He examines the family dysfunction he has experienced over the years, including what led his first marriage to fail. He also explores how death, sickness, divorce, depression, and other disappointments affect families.
Through an examination of Scripture, he shares guidance on how to
• communicate and get along with your significant other or spouse;
• deal with and respond to rejection;
• overcome bad spirits that lead you to bad places; and
• preach the Gospel and win souls for the Lord.
Whether you need an encouraging word, guidance that can set you free, or advice to improve your relationships with others, you'll find it in this biblically based guidebook. It's possible to love and be loved, but you need to make a conscious decision to change.
Dysfunction occurs in every family, regardless of name, race, or financial situation. But through God's promise that He would never leave us or forsake us, we can live a life of victory through Christ Jesus. It begins with embracing the fact that There is Nothing Too Hard for God.
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Read an Excerpt
There Is Nothing Too Hard for God
By Mareo Newell
iUniverse, Inc.Copyright © 2012 Mareo Newell
All right reserved.
Chapter OneDealing with the Impossible
Let's begin with my present situation, journey back into my past, and then discuss the future. The Word of God says, "Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us" (Rom. 8:37).
This is the scripture that concerns my present situation. I have remarried, and my wife and I share a bond with five children: three young adults and two minors. Being committed in a second marriage involves total trust, dedication, and patience.
I would love to share the details of the failed relationship during my first marriage, but I will only share certain aspects because of the delicate nature of the issues that surround my past.
Before considering any marriage, make sure that you and your partner are walking in total agreement with the Word of God. Your decision to marry someone should not be based upon carnal reasons (how a person looks or what they possess), nor should it be based upon obligation or guilt. Successful marital unions occur when both parties are aligned naturally and spiritually.
In my previous relationship, I suffered through a lot of negative physical and emotional experiences. I am in no way saying that I didn't do my share of negative things, but I do recognize that my life—and the life of my former spouse—could have been better in a lot of ways if we had based our lives upon God's plan and not our own.
Men and women, I plead to you, listen carefully to some words of wisdom: Do not disrespect your spouse in any way. This may sound like a simple warning, but one act of disrespect can initiate years of separation and pain. Personally, I lived silently through years of emotional stress caused by a breakdown in communication between my former spouse and me.
When I decided to tell my loved ones about the issues I was experiencing, I was not taken seriously because I was a man—and men aren't supposed to be affected by emotional abuse. I constantly prayed, "Please don't let me go crazy and do something I will regret."
I wasn't in a state of wholeness and didn't recognize the dysfunction that I was living in every day. I knew that if I didn't get out of the situation, my life would head toward total destruction and nothing good would come out of it. In an attempt to fairly present both sides, my former spouse may have felt that I was the one who caused pain in her life. Regarding that, I suggest making sure that God is always first in your life and in your marriage.
Personally, I have to keep my expression of the damage that took place during that part of my life to a minimum in order to avoid hurt feelings or injured relationships. The purpose of sharing that time is to help people who feel as if no one understands their struggle or cares about them. Believe me—you are not alone.
Chapter TwoDealing with Rejection
My life has never been what one would call "easy." All my life, I struggled to be accepted. When I was growing up, both my parents were drug users. That made my life more difficult than the average child's.
My life was unpredictable; it was a life of pain and disappointment. Some days were better than others, but a child should experience more good days than bad ones. Growing up in a family where I never knew stability made it difficult for me to experience what real love was all about—other than the love that my brothers and I shared.
In reality, my brothers and I only had one another; therefore, we learned how to survive on our own. Since our mother was in no condition to keep us, we were transported from one relative's home to another. This made a normal childhood virtually impossible.
On one occasion, my brothers and I had to literally jump out of a window in order to keep from being killed. Yes, that's right—killed! My mother had instructed us to jump out the window because our home was being raided for drugs. I experienced a life that no child should ever have to endure. I grew up in situations that were totally out of my control because of my mother's former lifestyle.
At times, my mother would leave us alone while she went out at night. One evening, when my mother had gone out with her boyfriend and left us at home alone, intruders invaded our home. After we went to bed as we normally would on a school night, we heard footsteps and unfamiliar noises coming from the front room.
The footsteps walked toward our bedroom. My brother looked at me and motioned for me to stay still. We pretended to be asleep when we heard our bedroom door open. It seemed as though my heart was going to beat right out of my chest! I thank God that the intruders did not harm us. After the intruders left, we discovered that they had taken a lot of our personal items with them.
This home invasion created a restless sleeping pattern that I endured for years. Even though God has delivered me from the spirit of fear, I am still a very light sleeper.
When I turned fourteen, social services got involved. I was to enter into the custody of protective services unless another relative was willing to take me into their custody. My grandma pleaded my case to my dad. He had turned his life around by that time.
I went to live with my new blended family—my dad, his wife, and their children. I am very thankful that my dad and second mom opened up their home to me. Things were fine until I felt a need to have more contact with my biological mother.
During my rare visits with my biological mother, I felt torn between the rules that were enforced in my dad's home and the freedom I experienced with her. There were two different opinions of how I should be reared, and I felt trapped in the middle. I wanted to go back to my mother because I felt as though I was losing our relationship.
