Wednesday, December 17, 2014

"I was cold and you kept me warm..."

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

"For I was hungry, and you fed me. I was thirsty, and you gave me a drink. I was a stranger, and you invited me into your home. I was naked, and you gave me clothing. I was sick, and you cared for me. I was in prison, and you visited me.'" - Jesus as recorded in Matthew 25:35-36


Photo courtesy of Temple and Cindy Cash

Photo courtesy of Temple and Cindy Cash
Generosity oozes out of every fiber of Cindy's being as the compassion of God radiates her countenance. Glimpses of Jesus' face seem to appear - He radiates through her in a similar way as He did through Mother Teresa.

Amazed as I watch her while we carry an intentional conversation - conversation that gently provokes the stream of gratitude to fall from her beautiful eyes down her sculpted face.  Lips full as they quiver, her gentle voice shaking; overwhelmed with joy, she is able to finally say, "It was after the September homeless outreach. All of a sudden the sleeping bag concept came to my mind; the homeless needed Christmas presents and I'm going to start praying for it.  A few weeks later I started passing out slips of paper telling people, "Pray with me, pray with me, I don't know where the money is coming from, but please pray with me." So they prayed and a few weeks later the church family came to me and said, "Cindy, you've got it all." She continued, "Two hundred new sleeping bags, socks, hats and gloves and now because of other donations within our local church family we're able to give more."

"Wow!" was all I could say, and in that moment I had to know more. 
I had to know more about this 'God compassion' that compelled her to wake up every day and so I asked, "Cindy, what are you envisioning on Saturday?" Seemingly iridescent tears of gratitude, likened to gems, continued to stream down her face; her voice becoming smaller; choking back tears she interrupted the silence and said, "To keep them from being cold; to have a Christmas present; to have something to open on Christmas, even though it's a few days before, but actually having a Christmas present because I know many of these people haven't had a present for many, many years. To be warm, those sleeping bags will keep them warm."

This says so much doesn't it? Hoarding perspective of "wants" diminish in the face of true "needs". In my mind as I am reminded of our conversation, these words of Cindy's only Christmas wish list, "To keep them warm...to keep them warm" echoes Jesus's words,

"For I was hungry, and you fed me. I was thirsty, and you gave me a drink. I was a stranger, and you invited me into your home. I was naked, and you gave me clothing. I was sick, and you cared for me. I was in prison, and you visited me.'"

TRIUMPHANTLY reminded of God's VICTORIOUS love, which REVEALS YET AGAIN, HIS MATCHLESS, ENDLESS, ETERNAL LOVE IS about - 'THEM'.
Selfless, unconditional love that has no concern of self, only for others.

Thank you for sharing this blog entry via social media...

Mentioning a few donors from this post:
REACH Church, 10400 Anderson Mill, Austin, Texas
Crown Donuts, 10400 Anderson Mill, Austin, Texas
Shipley Donuts, 10401 Anderson Mill, Austin, Texas 
Generous people throughout the community who assist every month with toiletries (i.e. hygiene kits including: razors, soap, shampoo, toothbrush, toothpaste, etc.)

Shout outs of gratitude to the following companies:
Academy in Cedar Park for the great deal with the sleeping bags, with FREE shipping cost and delivered directly to the Cash family's driveway. 
Were given a good deal from ebay and Dollar Tree
Walmart helped with blankets
La Tapatia Taqueria, discounted burritos to hand out every month to those who are living in homeless conditions

Monday, December 15, 2014

Purpose

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

Matthew 22:37-40

Tattooed on my heart were these words, "Teresa, titles and positions are seasonal - but purpose is eternal."

Sabotaging truth, obliterating lies caused me to take notice of the mindset of this world system. From 'raving' accolades, 'proper' recognition, 'honorable' status, 'coveted' titles and 'desirable' positions of authority. Is there anything wrong with those things?  No - yet when the focus of the accolades and titles become our identity, that is when the results of this focus becomes dangerous.  What happens when the season ends of those things? Sadly, what we thought was 'identity' quickly disappears and leaves the door wide open for depression to come in with lies to entangle and ensnare us causing us to shipwreck when it could have been prevented all along.

But how can it be prevented? 

Quite simply, being in awe of God by intentionally noticing things that were always there - those things we simply forgot to take notice. Look up at the sky, or intentionally hear the sounds of nature's proclamations and even think of the different people that surround us right now - no matter if they rub us the wrong way or encourage us - just take notice of how intricately beautiful they have been created. In this intentional, purposeful recognition - it's incredible - the seeking with insatiable hunger and thirst to know Who God is even more.  There will never be an end to this unfolding awe of realizing Who God is...in this endless, vast desire for Him is when royal identity of who we truly are is revealed by the Spirit of God through His living Word - the Supernatural guidebook for living - revealing who He says we are which in turn shows us that nothing in this life is to be compartmentalized but to effortlessly flow. 

Surprisingly, this life is not about being the greatest husband and wife, or this super "bread winner" or "super" mom.  This life is not about being the best business person or entrepreneur, or even attaining to have a resume like King David or the Proverbs 31 woman.  There is this simple realization that many have missed along the way - including myself - but now I see differently, through eyes that have been covered with the Divine Blood of Jesus - this realization to receive the identity of God's purpose over us - it's about being His son and daughter - and in this God's matchless grace abounds to flow through us in our marriage, parenting, leadership and friendships - we become the best because His best is flowing through us, empowering us.

The identity of His acceptance and royal adoption trumps rejection on every level; compelling us to soar above title and positions; no longer striving but now thriving in and with purpose.

