All you need is me


Farm fencesIt is hard to be in an unknown place and feel lost. Many times in real physical places and other times in figurative ones, yet still lost. Not a good feeling at all. You know the ones I’m talking about? The times when your feelings betray your logic, or when reality challenges your beliefs. It becomes and emotional mess and a place where your character is tested.

This isn’t new to our generation. It has been happening for centuries. In the book of Exodus 33:12-14 it is plainly described. Moses said to the Lord, “You have been telling me, ‘Lead these people,’ but you have not let me know whom you will send with me. You have said, ‘I know you by name and you have found favor with me.’ If you are pleased with me, teach me your ways so I may know you and continue to find favor with you. Remember that this nation is your people.”  Did you catch that? The man that spoke and heard directly from God was questioning him about his own purpose. He was at a crossroad, unsure, lost. But this puzzling time also became one of the most significant times for Moses and for us. God’s responded, “The Lord replied, “My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.”  In plain English: In this uncertain time, all you need is me.

You might find yourself in a crossroad, a place where all you see is quicksand and uncertainty. The natural thing to do is to run for the hills or to call eery living soul we could possibly know. We seek the counsel of men and resort to our own strengths. But there is a whisper that lovingly tells you, “All you need is me. Only I will give you rest.”

Stop searching around what you can only receive from above. And trust, relax and walk. You already have what you need.

“BREATHE expectantly, LIVE confidently and MOVE Boldly”
Want this inspiration of coffee by email every morning? Enter your e-mail to subscribe at the top right of this page under the box for “Subscribe”. Like this writing and want share it? Just add your comment below on “Leave a Reply” or share it on Facebook, Twitter, or by email using any of the buttons next to “Share this:”
© Copyright Danny Maldonado, 2017
Scripture quotations are taken from The Holy Bible: Today’s New International Version. 2005. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan. Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

Posted in Life | 4 Comments

Todavía estoy de pie


Este es un tipo de mensaje diferente, es más como una nota en un diario. Como sucede con todos nosotros, enmarcamos nuestra vida y nuestros puntos de vista por las experiencias que tenemos. El pasado sábado, 16 de de julio de 2016, fue uno de esos para mí. Aquí está mi breve descripción de lo que pasó; un evento que todavía estoy procesando.

Llevé a mi hijo temprano a trabajar y después de dejarlo, conduje al sur durante más de una hora. Estoy trabajando con un vehículo en casa y estaba buscando algunas piezas de otro para terminar el mío (no soy mecánico, sino asesor financiero, pero me gusta arreglar cosas). Llegué cerca de las 8:00 am a mi destino y empecé a trabajar en el vehículo. Me tomó 4 horas para terminar. Mientras estaba recogiendo mis herramientas y colocándolas en el baúl de mi vehículo, la lluvia comenzó a caer. Me apresuré a recoger las piezas y empecé a escuchar los truenos, por lo que me metí en el vehículo a esperar. Cuando escampó, salí de nuevo, paraguas en mano, para terminar  de recoger todo. Y entonces sucedió: Fui alcanzado por un rayo. Permita que eso haga su efecto…

No hay nada que pueda preparar a uno para algo como esto. No hay manera de hacerle justicia o describir por completo la instantánea ocurrencia de ser alzando por un rayo, pero lo voy a intentar.

