¿Que si puedo?


 Muchas veces lo arroja al fuego, o al agua, con la intención de matarlo. Si puedes hacer algo, ¡ten compasión de nosotros y ayúdanos! Jesús le dijo: ¿Cómo que “si puedes”? Para quien cree, todo es posible.

Esa fue la pregunta/respuesta que Jesús le dio al padre del muchacho que tenía un espíritu que lo atormentaba. Esto me hizo pensar. ¿Cuán quebrantado estaba su espíritu al punto de cuestionar sus creencias? Tengo que admitir que, a veces he dicho la misma expresión de este padre, “¡Creo!, !Ayúdame en mi incredulidad!”. Su situación era tan grave y tan persistente, que no estaba buscando una solución completa, sólo un respiro. Sus expectativas de la vida como él la conocía, habían bajado a mera supervivencia, a simplemente existir. No esperaba de Dios lo mejor y en vez bajó a Dios a su nivel humano. La vida era dura y su hijo estaba sufriendo. “Pero si puedes hacer algo”. Era una expresión de desesperación de un padre que necesitaba y pedía ayuda.

Conozco la sensación, no de un espíritu atormentador, pero la angustia y la desesperación de sentirse impotente y sin una puerta a donde ir. Cualquier luz es suficiente, cualquier señal de ayuda será suficiente, cualquier ayuda sería genial. Cualquier movimiento que apaciguar el dolor será bienvenida. Los sueños, el potencial y sí, incluso la esperanza son una idea lejana porque la realidad se ha hecho presente. Y es difícil. Aplasta tu espíritu y te rompe el corazón. Intentamos todo, cualquier cosa, incluso el fallido y llano intento de manos que se quedan cortas de convertirse en la solución a nuestras necesidades, porque les es inconveniente o es demasiado trabajo.

La ayuda escasa de la gente simplemente no soluciona. Nuestro espíritu humano se reduce a aceptar menos, y es difícil. La confusión, la tensión, la desesperación que se siente es tan persistente que cualquier expectativa de que las cosas se pongan cada vez mejor son bajas o inexistentes. Y vamos a “la gente que pueden ayudar”, y a veces simplemente obtenemos lo que siempre hemos conseguido;. Intentos fallidos y un corazón herido, cansado y fatigado. Tal parece que a los lugares que vamos y a las puertas que tocamos, son senderos a habitaciones vacías y a esperanzas secas. Aquellos a nuestro alrededor no entienden el dolor o incluso no parecen estar preparados a ayudar. Y en nuestra desesperación bajamos nuestras vidas a meras correcciones existenciales, nos convertimos en adictos de lo inmediato. ¿Te has sentido así?

En palabras de Martin Lutero a su contemporáneo Erasmus, “Tus pensamientos de Dios son demasiado humanos ”. Nuestros pensamientos del Dios Omnipotente, del Todopoderoso Señor, necesitan elevarse hasta el lugar donde deben estar. Sólo Jesús. Él es el único que puede ayudar al alma y convertir todas las cosas. No debemos permitir que el mundo caído haga nuestra imagen de Dios, una caída.

Él nos está haciendo esta pregunta de nuevo hoy, “¿Que si puedo?”, Como si estuviera diciendo, “¿Estás bromeando? ¿Sabes con quién estás hablando? ¿Entiendes el poder y la fuerza de quien tienes de frente en este mismo momento? Yo te creé, Yo conozco tus pensamientos más internos y sé todo sobre ti. Y te amo, como nadie que te puedas imaginar, te ame. Entiendo tu dolor, veo tu sufrimiento, y lloro por tu angustia persistente. Pero yo soy Dios, y estoy aquí para hacer nuevas todas las cosas. Muchos han tratado de ayudarle, pero se han quedado cortos. Quiero que sepas que yo quiero que vengas directamente a mí. Su provisión, Tu Dios, ¡Tu yo PUEDO!”

“Puedo resolver tu dolor, voy a enjugar tus lágrimas, puedo hacer y he hecho todas las cosas nuevas. Voy a cambiar tu lamento en baile”.

“Que si puedo?, preguntas. Te digo, si crees, todo y cualquier cosa es posible.” – Jesús.

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

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© Copyright Danny Maldonado, 2015
Las citas bíblicas son tomadas de la Santa Biblia, Reina Valera Contemporánea ® © Sociedades Bíblicas Unidas, 2009, 2011. Usado con permiso. Todos los derechos reservados.

Posted in Español, Fe, Obediencia, Promesas, Propósito, Sueños | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

“If you can?”


IMG_2731“It has often thrown him into fire or water to kill him. But if you can do anything, take pity on us and help us.” “ ‘If you can’?” said Jesus. “Everything is possible for one who believes.”

If you can? That was the question/response Jesus gave to the father of the boy that had a tormenting spirit. This got me thinking. How broken was his spirit to question his beliefs? I have to admit, at times I have mustered the same expression of this father, “Lord I believe, please help my unbelief”. His situation was so dire and so persistent, that he was not looking for a complete fix, just a respite. His expectations of life as he knew it, had come down to survival, to merely exist. He was not expecting God´s best and instead he lowered God to his human level. Life was hard and his son was suffering. “But if you can do anything”. It was an expression of desperation from a father that needed and pleaded for help.

