Foundation of Praise • P.O. Box 2518 • Escondido, CA 92033-2518 • 760.741.2755 • www.foundationofpraise.org
THE WAY IT IS
by Merlin Carothers
As a young man, I was trained by the Army in how to make a parachute jump. We were told to relax and not be worried. Not be worried? The chute might not open! But over and over they emphasized, “Don’t be afraid when you leave the plane, and don’t be afraid when you hit the ground.”
The night before our first jump some men were awake all night. The next morning when they stood in the open airplane door they were tense, worried and anxious. Some were so tired they couldn’t remember what we were taught. Their muscles were tight; they were primed for an accident.
During nearly 20 years of paratrooper training I saw men seriously injured because they didn’t have faith in themselves or in their equipment. Not one of these men wanted to get hurt. They simply were unable to follow directions, and they had insufficient faith in their parachute.
God says, Don’t be anxious. Don’t be anxious any time for any reason. An anxious paratrooper and a worried Christian have common characteristics.
God doesn’t dislike anxious people, but He knows that anxiety and fear are the opposite of faith and trust in Him. He wants us to learn to believe Him!
If we are unable to follow His instructions, we approach prayer with a tense, anxious spirit. God seems far away. We may never crash into the ground as a fearful paratrooper does, but we can crash into situations that can break our spirit if we aren’t prepared.
The potential causes of anxiety are as numerous as the sands on the seashore. Some of my friends were seriously injured because they were anxious, and many prayers are unanswered when we are anxious.
When we know why our prayers might not be answered, then we can concentrate on learning to get rid of our anxiety. This is where praise to God for everything can become a powerful ally!
Try to picture the young man floating toward the ground on his first parachute jump. The last thing he wants is to be injured. Yet the one who is most anxious and fearful is the one most likely to get hurt! This may seem unfair, but that’s the way it is.
The person most anxious and fearful that his prayers won’t be answered, is the same person who is most likely to have little faith – and unanswered prayers. That’s the way it is!
We can learn to believe the message Jesus came to give us. We can joyfully leap into the future believing that He is with us and that He will supply us with whatever we need. Leaping out of an airplane is scary if we do not have faith in our parachute; leaping into the future is scary if we do not have faith in our Savior!
(Reprint from December, 2006)
by Mary Carothers
Many times God allows us to go through a difficult time – a trial – because He longs for us to mature in our spirits. There is a huge difference between being physically mature (an adult) and being spiritually mature. Let me confess right up front when I speak of spiritual maturity that I stumble and fail frequently. I need to keep my mind washed with God’s Word (see Eph. 5:26) and also spend time with the Lord. If I don’t, well, it’s just too easy for me to behave like a little child – at least in my mind and emotions.
Because each of us are born with a sin nature we often think we are more spiritually mature than we really are. Jesus understood that we have this problem and told us in Luke 18 about the Pharisee and the tax collector who both went to the temple to pray. The Pharisee was so glad that he wasn’t like other men, especially like that tax collector! However, the tax collector cried out to God for His mercy; acknowledging that he was a sinner. Jesus said the tax collector went home justified before God, but not the Pharisee. The Pharisee sincerely believed that he was better than other men because of the things that he did. He should have remembered that God had told His people long before, by the prophet Isaiah, that all of our good deeds are no more than filthy rags to Him (see Isaiah 64:6).
As I wrote this last line I realized, once again, how extremely important it is for each of us to know what God has to say to us in the Bible. If you have vision problems and cannot read, get an audio CD of His Word and listen. And you know what? You get to choose whatever translation of scripture you want! I believe all of them are available.
When Merlin and I moved to California in 1972 the Lord reminded me that if
I chose to drive in this state it was my responsibility to learn the California traffic laws. No excuses accepted and no grumbling allowed. I felt like saying, “Oh brother, with all that is involved in a cross country move, including a family to take care of, we also have to learn the traffic laws!” As you can see I was inclined to grumble until the Lord reminded me what I was doing. “Oh Lord, I’m sorry! Thank you that you remember how we are formed that we are dust (see Psalm 103:13, 14). I’ll try to be better about grumbling.”
Father, please teach each of us to be more aware when we are grumbling or complaining. We desire to please You alone. We do love you Lord, help us to love you more.
THANK YOU! THANK YOU!
I have just finished distributing the books you sent to us for the Southwestern Correctional Center. The response of the men was impressive! They gathered around me eagerly examining them and saying, “Thank you” as they walked away with a book. From this response, I am confident that we can easily distribute any books that you can send. Chaplain, IL
Your ministry is such a blessing to so many people. Thank you for your faithfulness and perseverance in spreading the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Kitty, WA
Thank you for the Praise News. I am enjoying receiving it; been getting it for years. It’s so inspiring. Rosemarie, LA
Thank you for the praise books. They are a timeless treasure; a gold mine of hope and insight! David, NY
Thanks so much for the praise books. We serve twelve jails and these books will be a blessing to the inmates and their families. Wendell, IL
Since I started praising God for everything, my joy, peace and love for others have increased. What a blessing it is to give up grumbling and begin praising God for everything. James, AR
We are praising the Lord for the books we received for the Orient Road Jail. While thank you hardly seems adequate, please be assured that it is sincere and you will be in our daily prayers. Peter, FL
I do appreciate getting the Praise News. I thank Jesus every day for His blessings. The more we thank Jesus, the more joy He gives us. Elizabeth, CA
I always appreciate Praise News and each time it arrives the words in Merlin’s article seem to speak to me, and to the problems that are bothering me at that very moment. Thank you for continuing Merlin’s ministry. Bette, MO
Thank you for the books you sent for the Martinsville and Henry County Jails. We will definitely get them into the hands of inmates and the jail libraries. God bless you. Chaplain John, VA
I thank God for Merlin’s books and I praise Him for how He has used them to reach others with the message of praise and salvation. I rejoice for the books we received for the Arrowhead Correctional Center. Chaplain, CO
Your faithful support has
enabled us to send free praise
books to the following facilities:
Finney County Jail, Garden City, KS
Parker County Jail, Weatherford, TX
Correctional Institute, Stanley, WI
Scott Grimes Unit, Newport, AR
Butte County Jail, Oroville, CA
Pettis County Jail, Sedalia, MO
New Directions Ministry, Lansing, MI
Emanuel Probation Center, Twin City, GA
Armstrong County Jail, Kittanning PA
Correction Institute for Women, Raleigh, NC
Lancaster Correctional Institute, Trenton, FL
George Motchan Detention Center, Flushing, NY
Southeastern Corrections Ministry, Hampton, VA
Desert View Correctional Facility, Adelanto, CA
Joseph Harp Correctional Center, Lexington, OK
Metro Davidson Detention Facility, Nashville, TN
Sheriff Al Cannon Detention Center, Charleston, SC
Southwestern Correctional Center, E. Saint Louise, IL
Department of Correction, Stiles Unit, Beaumont, TX
Northern Nevada Correctional Center, Carson City, NV
To place an order, please call Foundation of Praise at 1-800-772-4731, or 760-741-2755