Lo primero que ocurrió fue una explosión, y luego el mundo a mi alrededor se distorsionó por completo. Veía neblina por todos lados que ahora sé era humo blanco. No había control ni hay lógica en lo que me estaba pasando. En un instante supe que había sido golpeado por una fuerza inimaginable que ejecutó sumisión total de mí. Fue un evento como en cámara lenta, pero en realidad fue instantáneo. Recuerdo que estaba en el suelo de gravilla y caí sobre mi lado izquierdo. Vi mi cuerpo, pero no me podía mover. Vi el cielo y no podía determinar si estaba vivo o muerto. Surrealista. Luego, cuando el mundo a mi alrededor dejó de moverse, y, o bien por la fuerza de la caída o por un movimiento inconsciente, me encontré de espalda, pero no podía sentir mi cuerpo. Entonces pude levantar la cabeza y traté de mover mis extremidades. Mi brazo derecho y pierna izquierda comenzaron a moverse, pero mi brazo izquierdo y la pierna derecha estaban totalmente inmóviles; ningún movimiento en absoluto. Al tratar de incorporarme, todo lo que recuerdo que salió de mi boca fue: “¡Gracias Dios, Gracias Señor!” al darme cuenta de que estaba vivo, que había sobrevivido.

Mi reacción inmediata fue llamar al dueño de casa, Martin. Yo estaba gritando a viva voz, “¡Martin, Martin, Martin!” y nadie salía de la casa. Entonces se abrió la puerta, y Martin salió y grité: “¡Ayúdame, ayúdame, me acaba de dar un rayo.” Martin corrió hacia mí y me ayudó a levantar. El literalmente me puso sobre sus hombros, y me llevó adentro. Mi brazo izquierdo y la pierna derecha, no respondían. No podía sentir nada. Luego que llamaron al 911, le pedí que llamara a Sandy, que quería hablar con ella. Cuando hablé con mi esposa le dije, “Estoy bien, Dios es bueno Sandy, Dios es bueno, Te amo.”

Mientras la ambulancia me transportaba al hospital, los paramédicos hicieron todo tipo de preguntas, verificaban mi corazón, el pulso, insertaron un IV. Al entrar al centro de trauma, el personal médico allí esperando, preguntaban si yo era el hombre que había sido alcanzado por un rayo; sus palabras, “¿Y sobrevivió?”

Adelantemos ocho horas mas tarde, con el estómago vacío, sin agua, el cuerpo magullado, dos CT-Scans, radiografías, análisis de sangre, y un sinfín de preguntas. El resultado final: no hay daños a mis órganos o extremidades. La única evidencia visible eran las marcas en el brazo y la pierna donde la electricidad viajó, my frente en la que me dí con quien sabe que, y un zapato quemado y roto.

La imagen de arriba es el árbol que estaba a unos 20 pies de mí que muestra el daño del azote, y el daño en el zapato por donde salió la descarga, y todavía estoy de pie. Mientras escribo estas palabras, mis ojos se llenan de lágrimas, porque sólo por la gracia de Dios, su amor inagotable y su misericordia infinita todavía estoy de pie.

“Pero tú, Señor, eres escudo alrededor de mí, mi gloria, y el que levanta mi cabeza.” Salmo 3:3

Esa la única razón por la que todavía estoy de pie.

“RESPIRA con expectación, VIVE con confianza y MUÉVETE con valentía”

¿Quieres esta inspiración de café por correo electrónico todas las mañanas? Ingresa tu dirección de correo electrónico para suscribirte en la parte superior derecha de esta página, debajo de la casilla de “Subscribe” ¿Te gusta este escrito y deseas compartirlo? Simplemente añade tu comentario abajo en “Leave a Reply” o compártelo en Facebook, Twitter, o por correo electrónico usando cualesquiera de los botones al lado de “Share this:”

© Copyright Danny Maldonado, 2016

Posted in Life | Leave a comment

I’m still standing


This is a different kind of post, it’s more like a journal entry. As it happens to all of us, our life and our views are framed by the experiences we have. This past Saturday, July 16, 2016, was one of those for me. Here is as short as I can describe what happened; an event I am still processing.

I took my son to work early and after dropping him off, I drove south for more than an hour. I have a car project at home and was getting some parts from another one to finish mine (I’m not a mechanic, I’m a financial advisor, but I enjoy fixing things). I arrived close to 8:00 am to my destination and started to work on the vehicle. It took me 4 hours to finish. As I was grabbing my tools and putting them in the trunk, rain started to fall. I hurried to pick up the parts and I began to hear thunder, so I got into the car to wait. As it subsided, I went out again, umbrella on hand, to finish picking everything up. And then it happened: I was struck by lightning. Let that one sink in…

There is nothing that can prepare you for something like this. There is no way to make justice or completely describe the instantaneous occurrence of a lightning strike, but I will try.

