional adventure they explored the world within their living room, kitchen, front yard, back yard, taking a walk or just sitting on the porch and enjoying one anothers company.  Moment by moment when we feel inundated with life, let us inundate life by enjoying it! Let us reveal our grateful hearts to God and make lasting memories with His creative power!





Monday, July 22, 2013

Are You Asking, "Why?"

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

"Jesus said to the people, "I Am the light of the world.  If you follow me, you won't be stumbling through the darkness, because you will have the light that leads to life."
~ John 8:12 ~

God is Here!
Make yourself aware to His presence that is already here.

Most of us reading this have recently asked God, "Why Lord?" And frustratingly enough you haven't got the answer. However, as you notice the "Why question" toward God doesn't provide solutions?  We realize instead it attempts to accuse and cast judgement and plays the blame game on Almighty God.

When we ask God, "Why?" or "How could YOU let this happen?" We unintentionally say, "The enemy has the final word."  In the midst of our unintended declaration, this is causing awareness that we don't really know Who God truly is and we walk into the trap of another lie that leads us deeper into the abyss of darkness, no longer becoming AWARE of the LIGHT of GOD which is JESUS Who is the LIGHT OF THIS DARK WORLD.

Today, let's triumphantly declare this statement, "God I don't know WHY this has happened, but the enemy, the circumstance, death, divorce, calamity, and hell itself does not have the final word in my life!  God, this is what 'they' say, BUT GOD! WHAT DO YOU SAY ABOUT THIS?  What am I to learn in this?"

The learning process is to find out to an even greater degree WHO GOD IS and WHO WE ARE IN HIM! When we choose to partner with HIM and HIS TRUTH as He is TRUTH we will come to an even greater understanding that even as heaven and earth will pass away, HIS WORD REMAINS FOREVER!

Actively get into God's Word by FIRST asking the Holy Spirit to teach you as you study the Word of God!  The Holy Spirit is THE ONE WHO ENLIGHTENS and REVEALS WITH WISDOM HOW to study the Word who beautifully reveals GOD HIMSELF!  The Holy Spirit is the TEACHER of all teachers, the INSTRUCTOR of all instructors, so in this, we must begin and continue to read the Word of God by His Spirit not our own intellect!  We don't want to read the manual of SUPERNATURAL FREEDOM AND LIBERTY through the eyes of slavery and captivity (our own intellect), we MUST read the manual of SUPERNATURAL FREEDOM AND LIBERTY by the Holy Spirit of Truth WHO IS FREEDOM AND LIBERTY!

As we become triumphantly and victoriously aware of God's presence in the midst of this life - let's reveal THE LIGHT OF THE WORLD WHO IS JESUS!  Remember it is not our light that people are in awe of; it is the LIGHT OF GOD WHO IS JESUS that causes people to bow down to the KING OF all kings and LORD of all lords!  The pressure is off of you to perform and now just BE as His yoke is easy and His burden is light and easy!

Scripture References (New Living Translation Tyndale):
Mark 13:31, "Heaven and earth will disappear, but My words will remain forever."
John 14:26, "But when the Father sends the Counselor I mean the Holy Spirit - He will teach everything and will remind you of everything I Myself have told you."

John 8:12, "Jesus said to the people, "I Am the light of the world.  If you follow me, you won't be stumbling through the darkness, because you will have the light that leads to life."
Philippians 2:1-11, "...so that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father."
Matthew 11:30, "For My yoke fits perfectly, and the burden I give you is light."


Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Revised...The power of God revealed through Intimacy

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

Photograph from Google Images

But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things!
~ Galatians 5:22-23 ~


This season of my life has been filled with opportunities to learn like never before from the greatest TEACHER of all teachers and that is by the Spirit of God through His Word. 'Opportunities' to utilize His Word through situations that would attempt to knock us out cold!  I have come to this amazing revelation that Satan does not have the power to steal our joy - however, he does have the ability to deceive us.  How does he deceive us?  By convincing us that God's joy, God's peace, God's love is gone because he stole it from us and all the while he takes us off course as we believe his lies and as a result no longer walk by the Spirit of God Who reveals the Word, Who provides life!  With Satan's many deceptive tactics he can use anything from offense, rumors being spread about us, circumstances, the busyness and distractions of life, anxiety, fear, death, etc. to take us off course. When we allow the deceptive liar to continue to talk to us, we end up forfeiting the promises of God by forfeiting ourselves of what the Spirit of God desires to produce in our lives and that is God's love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control!  Again!  This is what the Spirit of God produces in us as we become aware and and realize that it is by God's Spirit that is within us that we are able to operate in His fruit!  It is not by what we produce, but what the Spirit of God produces in us and through us. 

I plead with myself and each of you to remember that Satan is crafty and subtle in his tactics. The majority of the time he comes into our lives and makes us feel bad about things that have nothing to do with the Kingdom of God, causing us to be unaware of his tactics.  And he does this when we least expect it.  Don't focus on his craftiness, but begin to focus on the face and Names of God!  It is no wonder The Holy Spirit warned us as recorded in I Peter 5, to "be sober and vigilant, watch out for your great enemy, as he is seeking whom he may devour"!  He is so crafty that he even gets other believers to devour one another...this only echoes Satan's kingdom and that is death. This is an incredibly raw question, but I'm going to ask it anyway - "Are we going to allow spiritual 'cannibalism' to take us over because of unnecessary offense which causes division and strife and only ends in destruction?"  We must take every thought, insinuation, and speculation, and take it captive, bringing those things to the obedience of Jesus Christ!  Even if those thoughts are good ones, it does not  necessarily mean they are GODLY ones!  We must handle situations according to God's Word and His Word alone, not according to our experiences, whether good or bad or our own opinions - as our opinions do not set anyone free, but only by the Word of God!  We must allow Him to have the last word in our lives! 