For example, when God showed me my purpose statement as He utilized vessels to assist me in recognizing it, this supernaturally wrecked my life forever in the most incredible way. So here it is...my purpose statement.." My purpose is to encourage others and reveal the love of God."  It's simple.  This is my navigational tool in every aspect of my life. So when someone is rude - my first reaction is to go "Teresa violent on them with a few choice words" but then God's purpose for me awakens me by the Holy Spirit's power, reminding me yet again to "encourage others and reveal the love of God".  When the spirit influencing a person to move me out of purpose - purpose reminds me of what I'm called to live no matter what.

When life seems to be unraveling or when victory is being experienced - my purpose remains.   However when life attempts to get the best of me and I lay down my purpose and step over God's promises to take on my measly rights - I will almost immediately recognize so clearly what will happen instead - the results will be the opposite of my purpose and that will be, "discouraging others and NOT revealing the love of God". 

Meanwhile, yet even in that, I am awakened by purpose that is surrounded with God's grace to empower me to make it right next time.  No matter my title or position or lack thereof - no matter the challenges and change - purpose is unchanging - and the same is with God. God is true to Who He is - in the midst of changing seasons - in the midst of our tantrums and praises - He is not moved by our manipulating prayers or our "right on" moments - He is IMMOVABLE AND STEADFAST as He is motivated by Who He is and that is pure, holy, relentless, violent love.

I have come to this conclusion: the trying moments of life are the litmus tests to triumphantly and victoriously remind me of why I'm here on this earth. Purpose is not about me, it is just to flow through me. As purpose flows it is that constant encouragement of being mindful of those who need to be encouraged and it's about WHO they need to see, and that's God - and although it may not be about me, He sees me and loves me and with that holy love I've received, I must see it as an honor to share it with all those I come into contact with, and in that - guess what comes easy?  His love, His forgiveness, His mercy and His loyalty.  Our lives will begin to reveal how we are no longer just loyal to those who are loyal to us - but being loyal to ALL - deserved and especially on those who I would "say" aren't deserving. 

Finally, our purpose statements cause us to not give up on God, life, ourselves or others as it will echo Matthew 22:37-40...love God with everything and in that "love exchange" from Him we can properly love ourselves and others which will result in never giving up! Go in His grace and watch in awe as your weakness is perfected by His strength. When we partner with Him, we are empowered by His grace to do more than we could have ever imagined without Him (Ephesians 3:20)!

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Edited - Prayer that changes EVERYTHING?

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

I apologize as I realized there were a few grammatical mishaps on my part.  I could blame the auto correct on my mobile device, but I won't...thank you so much for understanding. :)

"Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive anyone's sins, they are forgiven. If you refuse to forgive them, they are not forgiven."
- John 20:23, NLT -

Do you want to pray a prayer that will change EVERYTHING in your life?

The prayer I speak of could be considered ugly, yet it revealed and continues to reveal the face of God's beauty.

I'm not talking about the prayer known as "The Lord's Prayer" - although that is part of it. Nor am I referring to the prayer during the grueling moments before His arrest in the Garden of Gethsemane. Perhaps the greatest prayer declared by Jesus while tortuously hanging upon that splintered cross on Calvary was the following prayer, "Father forgive them for they know not what they do."

This prayer we refer to as Jesus' words were meant to be echoed by us not just admired.  I wonder - is this the prayer that moved heaven to shake the earth and hell? Is this the prayer that caused the violent rip of the veil that once separated God from man?

I sit here - paused by Kingdom Love that moves to forgive like that! My spirit shakes within me -
to be moved by Him instead of being moved by those who are opposed to Him!!!

I believe this just might be the prayer that changes EVERYTHING - it changes EVERYTHING - because it changes us to be more like Him and less like us.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Weapon of Gratefulness

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

"Enter his gates with thanksgiving;
    go into his courts with praise.
    Give thanks to him and praise his name."

- Psalm 100:4 -

Do we want to overcome by not being led by how we feel?

Do we want to see victory in not being led by what we just heard that may have been hurtful?

It's easy to be seduced away from focusing on God in the midst of negativity, isn't it?

Are we being led by those thoughts that whisper with deceit, "Look! You prayed and it still didn't work"?
Are we being led by status quo?

I know for me these are temptations but God always provides a way out by the weapon of thankfulness and praise to the One Who is The Exit Route.

So I ask myself,
Are feelings willing to die for me?
Are familiar bad experiences that try to convince me to disobey so I'm not hurt again, did those experiences die for me?
Is negativity willing to die for me?
Are those lying thoughts willing to die for me?

Of course the answer is no! So then, am I willing to give up and die for a lie when the Truth and Abundant Life Who is Jesus already died for you and me?

Isaiah 53 shows Jesus' provision from the torture and death that He willingly laid His life for to do the will of His Father as He wanted us to be brought back to Himself so we'd follow His leading - not to be led by the lying yet cunning voices that beckon us away from God!

As we are led by The One Who gave it up so we could rise up? We are His sons and daughters - He has equipped us to rise up with the weapon of thankfulness - not only for what He has done and for what we have but we get to declare with the vibrations of the sound that comes out of our mouths to speak to Him of how we are thankful for WHO HE IS!!

Wielding the weapon of thankfulness allows us to conquer with praise as His beautiful wooing presence keeps us hidden in the safety of Who He is!!

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Discernment?

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

1 Corinthians 12


    Courtesy of Google Images
 

My heart is so lovingly convicted by the power of the Holy Spirit. I shake my head as I write this, how could this epidemic happen? How did this thinking creep into the church?

The subject I speak of is DISCERNMENT. This subject has been thwarted by the enemy as the 'right' to excuse ourselves from people's lives that we don't have time for or feel threatened by.  I have been guilty of this...does it mean I continue to 'hang out' with them - of course not, but it's an assignment to allow God's compassion to flow through me in my personal prayer time to cheer for them in the spirit.