The first thing was an explosion, and then the world completely around me got all distorted. Fog-like around me, that I now know was really white smoke. There was no control and no logic to what was happening to me. In an instant, I knew I was hit by an unimaginable force that executed total submission of me. A slow-motion type of event, that was actually an instantaneous one. I remember being on the gravel floor and landed on my left side. I saw my body, but couldn’t move. I saw the sky and couldn’t determine if I was alive or dead. Surreal. Then when the world around me stopped moving, and either by the force of the fall or an unconscious movement, I found myself on my back, but I couldn’t feel my body. Then I was able to lift my head and tried to move my limbs. My right arm and left leg started to move, but my left arm and right leg appeared completely lumped; no movement at all. As I began to try to incorporate myself, all I remember that came from my mouth was “Thank you God, Thank you Lord!” as I realized I was alive, that I had survived.

My immediate reaction was to call the homeowner, Martin. I was yelling at the top of my lungs, “Martin, Martin, Martin!” and no one came out of the house. Then the door opened, and Martin came out as I yelled: “Help me, help me, I was struck by lightning!” Martin ran towards me and help me get up. He literally put me on his shoulders, and he carried me inside. My left arm and right leg, unresponsive. I couldn’t feel a thing. As they called 911, I asked that he call Sandy and that I wanted to talk to her. As I spoke to my wife I said to her, “I’m ok, God is good Sandy, God is good, I love you.”

While the ambulance rushed me out to the hospital, the paramedics made all kinds of questions, checked my heart, pulse, inserted an IV. Entering the trauma center, the medical staff waiting for me were wondering if I was the guy that had been struck by lightning; their words, “And he survived?”

Fast forward 8 hours, an empty stomach, no water, a bruised body, two Ct Scans, X-rays, blood work, and endless questions. The end result: there was no damaged at all to my organs, or limbs. The only visible evidence were the marks in my arm and leg where the electricity traveled, in my forehead that I hit with who knows what, and a burned and blown shoe.

The picture above is the tree that was about 20 feet from me that shows the damage of the strike, and the damage in the shoe where the discharge exited, and I am still standing. As I pen these words, tears well up in my eyes, because only by God’s grace, His unfailing love, and His endless mercy, I’m still standing.

“But you, O Lord, are a shield around me, my glory, and the lifter of my head.” Psalm 3:3

It is the only reason that I’m still standing.

“BREATHE expectantly, LIVE confidently and MOVE Boldly”

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© Copyright Danny Maldonado, 2016

Scripture quotations are taken from The Holy Bible: English Standard Version, copyright 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Posted in English, Life | 9 Comments

One purpose


aGc-pkgjesus_feetI cannot stop but to imagine what that day looked liked. I think of a quiet room, a clear sky and the sun coming up gently on the horizon. His eyes slowly opening and gazing at the magnificent masterpiece in the firmament his father had painted for him. The same way they’d both painted many mornings before. But this morning was different, this morning was crucial. Something unusual was about to happen, something that would reverb in the entire cosmos. As he moved from his resting position, his spirit quickened. This was the day that would start it all. The moment he had been preparing all of his mortal life. It marked the moment that would be written in the hearts of all humankind and change its landscape forever. When his feet finally touched the cold ground, all of the universes trembled. Galaxies were born, and stars started to explode. The oceans roared, the mountains sang. This day, this first step would change it all. And taking a deep breath, he took a bold step and walked out the door towards the Jordan River. This day would be recorded in history as the day his life would start to unfold as never before.

