Foundation of Praise • P.O. Box 2518 • Escondido, CA 92033-2518 • 760.741.2755 • www.foundationofpraise.org
No matter how spiritual we are, we all have “buttons” that can be pushed. They are like a silent switch – turned on and off – sometimes without a sound. We often are not aware of just how they are pushed, but we are aware of the results. Some people learn what buttons they can push to make us angry, unhappy, or manipulate us to get what they want.
We all have things that we should avoid: places or people that stir up wrong passions or desires, things that cause us to lose needed sleep or . . . the list could go on and on. Certain things cause us to act in ways that are not good for us either physically or spiritually. In other words, we may suffer if we permit the wrong buttons to be pushed.
For example, there are times in the day when I especially want to think about something good to eat – something that might not be best for me. If I think about such good, tasty items, eventually I will decide it would be okay for me to have just a little – then maybe just a little more – then . . .
That’s the way it is with buttons. If we begin thinking about something that we enjoy doing, we may quickly be persuaded to do it.
Satan is a master at button pushing. He did that to Adam and Eve, and it worked. They responded to the suggestion he gave them. He tried the same with Jesus but Christ would have none of it. He would not accept Satan’s thoughts whether they came through people He loved or from thoughts that Satan directed His way.
What can we do? What provisions has God provided to help us? We can learn how to make it increasingly difficult for things or people to control our thoughts. Jesus set His mind to think only the thoughts that would please His Father. He won!
God tells us what to think about, and this is often the solution to many of our problems:
Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable – if anything is excellent or praiseworthy – think about such things (Phil. 4:8 NIV).
When we have unhappy, troubled, angry or resentful thoughts, we can quote this verse, (or remember the bold-face words) and see if our thoughts agree with God’s directions.
We may be thinking of something that is “true ” but is it also admirable? Is it pure and excellent? If not, we can turn our thoughts toward things that we know God will use to bless others and ourselves.
Often I’ve realized that my thoughts were not fitting into God’s plan of what I should be thinking about. When I redirected my thoughts I sensed joy stirring in my heart.
When I’m happy I think about ways to help others to be happy. I think about you and how I want to help you to have: the joy of the Lord (Neh. 8:10 NIV). (Reprint from November, 2006)
Can We Be Thankful?
by Mary Carothers
Most mornings I like to begin my Bible time in the Psalms. Recently that happened to be Psalms 88 and 89. My goodness what a difference! Both writers were descendants of Ezra, both were very learned for their day. Yet one man, his name was Heman, seemed to see only gloom and destruction ahead. The other man, Ethan, began his Psalm joyfully as he focused on the Lord. Later on in his Psalm he does acknowledge things really were desperate, yet he ends with these words, Praise be to the Lord forever!
Which of these men is correct in their feelings? Well both. One of the many wonderful things about the Bible is God has never tried to sugar coat life. He allowed the writers to whine and complain about their personal lives if they cared to do so. He gives us the same privilege. He waits for us to – hopefully – finish being self-centered and begin to ask, “Lord what can I do to help others?” I think God wants us to understand that this is a broken, sinful world. No matter what your circumstances are, there really is no permanent hope except in the Lord. However we can have a deep abiding joy in our Savior Jesus. This joy can help us to have a smile on our face that comes from our relationship with Him rather than our changing circumstances.
God has places in His Word such as Psalm 88 for us to read when life is really tough. Those verses can help us to understand that we are not alone in our trials. Others are also suffering. In fact in 1 Peter 4 he tells us: Dear friends do not be surprised at the painful trial you are suffering as though something strange were happening to you. Later in chapter 5 he urges us to: Cast all your anxiety on Him (once and for all Amp) because He cares for you. He doesn’t just casually care for you. He cares intensely and unconditionally for you.
Psalm 90 says: From everlasting to everlasting you are God. Malachi 3 tells us: I the Lord do not change. Hebrews 13 promises us that Jesus will never, ever forsake us. He is the same today as He has always been. These are the reasons we should not fear the future. Read and mediate on these chapters. You’ll be glad you did.
In Loving Remembrance of Merlin
The praise books really made a big change in my prayers and praise and now I praise God for everything! Gloria, CA
Merlin’s books had a huge effect on me and I am so pleased that you are continuing the good work. Jean, MT
The books Merlin has written are amazing. Everything in them is so uplifting. I pray that the ministry will go on and that the books will continue to touch thousands. Marlene, MI
We miss Merlin but look forward to the time when we will see him again in glory. John & Patricia, AZ
The positive messages helped me to be thankful for all the situations in my life. Merlin will never be forgotten. Donna, MN
Merlin’s message offered the most direction in my life. I admired him, his work, his faith and devotion. His life stands as a model and a beacon. Terri, MI
Three years ago on Veteran’s Day, November 11th we had to say good-bye to Merlin. Not a day goes by that we don’t all miss him, his joyful spirit, and his enthusiastic shouts of “Praise the Lord”. We rejoice that he is in the loving arms of his Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ and we are sure he is still praising the Lord!
We are joyfully continuing the ministry of the Foundation of Praise. We are sure that he would want this message of praise to persist and grow around the World. Thank you for your faithful support.
Thank you Merlin for letting God’s JOY shine through your life, and for being an example that I am so blessed to have come to know. Lisa, FL
Though I never met Merlin, his books and Praise News have helped me more than you can ever imagine. They have guided me back to the only One who can give peace. Deborah, IL
Merlin taught me the power of praise. It not only led me to peace but, by practicing, I can let go of my fears and know that Jesus is in control. Martha, KS
Through the teachings on the power of praising God, many lives have been transformed. I can personally say that I would probably not be alive today if it weren’t for Merlin’s encouraging words to praise God for every single detail of our lives. Those words sink in deep and create miracles. Janie, FL
One of Merlin’s spiritual heroes was John Wesley. He wrote:
“Do all the good you can, by all the means you can, in all the ways you can, in all the places you can, at all the times you can, to all the people you can, as long as you ever can”.
When he was 85, Wesley was still traveling by horseback to cities throughout England, telling the Good News to people who became known as Methodists.
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