Monday, April 10, 2017

Motivating Versus Deactivating

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



When a team of people are not stirring in prosperity and creativity, it is most likely not just the fault of the team - it might be a combination of both the team and the leader.

Are we leading others by manipulation, lies, intimidation and/or fear?
Are we insulting them in front of others and actually believe the lie that they will be greater producers due to humiliation?
Or are we leading by encouragement and recognizing our family/teams strengths and allowing them to thrive?

A leader gives the "why" to what is expected so understanding comes and fewer mistakes are made when they know the reason.

A true leader takes time to appreciate their people and highlight the victories and wins; acknowledge the mistakes and teach the team how even in the fails, there's a learning lesson of what not to ever do again - every fail can become a win if and more importantly when we learn from them.

The triumphant, victorious reminder in all of this is that many times acceleration to success are usually disguised from the learned mistakes.

No more shame - now get up in Christ and do this in HIM - strength will be revealed in HIS great joy and watch HIS grace be revealed yet again!

Scripture References:
Romans 8:1

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Who's writing your story?

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


Many times when we pray, we pray from a place of fear. A fear of loss, a fear of "the going ons" in life not going the way we would hope or want. However today, when we pray, let's proclaim that we know WHO we are praying to...then from that place of knowing WHO we proclaim - doubt has to go and faith emerges to be fixed on GOD the AUTHOR of our lives. HE already has plans - HE already knows about the trouble to come and HE already has the plans to overcome; plans for a good future and a hope - and although trouble comes in the midst - if we stay fixed on HIM - trouble only has to be a fleeting part of the unfolding story.
Think about this, "trouble" has for far too long been the main character of so many chapters of the lives we have written - YET GOD has a STORY - HE'S not playing catch up with us...quite the contrary, we are catching up to HIS unfolding story of GRACE.
HE must be the MAIN CHARACTER of our stories - from the fleeting tragedies to the passing triumphs - HE must be our story - HE must be the MAIN EVERYTHING...HE must BE the SETTING, THE INTRODUCTION, THE PLOT, THE HERO AND THE END - we live because HE authored us to be a part of HIS story; not the other way around. So now when we pray, let's keep that in mind. HIS pen is writing.
Will we let HIM write our stories? Let's remember that The "Kingdom of God is righteousness, joy and peace in the Holy Spirit".
Psalm 139:16, "You saw me before I was born. Everyday of my life was recorded in YOUR book before one of them came to be."
Scripture References:
Jeremiah 29:11
John 16:33
Psalm 139:16
Romans 14:17

Monday, March 6, 2017

Lesson of Repentance

Triumphant Victorious Reminders
Inspired by the Holy Spirit
Written by: Teresa Criswell
(Repost: Written January 18, 2012)

"Or do you despise the riches of His goodness, forbearance, and longsuffering, not knowing that the goodness of God leads you to repentance?"
~ Romans 2:4 ~

Slipping back into time, it was 1988; my eighth grade year. My parents experienced grueling frustration as they were continuously receiving reports from my teachers of me carrying on in class, not taking my classes seriously and consistently getting into trouble for being one of the 'class clowns'.

In hind sight, as a parent myself, the acting out wasn't their greatest frustration; it was my overall attitude of not caring, which to say the least, my grades mercilessly reflected.

Meanwhile, during this time, I still remember my wonderful dad. I shake my head in awe as my dad continuously believed in me. He would even say in the darkest times of my life, "Teresa, God has a great plan for you." I can still remember being in the awkward 'skin' of a young teenage girl; it was one of those situations where I sadly could not receive his words because of the inner turmoil stirred by insecurity and unworthiness stemmed from not knowing the value from within. The concerns of what the outsiders thought was more important to me than the ones who loved me the most.

Reminiscing this particular moment my eighth grade year is in regards to my dad (Including my mom and sisters) who never gave up. Although there were times he was justifiably on the brink of seeing no hope in sight, I can still remember that moment in eighth grade as though it were this very moment.

