Friday, December 30, 2016

"Dare To Be Blessed" Campaign

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



Seething anger, detailed thoughts of how to get revenge and the thoughts of "How dare they?" Has this ever happened to you?  Perhaps you are going through this right now and even rightfully so.

Maybe you've even had the worst of the worst take place in your life and you can't see straight.  Hurt, grief, and the pain of betrayal has you in a choke hold.  You don't even want to get out of bed. This life is not at all what you had hoped for. Your hopes, dreams have all seemingly come crashing down and the "If only" begins to plague your thoughts, mutilate your demeanor and curse your very actions.

Then suddenly a "dare to be blessed" opportunity comes your way.  It's a dare that changed my life back in 2005.  A friend showed me the scripture and I lashed out at her with expletives and all she did was laugh and say, "One day Teresa, you will see this as the most freeing thing you've ever done..." It was the very dare that Jesus took by going to the Cross of Calvary - HE chose the death of a criminal over what was "rightfully" His and in this fulfillment of the "God Love Dare", He experienced a resurrection return that humanity nor this earth or hell itself ever saw coming!  Where am I going with all of this?  I'm glad you asked. Let me take you to the moment of Jesus talking to His leaders as recorded in Luke 6, starting in verse 27.

Here it is...it's the Famous Outline of what to do, how to do it as He gives examples of what it looks like - the very act of forgiveness and release allows us to freely live in HIM! Luke 6:27-38

Jesus begins with a profound statement:
"If you're willing to listen..." DANG! It's a dare!

Then, here's the "Bless, Pray and Bless" dare:
Bless, pray and bless those who hurt you, persecute you and spitefully use you.

If you act on the dare it's truly a campaign of "The Revealing of God's Love..."

Example of what this looks like on a practical level, the demonstration of this dare (Luke 6:28-36):
- If someone slaps you on one cheek, offer the other cheek also.
- If someone demands your coat, offer your shirt also.
- Give to anyone who asks; and when things are taken away from you, don’t try to get them back.
- Do to others as you would like them to do to you.

The Kingdom Reasoning behind the dare:
If you love only those who love you, why should you get credit for that? Even sinners love those who love them! And if you do good only to those who do good to you, why should you get credit? Even sinners do that much! And if you lend money only to those who can repay you, why should you get credit? Even sinners will lend to other sinners for a full return.

Adamant reminder and closing statement to the "dare to be blessed" campaign:

Love your enemies! Do good to them. Lend to them without expecting to be repaid. Then your reward from heaven will be very great, and you will truly REVEAL YOU ARE CHILDREN of the Most High, for HE is kind to those who are unthankful and wicked. You must be compassionate, just as your Father is compassionate.

Drop the mic...let's be willing and see the rewards of the dare.  It's easy to get back at people...this is human nature - but it takes warriors to do this dare...and you are HIS warrior - every time we do this, it becomes easier and easier as HIS grace is what gives us the ability to rise above and as soon as we act on the "dare", HIS compassion flows - it's supernaturally unexplainable...it's a miracle and that's what this world needs to see - MIRACLES OF GOD'S WONDER WORKING POWER OF HIS LOVE!

Triumphant Victorious Reminder: God calls us to step over our "rights to get back" and pick up "The promises of GOD", it not only saves our lives, but it saves so many others along the way - we may never see those lives that were saved - but we can be assured that our release will be someone else's ability to receive from GOD!

Monday, December 19, 2016

Merry Christmas

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


Merry Christmas from our family to yours...

I pray you experience Christmas in a way that the world could not market; the retail stores could ever slash in prices or the feat of the many lines you weathered this year - I truly pray each of us experience Christmas - MORE of Christ not just this month, but every month, every week, every day and every moment. May the fragrance of His presence lead us out of the miraging deceits of nostalgia and into intimacy with the ONE who calls us son, daughter, friend, and lover...Our God is the Lifter of our heads so we don't just lift our heads but that we lift our heads as our eyes gaze upon the Most Holy One - The Great I Am!

During this season and time of where we see yet again marketing intensified; greed magnified and nostalgia wooing us back to the "good ol' times" or even those moments of shame - I must intentionally "park" the "vehicle" of nostalgia on March 6th, 2003, the day Holy Spirit of GOD revealed by Jesus Christ awoke my spirit and touched me physically. I woke up to SOMEONE'S gentle touch on my left shoulder, but when I woke up, I saw no one there. Yet that was the moment His Spirit led me to an encounter with Him as I felt like I floated to my office from my bedroom and found my purple journal I bought the day before. As I sat on the floor with my back against the futon, I began to write. It was "like" an "out of body" experience. All I could write were praises to GOD. And that was the moment my love affair with Jesus began. That was the moment I knew that the journal could only be filled with words of praise to God and nothing else. That was the moment He taught me (without me knowing) that praise would be the greatest instrument and in turn the greatest weapon. He would teach me and continues to open my eyes in awe of HIM as the praises from my  mouth are like an instrument and in those praises of HIM when I would naturally want to complain, HE would become the perspective changer, the joy deliverer and the ONE Who would make my crooked paths straight and show HIMSELF as REDEEMER.

These are the moments we must realize that if we want to see the Kingdom of Heaven on earth, then the Kingdom of Heaven through my actions and responses to everything and it can ONLY be done by the Spirit of God as we rely on HIM - what a privilege to rely on HIM. 

Again, if I want to see the Kingdom of God on earth, then I get to be the representative of The Kingdom of GOD ON and IN this earth. When others react from a place of offense, we get to be the ones who rely on Holy Spirit to RESPOND TO HIM, revealing HIM as Defender to the very ones it would be easy to accuse. 

Just writing this causes me to want HIM more as the "deep calls to deep"...

This Christmas, may you experience the "mas" or the "more" - and that is experiencing MORE of CHRIST in our every moments.  Not just the 25th of December, or the days leading up to it - but every moment of every day for the rest of our lives - this world is in desperate need of Ambassadors of heaven - they have enough ambassadors of earth - let's make a difference because we've been touched by HIM!

Please share your "MORE of CHRIST" stories of how you remind yourself of Who He is...our true "Christmas" stories as Christ"mas" means MORE of CHRIST...

Practical ways of living this life with wanting more of CHRIST:
- Be thankful to GOD for WHO HE is in your life
- Thank HIM for the ones in your life and what you've been blessed with
Being grateful helps us to focus on WHO and what we have
- Gratefulness leads us to praise HIM
When right in the middle of an impending argument, think about WHO is within you (Holy Spirit)
- Praising Him may not be something you "feel" like doing, but it's like exercise, once you do it then it bubbles out of us
- Praise changes perspective of lack to abundance; defeat to victory
- Realize that you don't fight for victory; you LIVE from VICTORY, WHO IS THE PERSON and HIS NAME IS JESUS.

Scripture References:
Psalm 118:24
Philippians 4:6-8
John 7:38