The decision to go back to my old life cost me a lot. I went from being an A student to quitting school altogether. I began a destructive life that resulted in my incarceration at the age of twenty.
During my time away, I didn't get the family support I needed from my mother or my father. Their support during my incarceration could have really changed my life. However, because of the lack of support, I suffered from feelings of loneliness, neglect, and resentment.
Children who are transplanted into a blended family require extra parental support. A child entering this new situation may struggle with security and stability issues. He or she may feel a need to belong and want acceptance in both parents' lives. Try to avoid the label of "stepchild" so the child feels that he or she is a part of the blended family without any reservations. The fact that two people can come together to blend their families into one is a miracle in itself.
Jesus was born of a supernatural birth through God, the Father, and Mary, his biological mother. When Mary united in marriage with Joseph, their blended family would come to include the baby, Jesus, and it eventually expanded with the arrivals of the children from their union.
If Joseph and Mary made their situation work, you can too! My advice is to become aware of all your children's needs. Parents should have mutual say in the rearing of their children. Neglecting these important facts can lead to isolated relationships, which have caused many dysfunctional families in our society today.
As a society, we can become whole if we do not avoid our emotional issues, but we need to discover and heal them individually—and within our families.
Chapter ThreeDealing with Controlling Spirits
It is God's desire for us to walk in the fullness of joy. The Bible tells us in Nehemiah 8:10 that the joy of the Lord is our strength. Always remember to do what's right to the best of your ability. Sometimes we stand in the way of walking in the fullness of joy by trying to take control over situations or people. For example, when spouses go their separate ways, one person may try to control the other person from a distance. The people attempting control may not realize they are controlling, but they are!
So, with all this said, can you honestly answer this question without hesitating: Do I have to control someone else in order to feel that I am more of a man or woman?
Sometimes, we need to examine ourselves so that we won't think more highly of ourselves than we should. Realize that evil spirits can transfer onto us if we are not following God's direction.
One way that evil spirits can transfer is through touch. The Bible says, "Lay hands suddenly on no man, neither be partaker of other men's sins; keep thyself pure" (1 Tim. 5:22).
People have also been known to transfer blessings onto others. In the Old Testament, Genesis 27:1–46 describes Isaac's transfer of blessings onto his two sons. The transfer of good or evil can also occur through positive or negative words. The words that we speak have power! In Matthew 8:28–33, Jesus cast demons out of two men that had evil spirits within them. The evil spirits asked Jesus if they could enter a herd of swine and Jesus said, "Go"! Lastly, in Acts 19:12, we can see that even aprons or handkerchiefs can be used as a method of transfer.
In Ephesians 6:12, the Bible says, "For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places." It is never advised to deal with unclean spirits if you are not knowledgeable about the enemy's devices.
Recognize that it is not the person per se that we are going up against; it is the spirits behind that person. You might ask, "What should I do next?"
The Bible says, "Put on the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil" (Eph. 6:11). We must stay in God's Word in order to fight against the enemy. Let's look at verse 13 in the same chapter. "Wherefore take unto you the whole armor of God that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having all, to stand."
Ask yourself the following questions: Are you allowing the enemy to have his way in your life? Are you letting things or someone else control you? However it may seem to you, remember that it is all part of the enemy's tactics.
Jesus says, "The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly" (John 10:10). Jesus is letting us know what the enemy's (thief's) plan is toward us.
The enemy comes to steal our joy, peace, and loved ones; if you let him, he will take you from the Word of God. He will destroy your marriage, friendships, relationship with your parents, and your job. The Lord says that He came to give us abundant life. We can have God's abundant life just by living for Jesus. Whose side do you really want to be on today—God's or Satan's?
Second Corinthians 10:4–5, states, "For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strongholds." Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalted itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.
If we are not careful, the spiritual warfare will not just attack us, but that curse will come upon our offspring and their children (Deut. 5:9). Rebuke the curse from going down to your children and their children.
The Lord healed me from all that I went through and brought me to this peaceful place in my life. This healing process was not easy for me, but I was determined to make it through. I had to let the Lord heal me. I thank God for healing my heart. Reading the Word of God (Bible) changed my thinking and renewed my mind.
I cried out to God, pleading for Him to deliver me from all my past hurts and fears. I wanted to be a better person. I knew I could not benefit anyone in my tormented state of mind. When you begin to seek the Lord, go to Him with the belief that He is going to heal you. If you want to become a better husband, wife, leader, or whatever you desire, believe that you will receive those things that you have asked for when you go to God.
I am a better person today than I have ever been. Today, I keep God first in all things—praying, fasting, and studying His Word. Some people may feel that they can change their life on their own. If you can transform your life without help, why are you still going through your negative situation!
Chapter FourDealing with Loneliness
Do you believe that the Lord will take care of you as He said?
He said, "Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you" (1 Peter 5:7). The Word of God said cast all your care upon Him. He didn't say some of your cares—all of your cares. If you are going through depression, sadness, anger, hatred, or whatever the case may be, the Lord said cast all upon Him. Have you ever asked yourself the following: Why do I choose to handle things all on my own?