And as the journey took him, he healed the sick and loved the unlovable. He stood up against the oppression and lifted the spirit of the brokenhearted. The passion of his hands was as intense as the compassion in his eyes. He spoke his mind because he knew the hearts. The unexplainable of his deeds was explained by his love.

His love towards those that even hated him made his life not to be his own. And he gave it away. The dawn of that dark Friday crushed the spirit of those who saw his final breath. Everyone thought he had already taken his last final step. His body was entombed, his likeness was sent to be forgotten, or so everyone thought.

But then Sunday morning. In my imagination, I think that meanwhile his body was covered by the cloth, his spirit quickened. Something unusual happened once again, something that resounded in the entire cosmos. It was the day that would seal it all. His eyes started to open, his muscles to flex, his heart to beat and his breath to flutter the cloth covering his mount and filling the room. This time was different, this time there was nothing to prove and nothing to say. And once again as that day began, his mortal body started to erect from a resting state. This felt familiar to him, yet completely different. And as if the entire universe passed in slow motion, his feet approached the ground. Like a movie reel, he saw all the faces of those he loved passing in front of him, and then an earth-shattering sound. His feet had touched once again the cold floor, with a purpose. And taking a deep breath, he took a bold step and walked out the cave towards those he loved.

Two crucial moments, one purpose. Redemption and love were his secret ambition, recorded in history as two steps but one purpose. We were and are that purpose.

“BREATHE expectantly, LIVE confidently and MOVE Boldly”

Want this inspiration of coffee by email every morning? Enter your e-mail to subscribe at the top right of this page under the box for “Subscribe”. Like this writing and want share it? Just add your comment below on “Leave a Reply” or share it on Facebook, Twitter, or by email using any of the buttons next to “Share this:”

© Copyright Danny Maldonado, 2016

Posted in Courage, English, Purpose | Leave a comment

Answer to your desert


Thorn_Tree_Sossusvlei_Namib_Desert_Namibia_Luca_Galuzzi_2004aThe sky was filled with stars, his dwelling place was an empty place, a dry place, a parched place, an inhospitable place. The man with a heart of a king opened his eyes to a dwelling of a lost kin; the desert. The place where men, if they stay there long enough, are lost and forgotten. A place that if not careful will make you see things that are not real. A place that twists your reality with fable to a point where you cannot distinguish which is which, and in the process, kills your hope. This is where David made for a season, his dwelling place; an unprotected place.

Haven’t you been here? I think we all have visited the desert more times than what we would like to admit. It is a lonely place. One that others look from afar and choose to keep their distance, even when they see us struggling. It is that place in which lack, ungratefulness, broken promises, shunning, unforgiveness, restlessness, exhaustion, desperation, among others, become our companions day and night. It is here where every option we have, are often bad ones. It is a harsh place. Here you start looking to your needs and nothing else. Selfishness arises, and understandably so. Dry places, where there is no water, birth exhaustion and thirst. How do we respond to that?

Our natural inclination is self-preservation. We cling to what we have and desperately look for clues of how to get out of this desert that engulfs our every living minute. We breathe, think and see dryness, every day, every place we look at, every door we knock. David felt exactly the same way. In Psalm 63 he gives us the answer. Curiously enough, the answer was precisely the name of the place he was in. David was in the Desert of Judah. I can just but imagine that when he started to write and memorialize and as he penned down the date and the place, he realized one thing; he was still in Judah. The answer to his current dilemma was in the name of the place he was actually in. It seems like a contradiction, but it is not. Judah means “he will be praised.” The answer to the desert is praise.

Praise changes everything. Our desert is a place of limited options. Oddly, it also offers us the best one as well; God himself. When we realize that, we understand that our desert is a place to occupy ourselves in God, not on us. To focus our attention on Him. The answer to your lack is Praise; to the shunning of men, Praise; to the turning of backs, Praise; to the condemnation of men, Praise; to the loss of respect, Praise; to the loss of hope, Praise; to unanswered pleads for help, Praise.