I am learning so lovingly by the Holy Spirit of God that the TRUE GIFT OF Discernment - IS the gift to discern spirits - not the right to crush the spirit of a human being.

The gift of discernment is not meant to judge people. Instead it's to judge the spirit at work in order TO SAVE LIVES. Yes! Saving lives by identifying what spirit is operating in or over a person. In this is how we see clearly recognize motives so that we command that spirit in the authority of Christ to GO so we see people who were once held hostage are now delivered!

We truly want to see miracles in our nation? Then it has to start with God's compassion flowing through us!! The LOVING GOODNESS OF GOD is what leads us to continual repentance - THE LOVE OF GOD - LOVE OF GOD - LOVE OF GOD IS WHAT LEADS TO ABUNDANT LIFE!

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

"Send Me, I'll Go"

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

 


In honor of the greatest Veteran of all...Jesus Christ and to all the veterans from the past, present and future of our United States of America, this is to honor each of you!

They said, "Send Me, I'll Go"

"To those who bear the colors of RED, WHITE AND BLUE -
You WHO were and are moved by the theme of our BANNER as God is over you....
Those who witnessed their brother's and sister's who died in their youth -
It was not in vain as they went into paradise with the triumph of Calvary's salute.


To bear the brunt of freedom which is NEVER free,
It cost many something, both in soul, word and deed.
Many bear the outward and inward scars of the enemy's fight,
but your scars reveal triumph in the midst of tragedy's plight!

No fury of the enemy with weapons of tyranny and control could hold back a nation of warriors who would dare to run and shout, "O HELL NO!"
Though the bullets flew and the missiles launched -
we will not forget you mighty veterans who stood up and fought.

Today and everyday we say, "Thank you" to a remnant of warriors who shout, "Send me - I'll go"
For there are a people who echo the greatest hero of all, my Jesus who willingly gave up their own freedom so we can live and breathe with abundant life.
We honor you soldiers who have said and say, "Goodbye" to family and friend
to face a foe who has no love for life.

You will not be forgotten as we salute you with thankfulness;
refraining from complaints to overcome for the benefit of fellow man.
To every man and woman and their family's who will go without - we thank each one of you who allowed them to say, "Send me, I'll go" as they reach out.

Reaching past the now to fortify our future so that we may remain under the banner of God and the bleeding colors of THE RED, WHITE AND BLUE!"

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

BAM! Victory!

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


"Today is a good day for a good day" because God made it! He made it with you in mind and He is faithful, whether we see it right now or not. You are His masterpiece in Christ Jesus. And remember the enemy flees - he runs in terror when we submit and lean and trust in God as our submission declares resistance to the ways of the enemy and in that hiding in God - he flees in terror for a season. The enemy will be back - but we again will be ready and prepared as we utilize the equipping power of God by declaring, "It is written..." And the Blood of Jesus! We declare light in the midst of darkness. We utilize God's love in the face of hate. We utilize life in the midst of curses and all the while we get to declare Jesus name above all!!!

References:
Quote from Fixer Upper
Psalm 118:24
Ephesians 2:10
James 4:8
Revelation 12:11
"Be  Stunning To The Enemy" by Lisa Bevere

Monday, October 27, 2014

Heaven's Language - The Language called Faith

Triumphant Victorious Reminders
Inspired by the Holy Spirit
Written and shared by: Teresa Stevens Criswell
 
"Then He took a deep breath and breathed into them.  "Receive the Holy Spirit," he said.  "If you forgive someone's sins, they're gone for good.  If you don't forgive sins, what are you going to do with them?"
- John 20:22-23 - The Message (MSG)
 
 
"...Heaven has a perspective that gets lost on earth. And so we need to begin to speak the language of heaven to the issues of earth, so that we begin to see the earth come into conformity to God's plan for it." - Lisa Bevere

This means we GET TO speak the language of heaven over people - over situations - over ourselves..."we GET TO speak the language of heaven by the power of the Holy Spirit."

Please watch every minute of this video...especially toward the end - it ties together with heavenly eloquence and insight!  The last part of Lisa's story reminds me of my precious mom who did the same for her father...God is faithful - even when we don't see it...He is Faithful!  
 
 
 
 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NQf3s3idlVo

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Scrolled Love Note #5

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



"You are Mine and I Am yours.
I Am your Love Song.
I Am your wind and breath and I long for you to see yourself and others the way I see.
I see with Triumphant, Overcoming Victory.
Let the rhythm of My heartbeat become yours, let your heart echo Mine as My joy, compassion and peace overflows by the power of My Holy Spirit.
I NEVER asked you to reveal yourself.
I NEVER asked you to do it on your own.
I NEVER asked you to give others from your own resources but from what I produce through you -
ALL I want you to do is to ECHO Me by giving to others what you have freely received for yourself from Me as I Am The Source of ALL -
I AM THE SOURCE OF LOVE, MERCY, COMPASSION, JOY, RIGHTEOUSNESS, FORGIVENESS.
The Love I have for you is beyond your understanding this side of heaven,
Papa God

Scripture References:
Song of Solomon or Song of Songs
Psalm 104
Matthew 11:28-30
Galatians 5:22
Zechariah 4:6
I Corinthians 8:6
Matthew 10

Monday, October 6, 2014

Scrolled Love Note #4

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


 
If you've read the previous posts titled "Scrolled Love Note...", you'll understand the title of this post.  The following is what I was led to write coming from a small glimpse of the Mighty heart of our Father God.  I know this is to someone who needs a 'right now' word on worthiness.

"I Am worthy -
I Am a mirror for you to look into so you may finally see your TRUE reflection.
For I The Lord call you worthy.

Yes! You are worthy for I call you worthy - I, The Lord call you worthy - hear Me!
I, The God of ALL, The GOD WHO IS WORTHY, declares you are Worthy.
For you to say you are unworthy says I am a liar, haha! I AM only TRUTH, there is no lie in Me.
I have the Last Word over your life, will you choose to believe My Words?

