Foundation of Praise • P.O. Box 2518 • Escondido, CA 92033-2518 • 760.741.2755 • www.foundationofpraise.org
If you place a copy of Prison to Praise in the hands of a hurting person, will they accept Jesus as Savior? Perhaps, but not necessarily. If you give a copy to 500 people, how many will be born again? No one knows. Too often Christians become discouraged when the good they do doesn't seem to produce visible results.
Jesus prepared us to understand such difficulties. All we need to do is consider His parable of the seeds sown by the farmer in Mark chapter four. Some seeds produce little or nothing. But another seed may result in 30, 60 or even 100 new seeds.
Jesus said these seeds represent the Good News that we give to others. Many seeds (words, books, etc.) that we sow may seem to produce nothing worthwhile. We should expect that since Jesus predicted it. He said some people's hearts are too hard to hear God's message. Other people hear, but persecution or pleasures of the world crowd out God's message. But sooner or later some hear the message we give, and they may produce far more results than we do!
Think about this - if you distribute 100 copies of Prison to Praise one or more will probably produce a harvest that will be at least 30 times what was sown! If you sow them in extra good "soil," someone will respond by sowing the Good News 100 times more! God established this principle so His Kingdom would grow.
Every day we receive letters from those whose lives were changed when they read Prison to Praise. They too want to give copies to others. Sometimes they become discouraged when many people reject their efforts. But each of us needs to remember that the person who gave us the Good News may have done the same for many others who did not receive it. You received. I received. And now we must go on to tell others.
If you aren't doing your very best to share the Gospel with others, I recommend that you meditate on Jesus' parable of the Sower. Don't be discouraged. Ever! Just do your best and leave the rest to God. He provides the "sun" and the "rain" to produce the crop. All He asks us to do is to sow the seed. What a delight it is to be part of God's plan! (Reprint from October, 2001)
by Mary Carothers
Hebrews is one of my favorite books in the New Testament. There are some verses though, that can be difficult to understand. One of the wonderful things about the Bible is that God, the Holy Spirit, meets us right where we are at the moment. Perhaps the last time you read a particular verse it may have meant nothing special to you. Then today when you read it the Holy Spirit may give you brand new understanding. All of a sudden you are seeing something there in the scripture that ministers to a need that you have. Or the Holy Spirit may simply add a greater understanding to you of something you already knew.
When this happens we need to share the understanding we have gained. Find some way to do this. The Lord expects us to walk out the understanding, great or small, that we do have. This is important for our spiritual growth.
Whenever I read chapter twelve, verse one in Hebrews I always get a picture in my mind of someone standing still while ivy grows around their feet and ankles, entangling them. This makes me believe that we need to “walk out” whatever understanding we have. When I say “walk out” I mean that we need to find some way we can apply what we read in our lives. Perhaps this helps explain how we grow in Christ. This can be the “good works” Paul writes about in Ephesians 2:10. We certainly don’t earn our salvation by good works nor do we get gold stars on some heavenly progress chart. Simply, we are in the process of working out our salvation as expressed in Philippians 2:12.
If reading is difficult for you as is often true for us older folks, Christian bookstores usually have scripture on CD’s. If however your only source of spiritual teaching is Christian radio or TV then each time you listen ask the Lord to help you understand more than you have understood before. Then try to think how you can apply this new understanding in your life. I can’t imagine God wants to keep teaching us anything if we refuse to grow in Him as a result of what we do understand. So don’t be discouraged if you don’t get great, new revelation right away. The Holy Spirit will probably begin slowly, perhaps even with things you already know. Just keep on trying the best you know how. He promises He will be found by us when we seek Him with all our hearts.
Happy walking with Jesus!
My daughter picked up Prison to Praise at a restaurant where a sign said, “Copies for Free”. It helped me and it keeps helping me through my depression and mental illness. WILLIAM, NC
It’s been many years since I re-read Prison to Praise again. I’ve been giving them away for years, but when I recently re-read this book I was amazed at how it inspired me AGAIN! The truths that are woven into the fabric of this little book, are simple
to understand and yet profound. This book is anointed and the Holy Spirit reminded me again how thankful I am for Merlin’s books and how they have enriched my life. LISA, FL
nmate came up to me during Bible study. He said after reading this book, he got down on his knees and asked God to forgive him for his sins. He said because Christ had forgiven him, he was now able to forgive the man who had murdered his little brother. It was a powerful testimony, and as he shared another inmate said, I believe God wants me to forgive the man who hurt my young daughter. I have realized that my plan to kill him was not God’s plan, and I need to change my thinking and let God deal with him.
My heart was moved by the inspiration I received while reading Prison to Praise. MERVIN, PA
Prison to Praise is very inspirational. I will try thanking God in all my circumstances. JINA, VA
It is amazing how such a little book like Prison to Praise can so impact and change one’s life for eternity! We are so grateful for your faithfulness to distribute them. JOE & JILL, SC
As I was reading Prison to Praise tears welled up in my eyes. I began to thank God for all my trials and tribulations and before I knew it, I was weeping tears of joy and appreciation. God’s ways never fail, but always bless us as we seek Him.
After I was born again Prison to Praise was the first Christian book I ever read. That book has kept me strong in my walk with the Lord for over 40 years. SARA, TX
I share Prison to Praise with my co-workers, and after they have read it, they can then pass it on to someone else and bless them. NANCY, PA
God uses Prison to Praise to open people’s hearts to receive Jesus as their Savior. This wonderful unlocking of hearts has happened many, many times. Undoubtedly there are people around you who need to have the door of their hearts opened to Christ. When you hand them a copy of Prison to Praise you may be the key to what they will do with the book. It is possible, by our enthusiasm, to get a person to read anything. The key is our passion.
If it has been some time since you read Prison to Praise your enthusiasm for its message may have dimmed. Please, read it again. Become zealous to help people understand that praising our God is one of the most important things they will ever do in this life. Their praise to Him will deliver them from a multitude of burdens.
Whatever happens, dear friend, be glad in the Lord. I never get tired of telling you this (Philippians 3:1 TLB).