Foundation of Praise • P.O. Box 2518 • Escondido, CA 92033-2518 • 760.741.2755 • www.foundationofpraise.org
I can’t walk on water. There are many excuses I could give, but there is only one acceptable reason. Jesus said it is because of my own unbelief.
If you are drowning, and I can’t walk on water to save you, what could I do? Swim to you. But what if I can’t swim? If there is a rowboat nearby I could take it and do my best to reach you. But if there is no rowboat I could scream to the top of my voice for someone to come and help. In other words, do whatever I can.
There are some people that I’m unable to give the Good News of eternal life through faith in Jesus. Why can’t I get the Good News to them? In some cases it is my own lack of faith. I could, for example, start a new radio or TV program, print a daily newspaper, heal people and attract huge crowds. Why don’t I? My own lack of faith. So what should I do? I should do what I can; do it joyfully; do it zealously. God asks me to do with all my might, whatever I can do: Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might (Eccl. 9:10 NIV).
God cheers us on. He wants us to be thinking, “What can I do?” If we can’t run – walk. If we can’t walk – crawl. Serve God the very best we can and He will receive our service and cheer us on. With Paul we can say, One thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead (Phil. 3:13 NIV).
There is no value in our fretting over being unable to walk on water. We should keep our thoughts on what we can do – today. We can do it with such joy that angels might pitch in to help us (as when they released disciples from jail). But we must first do whatever our hands find to do. God is looking for anyone who has enough faith to believe they can work for Him.
We would like to send one million copies of Prison to Praise to men and women in the military service, and another million to those in prison, but if we can’t do that we will joyfully send 10, 50 or 1000. If 1,000 people helped us send 1,000 copies, that would be one million. Wow, what possibilities we have!
One by one we reach those who need God’s Good News. One home in your community. Or ten. Or one hundred. One home at a time. We are only limited by our faith in what we can do. It is God himself who has made us what we are and given us new lives from Christ Jesus; and long ages ago he planned that we should spend these lives in helping others (Eph. 2:10 TLB).
Soon we will feel as if we are walking on water! (Reprint from September, 2006)
by Mary Carothers
Do you ever wonder if God brings a trial into your life, or if the devil causes it? Do you ever find yourself in confusion over whether to rebuke Satan or to praise the Lord in a situation? Let me tell you a story I read about a blacksmith and his helper that greatly clarifies God’s work in our lives.
This blacksmith is very wise. As he holds each piece of metal in his hand, his skilled eye can discern the use for which it is best suited. He carefully places it in the fire until it is heated to the point of greatest malleability. Then, signaling the helper, the blacksmith points to the area he wants hammered.
The helper, who has no understanding of what the blacksmith is trying to accomplish, nevertheless wields a mean hammer. He gladly brings it in down with great force on the hapless piece of metal. Before he hits the metal with the hammer he must first wait for direction from the master blacksmith. In due time, the blacksmith is satisfied with the progress made and sets the metal aside for a season.
The blacksmith in our story knows exactly what he wants to accomplish, and how best to achieve his goal. Although he never inflicts the blows, he is completely in charge of the operation at all times. The helper cannot strike a single blow without explicit directions from the master.
As you may have guessed by now, the master blacksmith is God. His unwitting helper is the devil, and we are the metal. We are often in the fire; frequently feeling the blows, seldom (it seems) set aside to rest for a season. But God is at work in us, perfecting us for the glory we will someday share with His Son, Jesus Christ.
Praise in 2016
We rejoice when we are able to provide Prison to Praise and the other praise books to those who need to hear the Good News of the Gospel. Our goal is to continue to provide many free books in 2016. Please pray and consider pledging a monthly gift in 2016 to the Foundation of Praise. Your pledge will help us to know how many books we can plan on sending for the rest of this year to our military personnel, prisons, hospitals and pregnancy centers. When you send in your gift, please mark it, Monthly Pledge.
Many of you are currently pledging to the Foundation of Praise and we are grateful for your support. We thank you for your faithfulness and generosity and we bless you in Jesus’ name.
I was very sorry to hear about Merlin’s passing. Prison to Praise has meant so much to my life. It is such a blessing knowing about praising the Lord. Thank you for all you do. Eleanor, NC
I am blessed and changed after reading Prison to Praise. Kuncham, West Africa
Many years ago, through reading Prison to Praise, God revealed Himself to me in the privacy of my living room. My life and my marriage were transformed. I am grateful for your ministry. Chris, GA
During my many years of practicing law I have passed out hundreds of Prison to Praise to clients that were going through difficult times in their lives. I was first introduced to Prison to Praise when I was a law student. I was impressed at that time with the powerful impact of your book and how it truly seemed to be inspired by the Holy Spirit. In all the years since I have found no better tool to share with clients that need to be encouraged in their faith, and open to God’s help with the problems they are going through. Phillip, MI
A friend gave me Prison to Praise in the 80’s when we were going through some hard times. Merlin and his story helped me to climb the mountain. We have an auction and horse sale once a month and I leave Prison to Praise in the halls with FREE on them. I never knew Merlin but I cried the day I found out he had died, and I cried with joy that he’s with the Lord. Cheryl, TX
I read Prison to Praise in the 90’s while locked up. I was saved and uplifted by that book and gave copies to other inmates. I regularly re-read it to straighten myself up as it is easy to go back to grumbling. Merlin’s teachings help the ungrateful to stay on track! Michael, WI
It so blesses us to read the testimonies in Praise News of those who have read Prison to Praise and have given their hearts to the Lord. Thank you for your faithfulness to this ministry. Joe & Jill, SC
I just want to say thank you from the bottom of my heart for your work, and ask you not to stop! I had struggled with depression and fear through my teen years for as long as I could remember. One day I told the Lord, “If there is any more to this Christian life, then You need to show me, otherwise I am going to have to hang it up”. Shortly afterwards, I read Prison to Praise. All I can say is that this book literally saved my life. I started practicing praise and it brought me hope. People began to notice a change in me. God had changed my life and I finally understood what it meant to be a Christian – I needed to trust God! I am older now and the past few years I have been forgetting what I had learned. Anxiety is affecting my health. Several weeks ago I was very sick, and so to get my mind off of it decided to watch TV. Before I turned it on, I felt an urge to read Prison to Praise. I brushed it aside and turned on the TV. During a commercial I muted the sound, and when it was over I tried to unmute it. But it wouldn’t unmute! I could not bring the volume back up. I then realized that God was saying, Read Prison to Praise. So I turned off the TV and started reading. WOW. Again, God spoke through this book so clearly, and I began to praise God for my fear, my anxiety, and this pit in my stomach. Almost immediately the anxiety was Gone, Gone, Gone! I have given this book to everyone I know and even my son has started reading it. Thank you for all the work you do. Tammy, E-mail
To order this month's Prison to Praise please call 1-800-772-4731.