Let Me take every fracture of rejection and abandonment from the womb.
Let Me take every fracture from childhood.
Let Me take every fracture from adolescence.
Let Me take every fracture from young adulthood.
Let Me take every fracture from your life and
Let Me make you WHOLE - nothing broken, nothing missing. 
Let Me make every crooked path, every distorted way of living, straight.

Who told you your life was about "trying" to be a better person?
Who told you this?
Who?

I have called you to be in Me and I in you - and in Me as you submit to Me, you are a better person in every realm of your life.  I call you son and daughter - and in this you become a revealer of Me in your marriage, family, marketplace and community.  Please don't allow your current titles, positions or lack thereof to tell you who you are.  Even my gifts that you flow in is not who you are.  Focus on Who I Am and you will find out who you truly are as you find out Who I Truly Am. Love Me with all your heart, soul, mind and strength and as you make the TRUE LOVE exchange with Me, then you can properly love yourself and others; for remember my child, apart from Me you can do nothing that I have called you to do and be.

You are more valuable than every treasure known and unknown to the universe. 
What I speak - it is not only to admire what I say, but now you must echo to others, delivering the message with My peace and My love by the power of My Holy Spirit that breathes life and reveals My goodness leading them to the safety of Who I Am through repentance.
Let My words reverberate through your words and actions.

Your words, your vision and your hearing be replaced with Mine.

You ask, "How?"
This is how - "To do what is right, to love mercy, and to walk humbly before Me, your God."

I love you with My endless love - and yes it is eternally endless - there is no end to Who I Am for I Am Love.

Papa God"

Scripture References:
Revelation 4:11
Psalm 96:4
Isaiah 43:4
Romans 2:4
Matthew 22:37
Micah 6:8
 

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Scrolled Love Note #3

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


If you've read the past two posts, you'll understand what the scrolled love note 'campaign' is about.  If you need to get caught up, you can simply click here

Today, day 3 of 6, here is another scrolled love note I had the opportunity to choose - I pray this encourages you...

"You can run - but I have pursued you with My Everlasting Love.
You think I'm finished with you? Haha! My child, this is a lie - you must long to believe Me as I Am Living Truth.
Let Me have the Last Word over your life - I Am the Author and Finisher of your faith.  Will you allow Me to be the Author of your story, revealing My Victorious Testimony?
Experience Me.  See Me.  Finally know Me as the Author of your life, I urge you to now live so others can read your story with adventure and joy - encapsulated  by Me Who is Peace!
I love you with My Endless, Eternal Love,
Papa God"

Scripture References:
Exodus 17:15
John 14:6
I John 4:17-19
Hebrews 12:2
Isaiah 26:3



Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Scrolled Love Note #2

Triumphant Victorious Reminder
Inspired by the Holy Spirit
Written by: Teresa Stevens Criswell



"Peace.  I Am your Peace Who allows you to walk through the muck and chaos.
I Am here - My authority I have already given you allows you to command chaos to be still and in order. This is key, CHOOSE ME moment by moment - every step - and peace will overtake you even while chaos is all around, I surround even that.  Behold Me! Make yourself aware to My presence that is already with you.

I love you with Who I Am, I Am eternal and in Me, my Love is Endless,
Papa God"

Scripture References:
Isaiah 26:3
John 14
John 16:33
Psalm 46:10

Monday, September 29, 2014

Scrolled Love Notes

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

 
For the next few days, I will be posting one scrolled love note at a time that I believe the Lord inspired me to write last week.  I was led to write 20 small notes and roll them into small scrolls. The scrolls pictured above are the ones that were left over from when we gathered at our most recent time together within the setting of, Daughters of The King Life Group.
 

Perhaps the scroll I selected today is just for you or someone you know:

"Yes! I hear you.
I heard you from those moments even when it seemed like your darkest hour.
I have always been with you.
Now it is time for you to hear Me - come to Me, come close.
I Am here.
I Am speaking.
Open My Word, My love letter to you.
As you call on Me, just know I will answer you - but I won't just answer you, I will show you great and mighty things you've never seen, dreamed or imagined before.
I love you in a way you can only fathom in the dimension of eternity.
Love,
Abba Father God"


Scripture references:
Psalm 34:17
James 4:8
II Timothy 3:16-17
Jeremiah 33:3
Romans 8:14-16

Thursday, September 11, 2014

The Transfer

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



Pumpkin spice fragrance oil permeated the morning senses to awake and crave for the Fall season that is quickly approaching. Fall reminds me of God's embrace when needed most; this particular season compels that craving for The Lord in His Word like no other.

With all of that, my daughter & I met up in the kitchen for our coffee time with Jesus as we read together through Proverbs 25:21-22, Matthew 5:43-48, Luke 6:27-38, and Romans 12:20-22

Upon these readings, we realized even more that in this life we're going to unintentionally and perhaps intentionally wrong others and others are going to do the same toward us - BUT, will we stay a mess because of it? We were reminded to ask ourselves, "How will that glorify the King of Freedom and Deliverance?"

So here's the awesome "light bulb moment"...
When we receive Salvation -Who is Jesus - as awesome and miraculous as it is to receive Salvation - even greater is the mighty responsibility. For the cost and price Jesus paid has been transferred to us who receive! So in that transfer it is this ...when we've been wronged and used - our echo can only be, "Father bless and forgive them for they know not what they do!" And watch true deliverance and freedom be lived out! We get to be the Revealers of Hope because of Christ Jesus!

Monday, August 18, 2014

Faith is Ugly?