If you say, "I am doing the same thing over and over again, and I keep getting the same results," this is a warning flag that something is wrong with your plan of action. This is when you should give everything to God in prayer.
There was a point when I realized that I was trying to do things on my own. For example, I was always trying to help my family and friends with their problems, but the majority of the time I was suffering with my own problems (that seemed overwhelming at times). To my surprise, no one came to help me overcome my personal struggles.
I realized that I was unable to handle the wicked spirits that were assigned to destroy my life. I sold drugs, drank alcohol, smoked marijuana, and dealt with anger management issues and anxiety. These were the primary spirits that almost cost me my life. I really didn't feel like I had a support system that could console my inner pain.
Although I initially thought I could handle it, the turmoil was bringing me down to a point where I was of no good to anyone, including myself. Since I learned to cast all my cares on the Lord, I am in a better place. If we trust in the Lord, we find that we don't have to carry all the burdens on our shoulders.
The enemy knows your weaknesses, and he does not want to lose anyone that is trying to do what's right. The Bible says, "The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life and that they might have it more abundantly" (John 10:10).
There is one God over the entire world. He knows all, and He is the giver of life. There is another influence in the earth, and his name is Satan. He was given control over the land because of Adam's disobedience. Satan has been able to deceive many into following his plan of destruction. In John 8:44, the Bible speaks of Satan being the father of lies.
Now that you see the enemy's tactics, what are you going to do? Are you going to let man, family, friends, a wife, or a husband get you to a place where you are walking around in depression, sadness, and anger all the time? Do you realize that the enemy does not care who he uses? All he wants is to steal your joy and get you to stop living right.
Don't let anyone influence you away from the will of the Lord; you have to stand firm on God's Word.
Chapter FiveDealing with Habits of the Flesh
Whatever situation comes your way, search the scriptures in that area and stand on the Word of God. Quote these scriptures on a daily basis.
For an example, if I need healing, I'm going to use the scripture from Isaiah 53:5: "But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed." The Lord has left behind His contract for us to apply to our life; it is up to us to use it.
We should not complain all the time about being used, mistreated, or whatever the case may be; we have to stand with boldness on what we believe. There must come a time when you have to ask yourself if you are tired of going through turmoil and strife. Is it really worth the headaches, high blood pressure, or diabetes? Is it worth being high from all the stuff you put in your body to try to escape what you are going through? I was a drinker; I loved to drink. I would drink all the time in an attempt to cover up my problems instead of dealing with them.
After I came down from my temporary high or hangover, my problems were still there. From experience, I can tell you that drinking won't work. Get a grip on yourself and get in line with the Lord. Everything has to line up! If you are a believer or nonbeliever, the Lord has a plan for you. When we decide to go our own way—look where it gets us. The best thing that ever happened to me was turning my life over to the Lord. I could not have made a better decision.
Once I decided to give my life over to the Lord, He moved tremendously. The Lord gave me a new wife who loves me for me! I have started preaching the gospel to everyone who has an ear to hear. Do you realize our life is not for us? It's for others. How can you help others if you are all messed up? You have to get yourself together before you can help anyone else.
"King David said, I will speak of thy testimonies also before kings, and will not be ashamed" (Ps. 119:46). It does not make a difference to whom we speak. We are to share what the Lord has done for us in order to have other people change their lives. There is somebody out there going through a lot more than you could ever imagine.
Some people seem to forget where they started. They don't feel that people who are lost and without a relationship with God are important. These people need to remember that it took someone to witness to them in order for their lives to change. Jesus says, "For the Son of Man is come to seek and to save that which was lost" (Luke 19:10).
What do you think we were created for? I get a holy anger when people tell me that I have a heart for people. I say, "Shouldn't we all have a heart for people?" Our Lord and Savior demonstrated His heart for people when He went throughout the world preaching the Good News. He also gave all of us the command to go into the world and preach to those who are lost. "For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God" (Rom. 3:23).
In God's eyes, there is no sin greater than the next; therefore, we should have a heart for all people. "And he answering said, though shall love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with thy entire mind; and thy neighbor as thyself" (Luke 10:27). That is why we should have a heart for loving people.
"The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me; because the Lord hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to proclaim liberty to the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound" (Isa. 61:1).
What is binding you from being everything that God wants you to be? Because our Lord and Savior, Jesus, died for you and me, we do not have to go around defeated in life. Jesus came to heal the brokenhearted; if you feel that you can't move forward, think again.
We choose who we are going to serve. It is up to us to decide.
Excerpted from There Is Nothing Too Hard for God by Mareo Newell Copyright © 2012 by Mareo Newell. Excerpted by permission of iUniverse, Inc.. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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Table of Contents
1) Dealing with the Impossible....................1
2) Dealing with Rejection....................5
3) Dealing with Controlling Spirits....................9
4) Dealing with Loneliness....................13
5) Dealing with Habits of the Flesh....................17
6) Accepting God's Love....................21
7) Trusting in God....................25
8) Changing Your Attitude....................29
9) Soul Winning....................33
10) Walking in Victory....................37