If I had a time machine


One Sunday morning, I watched my daughter walk to the room at church where she serves small children that have her on her toes during the morning service. Back home an hour or so later, my son said something funny as he always does, and my wife and I couldn’t stop laughing. “This is good!” I thought to myself. And I also wondered.

So the dreamer in me took charge. What if I had a time machine? Where would I go? What would I do? Who would I meet? Maybe I could go back in time and place myself into history and help win battles, or I could witness the declaration of independence. Who knows, since I was dreaming I could go anywhere. What about the moon? I can sit down, history books on hand, and choose where to go or what to do. What would it be? What would make me feel whole and happy? Fulfilled? What would I do if I could go back on a time machine?

And I wondered again. And the idea came to me as I reflected. I knew exactly where to go and what to do. It had nothing to do with history but happiness. It had nothing to do with money but with relationships. I would go back in time to my own life to relive the most remarkable moments. I would be there again the day I first saw her. I would relive the moment I kissed my son the day he was born and the moment when my daughter’s face graced our lives for the first time. I would embrace every second of my smiling son and daughter. I would contemplate the refreshing laughter of my wife and listen to her beautiful voice intently as she sings. I would be more present, more alert. I’d make less money but live more life. The best moments in my life had nothing to do with earthly possessions or career achievements. But the most significant moments, the times in which time itself seemed timeless, were the moments in which joy and happiness where are their highest.

What about the times I remember with pain? What about those moments that I wish not to relive? And I stopped for a moment. Could I change them? I have a time machine here. Can I fix the past and create a new future? But then a sobering thought overcame me. Being immersed in the wonder of life and taking it in completely, being present and awake, would help me confront those difficult times. And I abandoned this idea of changing the past and embraced the one of changing the future. I cannot change the story of what has already happened. But I realize that I can still change how the story ends. So today, everything can be a new beginning. It doesn’t matter where it started, but how it ends. Pain is real, but grace and hope stand tall.

So the question remains, what would I do If I had a time machine? Simple, I’d do it all over again, happiness and yes, the pain, because it has been in the low moments that the Almighty has shown up and shown off! So as I snapped out of the dream mode I was in, I realized that the future is before me, and I walk with the Maker of the heavens and the earth, and He can change anything. I just a grateful heart and desire to live full and free.
I’d do it all over again; yes, the happiness and the pain, If I had a time machine.

“BREATHE expectantly, LIVE confidently and MOVE Boldly”

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© Copyright Danny Maldonado, 2014

Fresh or Salt water?


I want to make a comment about the next election.

I am concerned.

But not about what you may think I would concerned about. This is not a political statement. I am really not all that concerned of who will get elected, because in theUS, it’s a binary choice. I already made mine and voted. And that is also something I will not be talking about here either.

My concern is for the relationships that are being torn apart. My concern is for the tone we have been employing. My concern is for the unearthed raw character we are seeing. I am concerned for those that proclaim to have the message of life, but speak as there was none. I am concerned for friendhips that because of what another might think, will shun each other on days to come. My concern is for the lack of maturity to have a honest and respectful conversation about dissenting views. My concern is about the language our hearts are speaking. I am concerned that we are blind to what our own words are saying. My concern is about our true priorities.

We seem to forget that after these days, those that we spoke as if they were not a person we might have to interact with them again. We seem to forget that after there has been an election, we will have to have community again. We seem to forget that either by Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, TikTok, or whatever platform you may use, we are branding ourselves either with hate or with love. Make no mistake, our words brand us.

Elections come and go. Family will remain. Community will remain.

Ask yourself what has your motivation been? Have you been rooting for your candidate because of the facts and platform, or because of your hate and disdain for the opponent? What have you been teaching your children? What message are they hearing? On one side that you have to be a good citizen and love your neighbor and on the other side, hate whatever X candidate says because he’s a bad person? Isn’t this the definition of blindness?

James, the brother of Jesus, spoke about the capacity we have with our words.

With it we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse people who are made in the likeness of God.
From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. My brothers, these things ought not to be so.
Does a spring pour forth from the same opening both fresh and salt water? James 3:9–11 (ESV)

So, what are we pouring forth?

Are our words fresh water those that listen to them or are we creating wounds and pouring salt water with them?

If your words, even the written ones have been birthed from bitterness, hate, condescension, or mockery, they have not been refreshing. They are neither justified just because a candidate has an opposing view nor has used the same language themselves. And all sides in this election has done this. Salt waters.

The question remains. Are our words refreshing waters or salt waters? If the latter, stop. Look deeply inside. Reflect, and maybe, if needed, you can delete the posts that are salt waters, and reach out. The world needs refreshing and we are called to pour out our lives as vessels of honor. Vessels of fresh waters.

Maybe this is the way healing might begin.

It starts with you and me.

“BREATHE expectantly, LIVE confidently and MOVE Boldly”

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© Copyright Danny Maldonado, 2020

It’s not ours


Image result for it is not oursMany, if not all, of our problems, have to do in one way or the other with ownership. Think about it. Seriously.

We get mad when someone at work is given the corner office. Or if the position you applied for was given to someone else. “That should’ve been me. I’m more qualified.” We say to ourselves. What about the house we live in or the car we drive? Did you see what beautiful neighborhood it is? I can go endlessly on examples, from money, influence, friends, and on and on.

Granted, we all desire a good life. We all wish to have a better set of circumstances than the ones we currently have. That is why we work and decide where to eat or spend our vacations. It is the same when we go out to buy clothes or other “essentials” of life. The fact remains the same; we have a problem of ownership.