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

James 1



When is faith really faith?  As Terry Pruett, the well known 'Possibility Architect' and CEO of XMO Global says, "Faith isn't faith until it's tested." Well then if that is the case, if "faith isn't faith until it's tested", then how do we know when we're walking in faith?  The answer to that question is found in a few places of scripture, however one the most well known scriptures is found in James 1. The exercise and the drill to know that our faith is working within us is when we count it all joy when circumstances come our way, especially in those moments we cannot control. 

Counting it all joy? 
Really? 
This causes me to realize that when I count it all joy in the midst of trials and tests, it is because I am intentionally choosing to COUNT on God - my faith is in Him which fills me with joy that is unexplainable.

With that just think, much of the ugly things we will go through, are going through, or have gone through allows faith to get us to experience the grace of God which empowers us by the Holy Spirit's power (Who is Grace) to lift us up; allowing us to keep going when in the natural we wouldn't be able to go on our own.

In those moments when we "say" we have faith we are now able to go to the next step and now choose to use the faith that possesses us and place our faith in God.

The triumphant, victorious reminder is realizing that having faith in things to happen or for things to get better is not what God ever intended! As Mark 11:22 records - that faith is to be placed in ONE PERSON - AND THAT IS GOD HIMSELF.  When we have faith in God, by default our perspective changes - our mindsets are changed - we see from Victory and now we can boldly say to the mountain to be moved because when our faith is in God - doubt has no place!  As our pastor profoundly says, "Get doubt out" - and the answer in getting doubt out is by placing our faith in God. As we place our faith in God, doubt has no place and now we are aware of hope being on the scene and now everything that seemed daunting and even is daunting is now shifted in it's proper place - the mountain is now a plateau because my sights are on God and Him alone! 

Monday, June 23, 2014

42 years ago...


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

 

The landmarks that were set in the background from that memorable day on June 21, 1972, has led you both to this very moment from which your story began – From Seoul, South Korea, to Honolulu, Hawaii and finally to the Los Angeles, California airports.  Think about this – so many moments, innumerable to count all the people walking by in that moment; in every terminal; goodbyes softly spoken; hellos excitedly shared; to the vacationers coming and going to the anticipated reunions and perhaps those mourning a loss to those who were starting all over again as fear caused their hands to sweat and their hearts to sink.  Those many moments filled with people in every circumstance revolving around one another – yet in those moments, it was like a pause in the universe as you must have felt the joyful nervousness of being reunited assisted by adventure of unbridled love and the longing to start a life together in the unknown.

Meanwhile, as you stepped out into the world of the unknown – misplaced faith in following this rare kind of love – this love that crossed oceans and the great divide transformed into faith that was intentionally placed in the Author of it all – Almighty God.

Dad and mom – your love for God – and your desperation for Him is what has led to this milestone
504 months, 2,191 weeks, 15, 340 days and 368,170 hours later.
 


Your 42 year anniversary – may the both of you have an anniversary with one another in which God is glorified and you both benefit in ways never imagined, dreamed or could possibly have ever seen in the greatest of books or movies.  May you see, experience and know that you both needed one another – one did not need the other more than the other – instead God placed in each of you what the other lacked and joined together in Him is what completed two beautiful people in becoming one rare vessel that has made an impact over their children, grandchildren and so many others that you have met along the way. 

Blessings and favor abound in Him every day and all the day long.

Love, Teresa “Twiggy”
June 2014

Monday, May 26, 2014

Exhausted or Empowered?

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

"I am given His Spirit, therefore, I have access to the mind of Christ."
~ I Corinthians 2:10-16 ~

There are two balloons - as I hold them both, they look the same. They're the same color and same size, BUT when I let go - one balloon soars to the ceiling and the other falls to the ground. The balloon filled with air and breath has no ability to allow the balloon to rise above - the balloon filled with helium allows the balloon to soar...same goes with who we are - our spirit man is pure and our soul man is weighed down by our will, emotions and past experiences. 

We expect to live a life for God in the soul, carnal realm - but it's not possible to make choices of the Spirit of God with our own power or might. HOWEVER, what is possible in Christ is to live a life according to The Spirit of God - but how? It starts with our mouth. Yes! When we regularly exercise - more than daily (Moment by moment) when our mouth, our tongue begins to declare the Truth of The Word of God - it is The Word that purely and properly renews our mind and lines up with the Holy Spirit of God. 

Be encouraged that no amount of will power can serve Almighty God without getting exhausted! If we're exhausted in the realm of "living for God" this could be an indicator that we are most likely "doing" out of the flesh versus "being" in The Holy Spirit. 

Let us be triumphantly and victoriously reminded that we cannot worship God in the flesh and opinions but only in spirit and in truth - thus is the difference in being exhausted and empowered!

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Brokenness To Wholeness

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

"...Beauty of God in exchange for ashes of this life, the oil of joy in exchange for mourning and depression, the garment of praise in exchange for the spirit of heaviness and oppression..."
~ Isaiah 61:3 ~

 As I had many times before, I dropped my phone; but this time the drop brought shattering results. 

At first bummed, then calling my mobile phone carrier to upgrade, it was in that moment I wasn't willing to pay nor sign a two year contract and found myself attempting to figure out "how" I could get my upgrade at no cost. It was in that very moment The Holy Spirit utilized my iPhone to teach me something so beautiful. It was that sweet, gentle whisper as though I could hear Him say, "Teresa,  don't worry. Let this be a reminder of your life without Me." As the call ended, in a silly way I held my phone close and said, "Thank You Lord for that reminder." 

Meanwhile, as I got really happy that my phone was broken - there it was -another teaching moment. "Teresa, this is how many are looking at life. It's as though they are seeing through distorted, broken glass due to fractures of being mishandled, mistreated and even their own mismanaged living." 

