Foundation of Praise • P.O. Box 2518 • Escondido, CA 92033-2518 • 760.741.2755 • www.foundationofpraise.org
Have you ever awakened with the thought, this is going to be a difficult day? If that happens to you again, could you change your mind?
I awakened one morning and was reminded of several pains in my body. I thought, this is going to be a bad day. Then the words of a song came to me, “Whatever will be will be.” What a sad thought. But then I remembered that Jesus has a different message: According to your faith will it be done to you (Matthew 9:29). I quickly changed my mind and said the words to another song, “God is working for my good.” I kept saying these words in my mind and could feel myself changing. My faith was telling me that it was going to be a wonderful, happy day. Was this the power of positive thinking? Oh no, it was the power of The One I was thinking about.
We all know people who have made up their minds that unless they get what they want, they will be unhappy. They aren’t interested in learning to overcome their problem. They can give a negative answer for any positive thought that we suggest. They may go to their graves without discovering the power God gives us to change our minds.
Some folks have decided that they do not have enough evidence to believe that Jesus gives them eternal life. They cling to eternal death as if that is their only alternative. But you can tell them that they are free to change their minds. If they ask, “How do you know that?” you can say, “Because I did it!”
If you have never changed your mind about your own eternal life, you can do it! God gives you that freedom. Don’t say, “I can’t believe anything unless it is proven to me.” That isn’t true. You step into an elevator that you have never seen and have no proof that it works. Yet you assume that it must work because it is there. So, instead of trudging up hundreds of stairs you get in and up you go.
Around us are many people who say, “I believed in Jesus as my Savior and as a result my life is now changed! He has given me joy and peace that I never had.” If we ask them to prove it they might answer, “Talk to the people who knew me before!”
Christian bookstores have many testimonies of people who believed in Jesus as Savior and went on to experience changed lives. Books also tell of people who faced death with a smile and said, “I know I am going to Heaven.” These people lived and died believing that Jesus is real. But the people who steadfastly prefer to believe only in themselves, what they have or what they can see will never experience the joy and peace that God can give us. The Bible declares that, the heavens are telling the glory of God (Psalm 19:1). There is much to see if our eyes are open. Millions of people have changed their mind and decided to believe that everything in the universe points to the Creator who was revealed by Jesus. They say, “Now I see!”
Jesus demonstrated what could be done by those who “believed.” We have many opportunities to learn. Hebrews 11:1 tells us that: Faith is the . . . evidence of things not seen. Once we step through that doorway of faith we begin to learn many things about changing our minds! The more we believe, the greater our joy becomes.
(Reprint from July, 2004)
by Mary Carothers
When Paul wrote his letter to the Colossians he was deeply concerned for them. What a pastor’s heart he had for fellow Christians. There he was, locked up in prison in Rome. Yet his concern was not for himself, but rather for folks in other cities. People he had never met. Fellow believers in Jesus who were still baby Christians.
Paul’s concern for the Colossians was regarding the wrong teaching they were hearing about Christ. It is very important that we understand and believe that Jesus was not only a man, He was also God. He is our Redeemer, the Creator and the second person of the Trinity. As John tells us in the first few verses of his Gospel, Christ created everything. To believe that Christ is only human and not divine, or to believe that He is only God – a spirit – and not human is mistaken and harmful to us.
Theologians tell us that Jesus was “very, very God and very, very man”. Jesus was human with normal human needs. He needed food for nourishment, just as we do. Think how tired He must have been in Mark four when he was sleeping right through a storm in the boat! His disciple’s reaction was, don’t you care if we drown? But of course, Jesus cared and when He awoke, He stilled the wind and the waves. In His tiredness, His humanity was shown. In calming the storm Jesus revealed that He was also God.
Paul wanted all Christians to have a balanced view of Christ Jesus. Each of us needs that also. Before I came to know Jesus as my Savior, my understanding was only that He was God. What joy I experienced as I came to know Him more fully.
We need to have a firm foundation in Jesus as our own personal Savior in order to grow up in Christ. To help us mature in Christ, the Lord reminds us in Paul’s letter to put off your old self…and put on your new self. This is part of growing up in Jesus our Lord. This is something you and I do every day. When we feel irritated, but respond with patience, we are growing up a little bit. When we are tempted to be anxious about our finances or our health, but choose to say, “I’m trusting You, Lord” or when we refuse to let disappointment control us, we are growing up in Jesus. Little by little, day by day. I don’t want to be a baby, always needing others to meet my needs. I want to bring glory to the Lord by growing in Christ and becoming a mature follower of His.
Something else God has used Paul to teach us is when he wrote in Colossians 3:12 encouraging us to clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Now, that is a large order! In case we feel overwhelmed we need to understand that these are our goals. None of us will likely reach complete maturity in any of them. Our aim should be to grow toward that perfection. My favorite is verse 15 where he counsels us to let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts. Every time I read that, I heave a big sigh and say, “Okay Lord, I’ll do that.” Take a moment right now and do that too. You will find that it helps a whole lot.
Power in Praise focuses on something many Christians forget today: praising God no what matter our circumstances. Merlin reminds us to put our focus back on God instead of on ourselves or our circumstances. Simple, straight to the point with many examples and scriptures, this book is a great reminder for us to always put our eyes on God.
I went through a rough time and battled with extreme fear. Merlin’s book, From Fear to Faith gave me the tools to turn that fear into faith. This book, as well as Prison to Praise and Bringing Heaven into Hell, helped me to trust that God was, and is, in complete control of my life situations.
God did not give us a spirit of fear, but of love, power and self-control. From Fear to Faith shows us how to be victorious through Christ Jesus. Very motivating!
Praise Works! What a simple idea – with profound and life-changing implications.
Walking & Leaping has been a great encouragement to me. Learning to praise the Lord has taken me to a deeper level of faith, and that it is important to share our faith with others!
Secret Sins does a good job of explaining how easy it is to fall into temptation, but more importantly how to overcome it as well.
What’s on Your Mind? is a terrific learning tool. It helped me to understand that I do not have to have junk on my mind that is not of the Lord.
People do truly live in hell when they harbor unforgiveness and bitterness. Forgiving deep hurts is not easy but the amazing testimonies in Bringing Heaven into Hell can help those who want to be set free from the struggle of unforgiveness.
You Can Be Happy Now is a wonderful book. Merlin convinced me that he does what he teaches, and as I practiced his lessons, I have definitely become a happier person.
Throughout More Power to You Merlin recounts numerous stories of individuals who were in extreme situations but found that success comes from giving God thanks in all circumstances. His accounts are written in a fast-paced style and by the time you finish you’ll be equipped with a simple but stunning key to life.
Amazing Power of Faith has helped us grow spiritually. Merlin has a way of sharing truths that are eye-opening and very profound.
We rejoice when we are able to provide Prison to Praise and the other praise books to those who need to hear the Good News of the Gospel. If you are currently pledging to the Foundation of Praise, we are so very grateful and we thank you for your continued faithful support and generosity.
If you are not pledging, please pray and consider doing so for the remainder of 2018. Now more than ever we are in need of your monthly support. We are praying and trusting the Lord to continue to meet our needs so that we can carry on the message of praise that Merlin began. Your monthly support will help us to know how many books we can plan on sending this year to our military personnel, prisons, hospitals and pregnancy centers.