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.


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!"

Love you!