I must encourage myself and others - let the brokenness of your soul be made whole. Allow God to deliver you - it truly is a breath by breath, moment by moment, day by day intimate process with our King. The more we allow Him to hold us - the more the wholeness, the Shalom of God will manifest. Shalom is Peace - this supernatural Peace of God is what holds us up with His Abundant Grace that allows us to rise above hurt and offense and see with vision in God that "Nothing is broken and nothing is missing in Him." 

Be triumphantly and victoriously reminded that the state of our circumstances and the state of this world will not attempt to convince us that our God lacks any good, great, awesome thing.

* Deliverance is to be delivered from the lies and delivered into the healing, truth of God!

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Rescued...but by Who?

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

"For He has rescued us from the kingdom of darkness and transferred us into the Kingdom of His dear Son, Who purchased our freedom and forgave our sins."
~ Colossians 1:13-14 ~



The building was consumed with fire. The billowing black smoke revealed the intensity of the fire from within.
On the top floor of the enormous sky rise building with no way out, suddenly the door burst wide open with incredible intensity.
Not being able to tell if the door had been forced open due to the flames, but no matter what, the intense heat of the fire quickly consumed the room; crackling sounds were evidence that things were melting at record speeds.

Surrounded by the reminder of your last moments as your life flashes before you - you can feel the strength like never felt or imagined as you are picked up, wisked off feeling the forceful, yet gentle wind of being carried out of the building at lightening speeds.  Simultaneously within moments of being in the room to now being rushed down the stairs, you find yourself cradled in the arms of a veteran fireman, someone with controlled strength as the intensity of being rescued becomes overwhelming.

All you know is that you have been rescued. Slow motion collides with "the now" when you feel the rescuer place your feet on solid ground.  As he puts you down, his work seems to be done. With no words spoken, he walks away.  Wait! Do you let him go?  Do you let him walk away? Aren't you curious who this was that risked his life for you? Or do you let this cataclysmic - life altering moment pass you by? 

With all the intensity described, the same goes with the Rescuing Savior Jesus Christ. There are many who have let the Rescuer walk away...they talk about being saved and rescued but they don't even know who rescued them.  This hot, hunky fireman, this "man's  man" is likened to my Jesus.  He has rescued us, but many have not ran after Him, pursued Him to know more of Who is this One who rescued me?  Is the moment of being rescued more important than the One Who rescued me?  Is the event more important than the One who made the event so?

As I think upon my Rescuing Savior Jesus Christ, I think of that charge from Lisa Bevere when she wrote to me in 2004, "Teresa, Run after your Prince". A few years after her charge - this vision I shared of the "fireman" came alive in me. I realized that our churches and this country we live in is inundated with those who say they have been rescued, but have no idea who the Rescuer is.

Imagine if we did know HIM - we wouldn't live mediocre, complacent, "whatever will be, will be", passionless lives.  The results of this lukewarm living is that we know "of" the Rescuer, but we don't "know" Him.  Many of us did not pursue Him after that moment He set us on solid ground...we let Him go.  We didn't ask to 'sup' with Him, we didn't go run after Him to know more about Him.  We didn't run after Him and say, "I've got to know why you would risk it all, abandoning your rights to live - to allow me the right to not just live but live with abundance. Like bringing cookies to our local, earthly firemen - We didn't even live a more productive life to show our gratefulness.

Listen! Look! It's not too late for us! 
Run after Jesus.
Pursue Him.
Get to know His familiar smell.  Really - I mean it, you've got to smell Him - intentionally know His scent so you always know that He is near!.
Get into Him, be in awe of the One Who sent Him - our Father God.

The FIREMAN of all firemen AWAITS FOR YOU TO ASK HIM TO COMMUNE WITH HIM...WILL YOU PURSUE HIM?

There's more to this life than saying, "I'm saved" -  It's about us desiring the ONE Who saved us.
 
May this stir up an insatiable appetite to want and desire more of Him - falling in love with the Rescuer and getting to know Him as so much more - Giver, Lover, The Generous One, The Compassionate One, The Slayer of Hate as He overcomes evil with GOOD. The One Who Draws us to Himself.  The Healer, The Strengthener, The Confident One, The One Who Makes our weaknesses dissipate as His strength is made perfect in the midst of it.  The One Who Redeems; the One who gives back more than we could have ever imagined.  He is the Lord, the landowner of all the earth.  The One Who makes the earth His footstool, the Great I Am - The Alpha The Omega - The Beginning and The End, The Author, The Finisher of our Faith.  The ONE Who Has and Is the last word over our lives, if we let HIM.  He is our Shalom - the ONE who ensures that NOTHING IS BROKEN AND NOTHING IS MISSING.  THE ONE WHO MAKES THE FRACTURES BECOME WHOLE AS THOUGH IT NEVER HAPPENED.  Are we evidence of Who we've been rescued by?  Or do we just have a good 'story' to tell?

As Lisa wrote to me, so I write to you - "Run after your Prince, Your King - His Name is Jesus!"

(Applicable ways -
Ask the Father God to allow His Holy Spirit to show you.
Read the Gospel of John
Ask God, "Father, in Jesus name, I ask, will you baptize me by the power of the Holy Spirit with YOUR UNQUENCHABLE FIRE?")

Will you let me know what happens next?

How do we defeat the enemy?  By the Blood of The Lamb (Jesus) and by the Word of our Testimony who reveals Jesus! (Revelation 12:11) 


Thursday, April 3, 2014

Do you know...?


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

Do you know a man who is merciful yet walks in great authority?
How about a man whose words are few yet when he speaks, his words have incredible weight?
Have you ever met a man who is so fixed on His God that the demonstration of his life is not about what he says but how he lives?