As we begin to become intimate with God and become familiar with the Promise of His Name and Who He is we become incredibly humbled. The power of God's Promising Name as He IS The Great I Am!  He is Provider! He is Protector! He is Shield! He is Refuge! He is The Strong Tower! He is The Rock of Ages! He is The Everlasting Shelter!  He is the Mighty Banner!  He is The Covering!  He is The Husband!  He is The Father!  He is The Mother of the motherless! He is The Commander of the Armies of the Heavenly Hosts!  He is The Maker of the Heavens and the Earth!  And His names go on for eternity.

As we remember and are constantly aware of God's Names we realize that this life in Him is no longer about 'wanting' to do what God has commanded - but finally DOING and BEING what He has commanded!  Think about it - I can 'want' to do what is right all day long - but 'wanting' to do what is right doesn't get me anywhere. For instance, I can 'want' to climb Mt. Everest - and guess what?  I'll be in 'want' all the days of my life and still not even attempt that climb.  We cannot be only 'wanters' of God's truth...but finally doers, partakers and partners of God's truth with action.  In addition to this, we can 'try' and 'attempt' to partake and partner with God on our own intellect, by our power and our might but this will only leave us frustrated and walking along the dead end path.  It is by the Spirit of God that we are able to be and do what God has commanded!
The Triumphant Victorious Reminder today: we can only live this life He has commanded by His Holy Spirit!  It's all about relationship through intimacy with the Father through Jesus Christ by the Holy Spirit of God - The Ancient of Days! 

The power of God - released through intimacy with Him!

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

Photograph from Google Images

But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things!
~ Galatians 5:22-23 ~


This season of my life has been filled with opportunities to learn like never before from the greatest TEACHER of all teachers and that is by the Spirit of God through His Word. 'Opportunities' to utilize His Word through situations that would attempt to knock us out cold!  I have come to this amazing revelation that Satan does not have the power to steal our joy - however, he does have the ability to deceive us.  How does he deceive us?  By convincing us that God's joy, God's peace, God's love is gone because he stole it from us and all the while he takes us off course as we believe his lies and as a result no longer walk by the Spirit of God Who reveals the Word, Who provides life!  With Satan's many deceptive tactics he can use anything from offense, rumors being spread about us, circumstances, the busyness and distractions of life, anxiety, fear, death, etc. to take us off course. When we allow the deceptive liar to continue to talk to us, we end up forfeiting the promises of God by forfeiting ourselves of what the Spirit of God desires to produce in our lives and that is God's love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control!  Again!  This is what the Spirit of God produces in us as we become aware and and realize that it is by God's Spirit that is within us that we are able to operate in His fruit!  It is not by what we produce, but what the Spirit of God produces in us and through us. 

I plead with myself and each of you to remember that Satan is crafty and subtle in his tactics. The majority of the time he comes into our lives and makes us feel bad about things that have nothing to do with the Kingdom of God, causing us to be unaware of his tactics.  And he does this when we least expect it.  Don't focus on his craftiness, but begin to focus on the face and Names of God!  It is no wonder The Holy Spirit warned us as recorded in I Peter 5, to "be sober and vigilant, watch out for your great enemy, as he is seeking whom he may devour"!  He is so crafty that he even gets other believers to devour one another...this only echoes Satan's kingdom and that is death. This is an incredibly raw question, but I'm going to ask it anyway - "Are we going to allow spiritual 'cannibalism' to take us over because of unnecessary offense which causes division and strife and only ends in destruction?"  We must take every thought, insinuation, and speculation, and take it captive, bringing those things to the obedience of Jesus Christ!  Even if those thoughts are good ones, it does not  necessarily mean they are GODLY ones!  We must handle situations according to God's Word and His Word alone, not according to our experiences, whether good or bad or our own opinions - as our opinions do not set anyone free, but only by the Word of God!  We must allow Him to have the last word in our lives! 

As we begin to become intimate with God and become familiar with the Promise of His Name and Who He is we become incredibly humbled. The power of God's Promising Name as He IS The Great I Am!  He is Provider! He is Protector! He is Shield! He is Refuge! He is The Strong Tower! He is The Rock of Ages! He is The Everlasting Shelter!  He is the Mighty Banner!  He is The Covering!  He is The Husband!  He is The Father!  He is The Mother of the motherless! He is The Commander of the Armies of the Heavenly Hosts!  He is The Maker of the Heavens and the Earth!  And His names go on for eternity.

As we remember and are constantly aware of God's Names we realize that this life in Him is no longer about 'wanting' to do what God has commanded - but finally DOING and BEING what He has commanded!  Think about it - I can 'want' to do what is right all day long - but 'wanting' to do what is right doesn't get me anywhere. For instance, I can 'want' to climb Mt. Everest - and guess what?  I'll be in 'want' all the days of my life and still not even attempt that climb.  We cannot be only 'wanters' of God's truth...but finally doers, partakers and partners of God's truth with action.  In addition to this, we can 'try' and 'attempt' to partake and partner with God on our own intellect, by our power and our might but this will only leave us frustrated and walking along the dead end path.  It is by the Spirit of God that we are able to be and do what God has commanded!
The Triumphant Victorious Reminder today: we can only live this life He has commanded by His Holy Spirit!  It's all about relationship through intimacy with the Father through Jesus Christ by the Holy Spirit of God - The Ancient of Days!