I remember it like this:
Dad set his schedule aside and asked me to come down to the light and airy family room. He brought two chairs and placed them in the middle of the 'love-filled' room adjacent to the red brick fireplace. He had me take my seat as he walked away for a moment into another room. When dad came back, he was holding a medium sized cardboard box with certificate frames inside. He had my full attention as I wondered, "What is he doing?"

Curiosity detained me in the midst of my dad's quiet demeanor. He sat down and now we were practically knee to knee. He looked at me with his soft hazel eyes, framed by his glasses and began to speak life into me. I remember how he began to one by one, show and tell me of his accomplishments backed up by the certificates in his possession. One of his accomplishments that I still remember so vividly was the one in which he graduated number one in his class for morse code in the ARMY. For a moment I was captivated by this untapped perseverance, integrity and tenacity that I had not yet chosen to experience for myself. Looking back, I am still in awe of my dad who chose to possess these attributes even after the setbacks of his own choices and did not allow his original choice of becoming a high school drop out stop him from pursuing the greatness that God placed within him. Dad revealed in his story as he patiently spoke to me how in one moment I could make a choice to turn it all around for good. He was showing me the power of repentance.

This reminder of this teaching moment from my dad with me, reveals a glimpse of how the goodness of God leads man to repentance. It was the goodness of my dad and his love expressed over me that enabled me to finally receive the message of God's rescuing power from sin and myself by turning away from my old ways and clinging to the new ways that God abundantly provided, revealing life and prosperity in my spirit from Jesus Christ. My family believed in God for many years, in spite of what it looked like, they would not allow my actions to trump God's promise as they continued to pray His abundant life to finally be received by me.

Perhaps there are those of you who may know part of my story as it took more than a decade to finally get to the point that I truly knew in my heart I needed to be rescued from one of my greatest enemies ~ myself. This incredible beginning took place on March 6, 2003. Actually, let me back up, interestingly enough, it was five months before my incredible beginning that my dad and mom flew to  Michigan to come see us and gift me with a ring that he designed just for me in October of 2002 (He also did this for my sisters who were already following after Jesus).



I remember when I put it on my finger my dad said, "Whenever you look at this ring, say a prayer for your mom and I." I remember thinking, "Yeah right...they know I don't pray." Well, I truly believe that the ring I still wear 'til this day was truly a 'point of contact' from my parents prayers of hope in God over my life to be redeemed and restored back to Him. The moment from my eighth grade year was a defining reminder of discovering the power of repentance; allowing God's Holy Spirit to rule and reign over my life.

I am reminded that my dad took on a glimpse of the perseverance, integrity and tenacity of Jesus Christ which was victoriously revealed at the Cross of Calvary. Death, hell and the grave shook in fear as they surrendered all power to Jesus as God raised Him from the dead!

The reminder set before me is realizing yet again God's glorious power as He sent His Word Jesus to become a mere man to pay the debt of sin as He 'suffered long' even while we are known to be 'quick to quit'.

We must remember when we find ourselves being faithless, get rid of doubt and allow faith to rise up as we remember that He is still faithful even when we aren't (II Timothy 2:13).

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Awakening Reminders

Triumphant Victorious Reminders
Inspired by the Holy Spirit
Written by: Teresa Ann♡



Pic courtesy of Mikey McCall


Reminder to Ponder:

What if it was never about just you or me?
Have we ever considered that it wasn't solely about what we desire or "need"...but more about others and WHO they need?

I think of Desmond Doss, the real life character from the movie, Hacksaw Ridge...he never prayed for GOD to protect HIM, instead HE prayed, "GOD! I can't hear YOUR voice...Please LORD, help me get one more...help me get one more." In that prayer, he alone by the power of GOD saved over 70 men on what some consider as the bloodiest battlefield of World War II while never using his weapon. To see the character of a man immovable; he was steadfast to the core of believing in this GOD WHO is righteous and just - no matter how often he was mocked, threatened, and beat for his faith in GOD; he remained true to see the value in every human being - even to the point of saving lives from the warring enemies.

