Foundation of Praise • P.O. Box 2518 • Escondido, CA 92033-2518 • 760.741.2755 • www.foundationofpraise.org
Do you know what my main problem is? Me! I’d like to believe that my life would have far fewer difficulties if it weren’t for the things that other people do. But the truth is I usually create most of my problems!
You may have someone in your family, a person at work, or a neighbor who gives you problems. But we usually do more damage to ourselves than other people do to us.
What sort of trouble do I create? I simply fail to believe God. If I was drowning and you threw me a lifeline, which I refused, whose fault would it be if I drowned? He has offered us solutions to our problems, but if we fail to use them whose fault is it?
Jesus gave us a clear picture of what life could be like if we trusted God perfectly as He did. No sickness, He healed all manner of disease. No need for money. He created a coin when it was needed (see Matthew 17:27). No problems with people. They could only do to Him what God permitted them to do. No problem with Satan. The devil had to do whatever Jesus commanded. No problem with nature. He changed the weather and even controlled gravity. No problem with memory. He even knew what would happen in the future.
The problem I have created for myself is that I believe Jesus did all of these things, and that He told me I could do even greater miracles (see John 14:12). At times there is a sudden awakening of faith that helps me to see and do wonderful things. But then that sudden burst of faith is gone, and I must wait for it to return. My faith is completely dependent on God’s grace. Jesus, however, always heard and trusted God. However, knowing we need to change and doing something about it are two different things!
Each day I practice using my faith, and to my joy I see some signs of growth. Peace of mind is increasing in many areas of my life.
One method I use is to watch for anything that has caused me in the past to feel irritated. As soon as that happens, I quickly launch myself into praising the Lord for it. Over a period of days my spirit begins to get the idea! What a relief it is to me when peace of mind and heart become the norm rather than the exception.
Every day I receive many requests for prayer. They give me plenty of opportunities to grow in faith. And my faith is regularly strengthened by the people who write or call and report answers to prayer. But my continuing desire is to become more faithful to Jesus’ exhortation that we always believe God. The opportunity is there that I, Merlin Carothers, could remove all my difficulties if I always believed God.
Now isn’t my situation beautiful? I can never blame my family, friends, or anyone else for my problems!
As long as we see other people as being the cause of our problems, we will forever fret. “If they would only be different, then I would be happy.” But if they don’t want to change, then we are helpless! What a relief it is to know that people around us do not determine our destiny! When we see our own weaknesses and failures, we have the opportunity make a change.
Hurray! God lets you and me be the source of our problems. That gives us the opportunity to say, “Help me change, God. I’m ready!” (Reprint from July, 2000)
I have always appreciated the Praise News with Merlin’s great articles and the results of the books you send to prisons. I pray the Lord will bless your ministry and reap great rewards of adding many to the family of God. Eileen, SC
Thank you for continuing Merlin’s ministry. It has meant a lot to me over the years and has been such a source of encouragement. Debby, VA
God bless you and thank you for all who have a part in sending the Praise News. Virgil & Mary, AZ
The April issue of Praise News really did speak to me! Merlin’s article, “Don’t Give In” is so essential and Christians need to be reminded of the evil one’s tactics to attack Believers. Jean, VA
We are continually blessed by Merlin’s messages in Praise News. You are in our prayers. Al & Rose, WI
We always rejoice as we read Praise News. And more so as we read testimony after testimony from people finding the Lord through reading Merlin’s books. Keep up the good work. Dan & Maggie, CA
Thank you for the books that your ministry donated to Plane State. We are so grateful for your generosity. Many women have lost their way and are so appreciative of all that is done for them through our Chapel programs. We are always excited to see how God changes lives.
Thank you for your donation of books to the Metropolitan Detention Center. Your commitment to helping our inmates is sincerely appreciated. Through ministries like yours we have seen many lives changed for the better. Thank you. Chaplain, NM
Thank you for the books you sent to Lanesboro Correctional Institute. The men will greatly benefit by the high quality Christian books that you sent. Chaplain, NC
We wish to express our gratitude for the books you sent to the Central North Correctional Centre. They will have a beneficial impact on those who read them. Thank you for your compassion for those who are incarcerated. We are encouraged and uplifted by your generosity.
I am a new Christian but I spread the word whenever I can. I read my Bible and lift my hands to the Lord daily. I love your books and I share them with the other inmates.
by Mary Carothers
Have you ever heard those words? Most of us have. Often it’s because someone has had a great idea, gotten it passed into law, and only later discovered the usually negative, unintended consequence.
Once, when I was a child I fell and skinned my knee. My mother was going to clean it but I said, “Don’t worry I’ll just let the dog lick it and make it all nice and clean.” Momma looked at me and calmly asked, “Have you seen where Pal licks himself?” I thought for a minute, “Oh”. My great idea might have resulted in the unintended consequence of infection.
All of us can be great complainers and criticizers. Unfortunately, to criticize or complain about things doesn’t require thoughtful consideration. It just seems to be a natural part of our human nature. Thanks a lot, Adam and Eve.
It may be hard to believe but God tells us beginning in Genesis to offer thanks and praise to Him. The Holy Spirit continues all through the Old Testament with the same admonition: “give praise and thanksgiving to God.” It’s in virtually every book – even Ruth which is only four short chapters.
The New Testament picks up the same message. Jesus is recorded many times giving thanks in the Gospels. Paul gave thanks on board a ship in the midst of a terrible storm. Here’s a scary thought – in Romans the Holy Spirit led Paul to write in the very first chapter about those who refuse to acknowledge and give thanks to God and the dreadful end they ultimately experienced. But the Lord has better things planned for us. It seems that every author in the New Testament keeps telling us to give thanks for everything in our lives.
Did you know that praising God for everything has unintended consequences? In this case they are all positive. Wonderfully so! I find that thanking and praising the Lord is really saying: “Father, I don’t understand this problem (whatever that might be) in my life and I sure don’t like it. But I know You have allowed it. In Your loving wisdom nothing happens to Your children without Your knowledge and permission. If there are lessons I need to learn help me to have a teachable spirit. I’m trusting You the best I can.”
One of the amazing things for me is I have found that my faith and trust in God have grown more than I would have ever imagined. Another wonderful unexpected consequence is I have so much joy! The more thankful my heart is the more I trust Him and the more joy I have! I can confidently promise that if you are determined to honor the Lord in this way, no matter the cost, you will eventually be filled with His joy. Try it! You will – not all at once – but eventually experience that incredible joy unspeakable and full of glory.
For where two or more are gathered in my name, there am I in the midst of them (Matt.18:20 KJV).
Please agree with me in prayer for everyone
who receives Praise News.
We receive so many requests for prayer.
Some of these requests are for:
Loss of a loved one
Our military personnel
Family hardships and conflicts
Salvation and healing of loved ones
Your faithful support has enabled us to send free praise books to the
State Prison, Calipatria, CA
Reception Center, Miami, FL
Wrightsville Unit, Wrightsville, AR
Correctional Institute, Bellefonte, PA
Mental Health Facility, Larned, KS
Hill Correctional Center, Galesburg, IL
Hampton Regional Jail, Portsmouth, VA
Buffalo Federal Detention Center, Batavia, NY
North Central Regional Jail, Pennsboro, WV
Jackson County Justice Center, Phoenix, OR
Adams County Detention Facility, Brighton, CO
Howard McLeod Correctional Center, Atoka, OK
Cherokee County Detention Center, Murphy, NC
Bernalillo Detention Center, Albuquerque, NM
If my people would only listen to Me, if they would only
follow My ways, how quickly I would subdue their enemies and turn My hand against their foes! (Psalm 81:13-14)
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