How would you praise if you knew that the pathway out of your desert was praise? David knew this so he praised: Because your love is better than life, my lips will glorify you. I will praise you as long as I live, and in your name I will lift up my hands. I will be fully satisfied as with the richest of foods; with singing lips my mouth will praise you.” Psalm 63:3-5.

The answer to your desert is praise.

“BREATHE expectantly, LIVE confidently and MOVE Boldly”

Want this inspiration of coffee by email every morning? Enter your e-mail to subscribe at the top right of this page under the box for “Subscribe”. Like this writing and want share it? Just add your comment below on “Leave a Reply” or share it on Facebook, Twitter, or by email using any of the buttons next to “Share this:”

© Copyright Danny Maldonado, 2016
Scripture quotations are taken from The Holy Bible: Today’s New International Version. 2005. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan. Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

Posted in English, Faith, Promises | Leave a comment

Mi Pastor es un León


lec3b3n-y-cordero-2016-05-28-08-29“Jehová es mi pastor nada me faltará. En lugares de delicados pastos me hará descansar, junto a aguas de reposo me pastoreará.” Salmo 23:1-2

Pero mi pastor no es uno cualquiera. El se dice que es la puerta para las ovejas, para llegar a mi tienen que pasar por el. Mi pastor tiene una sola misión, su misión soy yo. Da su vida por mi. Pero no pienses que es un pastor débil, o un pastor que se amedrenta. Mi pastor es un León.

Y él no es un león domesticado. El León de la tribu de Judá. El que ha vencido para abrir los sellos del libro de Dios. Apocalipsis 5: 5-6.

Siempre RUGE. Nunca llega tarde. Él podría estar corriendo por el bosque; Está corriendo a salvarnos.

Si voy por el valle de la muerte, no temeré. Porque a mi pastor es un león.

Si estoy herido en el valle, me recoge y me llevan en su espalda.

¿Y quién se atreverá a venir en contra del Gran León?

Él es el cuarto hombre en el horno. La oveja que es un león. El gran YO SOY.

¡Oh alma cansada, no te desalientes, Oye su rugido! Escuchar sus pisadas golpear el suelo mientras se acerca corriendo al rescate!

Él nunca ha sido derrotado.

Y él me ama, yo soy su oveja, él es mi pastor y Él es un león.

Cuando lloro, me escucha. Y él es un león celoso, un león feroz.

¿Por qué temer? Si a la puerta de las ovejas, está el León.

“RESPIRA con expectación, VIVE con confianza y MUÉVETE con valentía”

¿Quieres esta inspiración de café por correo electrónico todas las mañanas? Ingresa tu dirección de correo electrónico para suscribirte en la parte superior derecha de esta página, debajo de la casilla de “Subscribe” ¿Te gusta este escrito y deseas compartirlo? Simplemente añade tu comentario abajo en “Leave a Reply” o compártelo en Facebook, Twitter, o por correo electrónico usando cualesquiera de los botones al lado de “Share this:”

© Copyright Danny Maldonado, 2016

Posted in Life | Leave a comment

My Shepherd is a Lion


lec3b3n-y-cordero-2016-05-28-08-29“The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing. He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters” Psalm 23:1-2

My Shepherd is not any shepherd. He is known as the gate of the sheep, to get to me they have to go through him. My Shepherd has a single mission, his mission is me. He gives his life for me. But don’t think that he is a weak shepherd or shepherd who can be intimidated. My Shepherd is a Lion.

And he is no tame lion. The Lion of the Tribe of Judah. He who has prevailed to open the seals of the book of God. Revelation 5: 5-6.

He ALWAYS ROARS. He is never late. He might be running through the woods; He is running to save us.

If I go through the valley of death, I will not fear. Because my shepherd is a Lion.

If I’m wounded in the valley, he’ll pick me up and carry me in his back.

And who will dare to come against the GREAT LION?