This man I ask about is none other than my earthly dad. Vanishing point, mind blowing thoughts race my mind to think that out of all people, my sisters and I would get to have a daddy like him.  I have often wondered, why me Lord?  Why would you allow me to have this sweet encounter with an earthly father who is incredibly rare?

I have to be honest, these thought have brought me to guilt at times as I was not the easiest daughter to raise - a daughter who witnessed at the age of 13, her daddy in the living room, praying on his knees to a God that seemed so far away - yet he prayed at 4 am as though he was so near.  In those moments, my dad humbled to know the only way through this life was and is to seek God with everything as guidance and protection would fall into place over his wife, my mom and his girls.

This great man who constantly spoke life into me when others gave up - he championed the heavens to chase his daughter down when she was beguiled and deceived by the world's glamor and the seemingly fulfilling gratification of right now. My dad, a man who called on Jesus, the name above every name, to dispatch His angels to take charge over me in all my ways so that I would come back home...not just home with my family - but my true home, being aware moment by moment of God's incredibly matchless presence - seeking His face, pursuing Him with everything and never turning back...that HOME! For dad you knew that once I encountered my true home not from your experience but from my own with Jesus that this would only compel me forward, loving God with everything which would overflow into loving myself and others and in that revelation of God's true love would cause me to never quit!  Dad, through partnering with God in obedience, you allowed the course to be set the course to fix our eyes on the Author and Finisher of our faith and his name is none other than JESUS!

Why do I write all this for you to see? Because today is my dad's anniversary of his birth - his birthday!

Daddy, we all love you, you are a unique treasure.  Some may only have known you as that cute, little mischievous little boy, others as that rebellious teenager and then there are those who may  have only known you as a hippie or a young man serving in the military -

Dad is the 2nd one from the left...


  - but the lineage you have left behind for your family and so many others is your demonstration of being a warrior for the King of all kings.  We must thank God for His persistent vessel in the 1970's by the name of Ray Pew who was the first to witness you drop to your knees and receive Jesus not only as Savior but Lord as Ray was the first to see your lineage forever change - and to God we are grateful for him but also grateful dad that you said YES to God - for we and so many more are a life that was and is forever changed...

.

Dad, there's something else you need to know - you were and are that awe inspiring example of how we can approach our Heavenly Father with boldness, laughter and great surety that He will never turn us away, for you did that for each of us.  I know with boldness that God will never say,  "Not now - I don't have time..." - Instead dad you gave us a glimpse of the example of consistently taking the time to pray over us, speak into us the Word of God even in the midst of squirming about wanting to go play as you allowed the patience of God to echo and be displayed through every fiber of your being.

Well dad, I could write so much more - but what a privilege and honor to know you and wish you a happy birthday.  Thank you for cheering on heaven on my behalf and even when it looked like the game of my life was ending with a score of 70-0, you cheered me on and said, "Teresa, there's a call on your life - NOW ANSWER IT - CATCH IT - YOU CAN DO IT - I BELIEVE IN YOU!"

With all that, I cheer for you my dad - WITH LONG LIFE GOD SATISFIES YOU AND HAS SHOWN YOU HIS SALVATION!
 
Love you!
Twiggy

Monday, March 10, 2014

Abandoned Yet Chosen

Triumphant Victorious Reminders
Inspired by the Holy Spirit
Written by: Teresa Criswell
(Re-post from October 24, 2011)





"Father to the fatherless, defender of widows-this is God, whose dwelling is holy. God places the lonely in families; he sets the prisoners free and gives them joy..."
~ Psalm 68:5-6a ~

She stood before the mirror, staring at her saddened reflection. The thoughts entering her mind, whirling about at cataclysmic speeds as she was on the brink of making the biggest decision of her life.

Torn by the news of her pregnancy, her mind led to the unknown experience of adoption. The thoughts invoked fear, which led to the deceptive 'quick fix' thoughts of abortion. The more she allowed that destructive thought to burrow into her mind, it dangerously became a 'logical' option that she could justify. She would not only have to experience seeing her baby at the appointed birth, but she would not have to feel the aching pry from her arms as she delivered a beautiful gift into the world. The turmoil haunted her. The 'quick fix' would have a more tragic outcome as she might hear haunting whispers of, "What was I suppose to be?"

As she warred with the decision of adoption and abortion; she knew that she could not kill the child growing within her womb. Suddenly, the nurturer, the warrior and the mother rose up on the inside of her and said, "I will see to it that my baby lives and does not die, and will be 'chosen' by a family who will see the desires of their heart fulfilled! Not only will this beautiful life live; but my mandate is to pray continually for my child. My beautiful gift from God, no matter how the baby was conceived, will live an abundant life in Jesus, revealing God's power in this earth."

I interrupt this with the thought of the many who have experienced abandonment in this life. Whether you were the one who abandoned someone, or the one who was abandoned. Perhaps you were adopted, and you have dealt with those real feelings of abandonment. It is a possibility that you are one who was treated worse than an animal, even left for dead. It may have been that you have experienced the life as an orphan, tragically losing your parents or perhaps you were one who was cared for with great love but for some reason could not fully accept such pure love.

The circumstances are innumerable; but God's powerful love that king's cannot speak of; this earth shaking love that causes the 'greats' to weep from such uncommon Power, is before you in this very moment. Holding out His glorious hand, encouraging you with His desire that you receive His irrevocable, unconditional love.

We must rise up as the woman did who was at a crossroad in her life. There will be times where the decision on either side will be difficult. However, in our decision making, we must be a warrior of obedience; a warrior for someone else, seeing life come forth because of radical obedience, no matter how incomprehensible the situation.

Will we receive the One Who allows us to dream BIG?
Will we receive Him, moment by moment, the One Who is Love?
As we do, how can we not be willing to share His love that is continually being lavished upon us with others whom He lavishly loves?
Will we lavishly reveal God's love, expressed through Jesus by the power of the Holy Spirit, upon someone else who is in desperate need of God's love?
Will we be assistants in the breakthrough over another individual, who is on the familiar path we were once on, will we allow them to see God's love expressed through our lives?