Does his life sound familiar? His life reminds me of JESUS and WOW how the Spirit of Jesus operated through Desmond.

Are we upset because we haven't found people who have come alongside us?
Are we growing dissatisfied because our spouse doesn't "fulfill" our needs?
Are we angry because we see others in church or in our community being surrounded by friends, but we're all alone?

Those questions alone reveal the crying out for self - versus the crying out for someone else. Perspective must shift as we reflect on JESUS WHO is FOR US and in that we begin to ask:

Have I found someone I can come alongside and give my best to as JESUS has for me?
How can I fulfill the needs of my spouse as The Spirit of GOD has fulfilled mine?
What can I do to surround someone else and be a friend so they don't feel alone?

Truly think on these things with a grateful heart. For in doing so it causes us to make sure we never allow the "numbers game" become a game in our heads. Remember, it isn't about the number of people we know that matters; it's about each individual knowing they simply matter.

Triumphant Victorious Reminder:
"There is no greater love than to lay down one's life for one's friends."
- John 15:13


Reflection From God's Word:
To lay one's life down is not just about physically dying for someone - but are we willing to lay down our pride for someone else, even if we feel they don't "deserve" it?

Prayer:
Father, in the Name of Jesus, by the power of your Holy Spirit - I am aware of YOU and YOUR greatness - YOUR power - YOUR glory. Even the heavens declare YOUR glory, and I want my declarations to cause the heavens to take notice of my awe of YOU. I surrender my life to YOU GOD by saying YES to JESUS and allowing YOUR HOLY BREATH, revealed by YOUR HOLY SPIRIT to be more moved by YOUR LOVE for others. I give you my desires and receive the GREAT EXCHANGE of YOUR DESIRES GOD. I love you with my everything so YOUR LOVE can pour over me and flood my soul so I can love myself with YOUR VAST LOVE so I am loving others with YOUR LOVE that flows through me like a rushing river. Thank YOU Father. I love you Lord. In Jesus mighty name - Amen.





Friday, January 20, 2017

Did you know?

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



So much has happened over the last 13 years of my life since I FINALLY said, "Yes to Jesus!"

All those moments being drawn to go deeper into the roots of GOD and HIS righteousness and wanting to know this GOD who in HIS love and redemption extended HIS mighty hand and said, "Let's do this...you may not believe in ME, like you want, and you may not believe in yourself, but I believe in you for I see what's about to bloom and the fragrance of MYSELF you will leave behind..."

That alone is a "doubt destroying" thought into a "faith exposing" life in wanting GOD more and more as HE beckons us to draw closer to WHO HE IS.

Did you know there was a time I was so far away that I truly thought life didn't matter?
Did you know that the very words you read were never even a thought in those moments of waywardness?
Did you know I was so deceived in my waywardness that I thought I was on my way to fulfillment?

BUT...
- Do you truly know that no matter how far I went - it didn't change how close HE was?  Like my middle sister would tell me so often, "Teesa, remember you can take a million steps away from GOD, but take one step back and HE's right there..."
- Do you truly know that I can't imagine my life without THE WAY and HIS name is JESUS?
- Do you truly know that fulfillment will never come except through The Fulfiller of Abundant Life Himself - the ONLY ONE who can COMPLETE US when others only have the ability to compliment...big difference wouldn't you say?

Today, be encouraged and lean into HIM by reading and hearing the WORD OF GOD...be aware of HIS SPIRIT that makes the WORD come alive and while you're at it...go visit my most recent YouTube channel, "Let's Talk TV Show" - it's just starting and so thank you for overlooking the "amateurity"...

Let God have the last word over your life and no one else...now that's a victorious and triumphant reminder of how to live!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZvAoBsVPZdw&t=403s