He is the fourth man in the furnace. The sheep who’s a Lion.  The GREAT I AM.

Oh weary soul of mine, take heart. Hear his ROAR! Hear his paws hitting the ground as he comes running to the rescue!

He has never been defeated.

And he loves me, I’m his sheep, he’s my shepherd and He is a Lion.

When I cry, he hears. And he is a jealous Lion. Not a tame lion.

Why fear? If at the gate of the sheep stands the Lion.

“BREATHE expectantly, LIVE confidently and MOVE Boldly” 

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© Copyright Danny Maldonado, 2016 

Posted in Life | Leave a comment

We are more






IMG_3771

It’s time to stop living a shallow life; this was never the intention for us, this was never the design for our existence. Remember the first time you went to the beach? You approached the shore and got your feet wet. It might have been cold and as you sat there for a while, a little scared of the immensity of what was in front of you, you started to walk in a little further. Your feet were feeling the water and the sand, and you took another step. And while the water was cold, your body started to assimilate the temperature, and it felt good. But it wasn’t until you threw yourself in completely, and the water embraced your entire body and covered your head, that the refreshing feeling overtook you and let you wanting more. The reason: shallow waters never give a refreshing experience. We are designed to submerge deep and be drenched, soaked and delighted.

But we have lowered the standard, we have conformed to the menial, and we have inclined our soul to the feet of mediocrity and reality. Surrendering to the least resistance pathway, has domineered our minds. Our eyes have been covered by cataracts, and we have become numb to the wonder before us. Our words utter the expressions that describe a soul who has given up. A soul that its only purpose is to “ride along,” to fill space, to create just the enough effort to “get-by” the day’s work or tasks.

Dreams have become fables in our minds. They are good for children that have not experienced life, good for entertainment, to have fun with and do what children do, but they are not good for us. We have killed them. We have become the passerby that sees abuse happening right before their eyes, and chooses to do nothing. Reality has made its throne in our soul, and it plans to stay there.

Jesus was amazed at his creation and reflected it back to us in Matthew 6:28-29 “And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.” Wow! The most amazing life is unfolding in front of our eyes, and we don’t get it. I don’t get it. When did we drift? Why did we drift? What has happened? Is there a disconnect internally? Is there a core issue that just impedes us of reaching our potential? Is the love for what we see, blind us from the real, palpable things unseen? The staleness of life comes from the fight we constantly have with king reality. He is a dictator, a merciless ruler. But his reign is not meant to last. We have been tricked and lied to, that his rule over us is a dictatorship and that we can’t do anything about it. But it’s not. We are more; we are created for more.

We are created to experience the wonder of life and to show that wonder to others. It’s that amazing experience that rekindles in us the desire to live, create and dream. We are more. When that thought enters deep into our mind, heart, and soul, we understand that the Creator of the universe endowed us with greatness and purpose.

There is a coup planned on king reality. There is an uprising coming. Wonder, possibility, awe, hope and dreams, are the knights rushing in to dethrone him. To reshape the life we have conformed to, way too long. The coup will be public, the coup will be big, and things will never be the same. We will be drenched in the refreshing waters again. The dreams of a what can be will assault us in ways that we will not be able to contain. There will be no boundaries; king reality will become a peasant. We might check with him from time to time, but not to ask permission, just to check realism. He might have some “wins”, but we will do bigger and greater things in the name of possibility. Wonder will be unleashed upon us. We will become, “anything-is-possible” kind of people.

We are more.

Want this inspiration of coffee by email every morning? Enter your e-mail to subscribe at the top right of this page under the box for “Subscribe”. Like this writing and want share it? Just add your comment below on “Leave a Reply” or share it on Facebook, Twitter, or by email using any of the buttons next to “Share this:”

© Copyright Danny Maldonado, 2015

Scripture quotations are taken from The Holy Bible: Today’s New International Version. 2005. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan. Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

Posted in Change, Dreams, English, Faith, Growth, Restoration | Leave a comment