Foundation of Praise • P.O. Box 2518 • Escondido, CA 92033-2518 • 760.741.2755 • www.foundationofpraise.org
by Merlin Carothers
What sort of day has this been for you? Who caused your day to be the way it has been? Your spouse? Your children? Your employer? Do you occasionally tolerate someone else dictating the kind of day you have?
I have good news for you: you have the power to determine the kind of day you will have. God has given us this power, through Christ (see Eph. 3:16 and II Peter 1:3). Many people believe this in theory, but fail to exercise their authority in everyday living.
If other people control your days, you may end up with 365 bad days a year! Once we learn to exercise the power that God gives us, we are then free to have 365 good days! What must we do in order to use that power? It's so simple that few people seem to understand it.
God has instructed us in His Word to believe that He is in charge of all things. Nothing happens unless He permits it. This does not mean that He causes painful things to happen! He allows painful things in our lives that will help us learn to trust Him rather than ourselves. Satan is required to obtain God's permission before he can act against God’s people. Every Christian would be dead – yesterday – if Satan had ultimate power.
We are fortunate that our God loves us. He loved us enough to sacrifice His Son, and He loves us enough to grant us the joy of learning how to trust and praise Him.
God lets people be part of your training. They may irritate you, or make you angry. If so, they are controlling you. God doesn’t want people to control us. He wants us to learn to trust Him and to let the Holy Spirit control us. When Paul was chained in prison, and beaten, he had already learned to trust Jesus. His joy came from the Holy Spirit, rather than his circumstances.
When a person does irritate us, we have a choice. If we are angry our blood vessels will constrict and make our hearts work harder. Or, we can believe that God will make each incident in life work for our good. Therefore, we can rejoice and be glad. Our hearts will then beat smoothly, comfortably, and all the organs of our bodies will rejoice. They will sing, Rejoice in the Lord always (Phil.4:4).
Romans 8:28 is true! And we know that all things work together for good to them who love God. It's also true that we can trust in God’s promises. But we also have the freedom to fret and fume. God will not deny us the free will to decide what kind of day we will have.
I recommend that you begin to praise God when you first wake up. Continue praising Him even while you work. The longer you have an attitude of praise, the more your joy will increase. Your health may even improve! People and circumstances will influence you less. Just Jesus will! He will share His joy with you. His Holy Spirit can teach you new things about the power there is in praising God.
It may be difficult to get over a lifetime of being controlled by other people, or situations, but the rewards are far too great to give up! I wish you great success in your journey of joy. (Reprint from March, 2002)
Obedience is Better
by Mary Carothers
One day Jesus healed ten lepers. He told them to go show themselves to the priest, and they immediately obeyed His command. As they went, their leprosy left them. We need to remember their instant obedience. They could have said, “Let’s wait until our leprosy is gone, then we’ll go to the priest.” But then they might never have been healed, for the Lord desires obedience even more than He desires our sacrifices (see I Samuel 15:22).
All ten were healed, but only one came back to Jesus to thank Him. I’m sure all of them were excited and overjoyed. They all must have been anticipating being reunited with their loved ones. But only one bothered to thank Jesus. The other nine lepers were more interested in receiving a blessing from God than they were in giving Him the praise He deserved. The one leper who did come back to thank and praise Jesus was a Samaritan. Utterly scorned by the Jews, the Samaritans were a racial mixture. Once God’s chosen people, now they were part heathen. Worst of all, their theology was all wrong. And we know that God does not bless us if our theology is wrong – right? …Wrong. God, in His great love for us, accepts us right where we are, and pours out His love and His blessings on us – wherever we are. We don’t have to be good enough for His blessings.
Perhaps the other nine lepers thought they deserved to be healed. After all, they were God’s own chosen people. Yet the Samaritan who came back to thank Jesus received a deeper and more profound blessing. Jesus told him that his faith had made him whole (see Luke 17:19). The word Jesus used that is translated “whole” means much more than physical healing. It also includes wholeness of personality, deliverance and salvation.
When we humble ourselves as this man did, we make it possible for Jesus to bless us beyond our human understanding. Let’s not be short-sighted as the nine lepers were. Let’s receive all that Jesus longs to give us. And how do we do this? By having humble, thankful hearts. By always, in all situations, giving thanks to the Lord, giving Him the praise and adoration that is rightfully His (see Ephesians 5:20).
Walking & Leaping has been a blessing to me. NORMA, CO
I read Walking & Leaping over 25 years ago and it made a huge impact on me. The stories about how the Holy Spirit worked in Merlin and his family’s lives were exactly what I needed to hear. God bless you as you continue the work Merlin began. SUE, IN
I enjoyed reading Let Me Entertain You. It hit home and made me realize that just because we are retired that doesn’t mean we can just sit back and forget about serving God any more. God bless you. DOTTIE, CA
I like to read Merlin’s books, especially Praise Works. It brings me peace and comfort. Cindy, AZ
I’m in prison and read More Power to You in one sitting. I enjoyed it immensely and wanted to let you know. Robert, CA
I read Amazing Power of Faith and love the way in which the book is organized. It is so easy to pick up and lie down and pick up again with no loss of continuity. Thank you for your faith and obedience to the Lord. Elva, NY
Thank you to Merlin for his inspiring writings in Amazing Power of Faith. It has really helped me. I appreciated the honesty in his conversations with God and his struggles to learn to be happy. Lisa, VA
My daughter and I read What’s On Your Mind? together and WOW thank you for writing this book. It is showing me things that I have never seen before. I can’t wait to see what all God is going to show us. Thanks for the blessing. Tammy, Email
A friend loaned me a copy of Bringing Heaven into Hell. I thoroughly enjoyed it. It was as anointed as Prison to Praise. It seemed to hit on every area that the Lord was working on in my life. The Foundation of Praise is a blessing in my life. Eilene, CO
Merlin’s books From Fear to Faith and You Can Be Happy Now are wonderful! I am filled with joy and gratitude. Thank you. Ruth, TX
Your faithful support has enabled
us to send free praise books
to the following facilities:
County Jail, Conroe, TX
Detention Center, Eloy, AZ
State Reformatory, Granite, OK
State Penitentiary, Florence, CO
Metro Jail, Salt Lake City, UT
Rensseler County Jail, Troy, NY
Federal Corrections, Lexington, KY
Correctional Complex, Monroe, WA
Deuel Vocational Institute, Tracy, CA
Black Hawk County Jail, Waterloo, IA
Correctional Facility, Branchville, IN
Correctional Institute, Cheshire, CT
Wilson County Jail, Lebanon, TN
Dekalb County Jail, Fort Payne, AL
Correctional Complex, Mount Olive, WV
Coffee Correctional Facility, Nicholls, GA
Meherrin River Regional Jail, Alberta, VA
Mike Durfee State Prison, Springfield, SD
Sheriff’s Department, San Francisco, CA
Kirkland Correctional Center, Columbia, SC
Gus Harrison Correctional Facility, Adrian, MI
Lane County Correctional Center, Eugene, OR
Pruntytown Correctional Center, Grafton, WV
Downeast Correctional Facility, Machiasport, ME
Allen Oakwood Correctional Institute, Lima, OH
Calcasieu Parish Sheriff’s Office, Lake Charles, LA
Twin Towers Correctional Facility, Los Angeles, CA
Curran-Fromhold Corrections Facility, Philadelphia, PA
Do not be afraid, for I know that you seek
Jesus who was crucified. he is not here; for
He is risen, as He said. Come, see the place
where the Lord lay. and go quickly and tell
His disciples that He is risen from the dead,
and indeed He is going before you into Galilee;
there you will see Him (Matthew 28:5-7)