I don't know what God has in store with the following, however, I am led to write:
If you have a dream, see to it that it is developed. In the development, do not be solely focused on the development of the dream, but envision the people who will be forever changed by the dream. Most importantly, Don't Give Up! This will ensure that your dream comes to fruition and brings glory to the Father God!

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Top Five Things I Was Reminded to NOT FORGET...

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




Top Five Things I Was Reminded To NOT FORGET...

1. Prayer changes things??? Actually this alone is FALSE...Let it be clarified - It is GOD Who changes things and He uses prayer as one of many 'tools' to let us see change. Just like the shofar, anointing oil, prayer cloths, worship music, praise, dance, banners, fasting, etc. - those things alone don't do the change...it's WHO those things are committed to - The One True God - that changes things. However, when these things are properly used while focusing our faith in God - these things help change our perspective and mindset to completely focus on our Awesome God and get rid of doubt and walk in faith - HAVING FAITH IN GOD...FOR WHEN THIS HAPPENS THEN WE CAN SAY TO THE MOUNTAIN, 'MAY GOD LIFT YOU UP AND THROW YOU INTO THE SEA, AND YOUR COMMANDMENT WILL BE OBEYED...WE CAN TALK TO THE MOUNTAIN ALL DAY, BUT UNTIL OUR FAITH IS IN GOD, WE'LL BE DOING MORE CHATTERING THAN SEEING MOUNTAINS SHATTERING (Mark 11:22-25, Isaiah 26:3)!!!

2. When we go through tough times it makes us stronger in character! - This is partially true...but alone it's a lie...for it's ONLY when we focus on God Who sees us through that will cause us to be GENUINELY stronger in character (Philippians 3:12-14, James 1:2-4...our pastor has been teaching on this with great power)!

3. If you go to church you'll become stronger in Christ...NO!!! It's tripled with what we learn from the Holy Spirit as The Spirit helps us become equipped through the true understanding of The Word of God while meeting together as a church (Praise God for our pastor who teaches truth from The Word of God as the final authority) along with that intimate time alone with God while in His Word and in prayer that causes us to become stronger in Christ! (Ephesians 6:10-18)

4. God doesn't give us more than we can handle...NO!!! Life gives us more than we can handle - but it's through CHRIST that handles things in our lives that we could never do on our own...in our weakness HIS STRENGTH IS MADE PERFECT AND COMPLETE (II Corinthians 12:1-10)

5. Paul's Thorn in the flesh was a physical ailment - FALSE!!!! The thorn in his flesh is revealed plainly in II Corinthians 12:7!!!! Do you know what it was??? It was a messenger from Satan who tormented him. And three different times he asked God to remove it...and each time God said, "MY gracious favor is all you need. My power works BEST in your weakness."

With these 'ponderings' today...here's the conclusion, the Triumphant Victorious Reminder:
Everything points back to HIM! We have given credit to the 'things of God', our past experiences and who we are for way too long and it has muddied the waters that were never meant to be muddied! We must give CREDIT TO GOD AND ONLY GOD and the things of HIM should point back directly to HIM and that is it...

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Heavenly 'Snapshot' Transfer

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

"This accords with the Tanakh, where it says, "I have appointed you to be a father to many nations," Avraham (Abraham) is our father in God's sight because he trusted God as the One who gives life to the dead and calls nonexistent things into existence."
~ Romans 4:17 (Complete Jewish Bible) ~



Spacing out into the vanishing awe and wonder of God while washing the dishes in the sink, and then BAM! I saw the face of someone I had not thought of for over 15 years.  I shook my head as though I was clearing my thoughts as if to ask, "Where did that thought come from?"  Usually, in most cases, I have found that these 'pictures of people's faces' are what I call heavenly 'snapshots' from God, transferred and downloaded into my thoughts for a purpose. 

These are the moments that stir the joy of the Lord within me.  Why?  For this reason...
that God would trust me enough in that moment
to share a small glimpse of His eternal, continual thoughts of that person or group of people;
with 'out of all people'...me.

Do you know what I'm talking about?  It causes me to sit here...a mere woman...a wife...a mom...sitting at her desk in the small classroom tucked away in the corner of her home to declare Who He is in their lives, even if it is not seen in their lives - I can see through the eyes of God's supernatural vision; seeing through another dimension...the dimension of eternity as though it were in our realm of 'right now.'

This leads me to the power of Faith...not just the general word we so easily and loosely use -
but the 'faith in God' kind of 'faith'.
Not that 'magical' 50/50, hope and cross your fingers type of faith -
but that SUPERNATURAL, HEAVEN INVADES EARTH KIND OF FAITH.
The faith that causes what has already taken place in God's eternal realm to manifest in our realm of 'now'.

So when we get that 'download', that 'snapshot' - let us triumphantly remember what Adonai, our Almighty God says, "For I know what plans I have in mind for you, plans for well-being, not for bad things; so that you can have hope and a future." (Jeremiah 29:11).  We must allow the Holy Spirit to lead our declarations so we are no longer praying from our limited intellect but by the Holy Spirit's power which reveals Adonai's Wisdom and Understanding; Counsel and Might; Knowledge and fearing Adonai" (Isaiah 11:2).

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Something New...

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



I would like to introduce you to my new additional blog - it's called, "The Pee Diaries of A Laughing Mom" - Her laughter is stronger than her bladder!

Please know that I will continue blogging for TVR, but wanted to hilariously introduce you to the link of my very first post!
http://thepeediariesofalaughingmom.wordpress.com/2014/01/04/10/

Enjoy!