If we are honest with ourselves, we don’t own anything. Think of that for a second. Do you own your life? You might argue saying, “Well, of course, I do as I please,” but do you own your life? I had a friend that jokingly always said to me, “We all have an expiration date written behind our ear.” And he was right. Not the part of the ear, but the part that none of us know what that date is. What about your children? Are they yours? “Well, of course, I gave them life.” You’d say. Did you? And that bank account and investment account? They’re yours also, right?

While we walk on this earth, some papers say that x,y, or z, legally belong to you and me. But in reality, none of it is.

It is all a stewardship. It is temporary, and we are accountable. If we ingrain this thought deeply into our souls, life would be so much easier, for all of us.

The One that pointed it out more clearly was Jesus. There are a couple of parables he used that describe this in a better way. In Luke 12:16-23, Jesus told the story of a man that amassed a great deal of earthly wealth and observed it to the point that he wanted to build even bigger barns to store it. The problem for him was that he would not live to see the next day. Oops! He lived his life as if he had control of it all and determined who got what. Jesus himself posted a question as to who would inherit all he had amassed.

There was yet another example in Matthew 25:14-30 of a man who left his employees to tend to his fortune. At his return, he rewarded each once accordingly to how he had dealt with what was entrusted to each. It was all a stewardship.

If we sincerely stopped for a moment and looked at life this way, we would see everything differently. We would be free. We would understand that God gave even the talents we express for us to steward in a way that would honor him and benefit us and those we love. Because when we use our skills well, we are giving honor to the One who created us to His image and at the same time, we elevate our awareness of our worth.

Everything on this earth was created for our enjoyment, not for our enslavement. We are not slaves of stuff; we are stewards of it. We take care of what was entrusted to us: children, our earthly bodies, houses, employment, leadership, talents.

When we attach to stuff thinking it’s ours, we enslave ourselves. We are not the owners. Don’t fall for that lie. The secret to becoming free is to acknowledge it is not ours. And while we are constantly bombarded every day to acquire more and more, a sincere and genuine view of who owns it all will free us from being pressured.

After all, it is all HIS. All of it!

It’s not ours.

“BREATHE expectantly, LIVE confidently and MOVE Boldly”

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© Copyright Danny Maldonado, 2019

“Scripture quotations are from the ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.”

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”
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© 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.

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”

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: English Standard Version, copyright 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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” 

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 

My greatest pursuit


Alex & DadSeventeen years ago today, my life as I knew it changed. It is one of those moments that appear to be surreal at the time and the effect it has on you is beyond comprehension. It is a feeling which words cannot completely describe or convey the true sense of how my heart and soul felt and still feels today.

I was an independent kind of guy who did things my own way. I paced my life and pushed forward to pursuits I believed would be of great impact and also thrust me forward into greatness. But I was not prepared to face the greatest pursuit of all. Who would have known that the path of greater reward and fulfillment was going to be the one that is not touted in mainstream as the pinnacle of a man’s life. It is a path that is often walked outside of the spotlight. A path so profound and impactful that it reverbs through generations, yet many have deviated from it because it is hard. It took me some time to personally realize that this path is the greatest path of all, the highest achievement of any man’s life and the least celebrated and acknowledged. It is an uncharted path for every man, because the pursuit is always unique.

I still pause and reflect on that day. That day changed me, it defined me, it branded me. I became a father for the first time. Alex was born this day seventeen years ago, and I still can’t fully explain with words the depth and width of the love I have for him. He was born to life and I was born to the path of fatherhood, and I wouldn’t change it for anything. I cannot deny that I have made many mistakes as a father but one the thing that is and always will remain unfazed, is my love and commitment.

Alexander is smart, funny, humble, genuine, talented, compassionate, strong, thoughtful, committed, understanding, creative, inspiring, responsible, hard worker, and many more traits. He is a well rounded young man and I am so proud of him. But I don’t love him because of these qualities, I love him because he is my son and I am eternally grateful to the Almighty who had mercy on me and granted me the privilege to become a father of this amazing boy.

I love you son, and my prayer is that you fulfill the dream God has for your life and become the best you. Press on forward, love deeply and forgive often. Alex, you are fearfully and wonderfully made and you are God’s masterpiece. He has created you anew in Christ Jesus, so you can do the good things he planned for you long ago. I am sure that your life is going to be amazing. You have a heart of a champion. Happy Birthday son!

Love, Dad

Fifteen years – AGAIN!


wpid-amycopy-version2-2014-07-2-06-26.jpg

It’s been fifteen years-AGAIN! Yep, I have two teenagers! And it seems like just a few days have past. I still remember as if it was just a moment ago. Those big cheeks came out from her mothers womb (yes, I was in the OR) and her small wet face that was presented to me that day. And her eyes looked at me; I was immediately captivated, drawn. I took her in my arms (I knew now what to do!) And I kissed her forehead and said, ”God bless you my daughter, welcome to life!”. And as she was taken back to the nursery I realized I was a father of a daughter!

That was fifteen years ago today. I am proud of her, and I can’t wait to see what God will do in and through her. Fifteen years, it seems a lot, but it’s so little time. Life is a flicker and you should embrace every moment and those around you.

Happy birthday Amy! I love you with all my heart, and that will never change. You know it very well; You and I were born the same day, you were born to life and I was born to the adventure of being a father of a daughter. And I wouldn’t change that for anything.