I know the feeling, not of a tormenting spirit, but the angst and despair of feeling helpless and without a door to go. Any light will do, any sign of help will suffice, any handout would be great. Any move that would appease the pain will be welcomed. Dreams, potential and yes, even hope are a distant idea because reality has set in. And it is hard. It crushes your spirit and it breaks your heart. We try everything, anything, even the failed shallow attempt of hands that fall short of becoming the solution to our needs because its inconvenient or too much trouble.

The shorthanded help of people just won’t do it. Our human spirit is reduced to accept less, and it’s hard. The turmoil, the tension, the despair that is felt is so persistent that any expectation of things getting better are low to non-existent. And we reach to the “people that can help”, and sometimes we just get what we have always gotten; failed attempts and a weary tired hurt heart. It seems like the places we go and doors we knock, are pathways to empty rooms and dry hopes. Those around don’t understand the pain or don’t even seem to be prepared to help. And in our desperation we lower our lives to mere existential fixes, we become addicts of the immediate. Have you felt this way?

In the words of Martin Luther to his contemporary Erasmus, “Your thoughts of God are too human”. Our thoughts of Almighty God, all powerful Lord, need to raise to the place where they are to be. Only Jesus. He is the only one that can help the soul and turn all things around. We shouldn’t let the fallen world make our image of God, a fallen one.

He is asking us this question again today, “If I can?”, like if he was stating, “Are you kidding me? Do you know who you are talking to? Do you understand the power and the might you are facing this very moment? I created you, I know your most inner thoughts and everything about you. And I love you, as no one you can think of, loves you. I understand your pain, I see your suffering, and I cry at your persistent angst. But I am God and I am here to make all things new. Many have tried to help you, but have fallen short. I want you to know that I want you to come directly to me. Your source, your God, your I CAN!”

“I can solve your pain, I will wipe your tears, I can do and have done all things new. I will change your mourning into dancing”.

“If you can? You ask. I say, if you believe, anything and everything is possible.’’ Jesus.

“BREATHE expectantly, LIVE confidently and MOVE Boldly”

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© 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 Courage, English, Faith, Growth, Persistence, Promises, Restoration | 2 Comments

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

Posted in Life | 1 Comment

Take another step


“How long will you wait before you begin to take possession of the land that the LORD, the God of your ancestors, has given you?” Joshua 18:3
“What are you waiting for?” That was basically the question Joshua was asking. They knew what they had to do but were motionless, even when they had a promised a better place, a bountiful land. Stillness was their answer.

Oftentimes we know exactly what we need to do and just do nothing. There are many reasons for that, but the main one is fear. Fear of the unknown, fear of failure, fear of not having the skills, fear of fear itself. But when we are all by ourselves, we know what we need to do. We know that action is the only option, but we choose to stay put, we choose to do nothing. Probably it is because we are comfortable where we are in life right now and making a change is inconvenient. Or maybe fear has become our master. Can you imagine that? Being controlled by a thought that extrapolates and creates mental circumstances and events that in the majority of time never happen? Fear constricts perception, thinking, and motor processes, but faith and love promote action. That is why repeatedly we find God reassuring us and telling us not to fear. “Do not fear, for I am with you” and “perfect love drives out fear”.

You might have been drawn into a situation that most likely you did not create. Or be in a position today you drifted into because of your inaction. Regardless of what or why you are where you are today, you need to move. The best way to break a series of bad decisions is, you guessed it, make one good decision. It sounds simplistic and obvious but when you are immersed in a streak of constant inaction, thinking of making a change, even when it’s a small one, seems an unsurmountable task. One act, ons step, that is what it takes.

Here are some suggestions of how to start making changes that I found helpful:

  • Rest: Yes, it sounds like an oxymoron, but when you are well rested your body and your mind are renewed, you think better you’re more productive, alert and more prone to move on.
  • Eat well: Take control of your diet and make small changes everyday. Drink water before eating, it will make you feel more full and therefore consume less. Ask for help to make a balanced diet and don’t be hard on yourself.
  • Exercise: Even a small walk around your neighborhood will make you feel better and alert.
  • Analyze who are your influencers: “The people that you listen to, are the preview of the future you.” Jeff Henderson. When we consider the lives of those we regard and seek their advise, we should notice the result of their lives in the area we are seeking advise on. Are they modeling well? If I am asking financial advise, are they an example to follow? In relationships? In work? If not, change your sphere.
  • Ask for help: If you cannot make changes on your own, seek advise of others. Look for people that have different ideas than yours and pick their minds. Sometimes one word or one phrase is all that you need to start moving.

Storms in life and menacing waters may be ahead of you, that’s life. But you are not a quitter, you are courageous and you embrace the future with hope. Every obstacle is just a building block for your character. As Franklin D. Roosevelt said, “A smooth sea never made a skilled sailor”, if you never quit and you take that first step, you will be on you way to your promised land. Steven Curtis Chapman described this beautifully in his song “Take Another Step”. There’s a paragraph that says:

If there’s an ocean in front of you

You know what you’ve gotta do

Take another step and another step

Maybe He’ll turn the water into land

And maybe He’ll take your hand and say

Let’s take a walk on the waves

Will you trust Me either way

And take another step

Take another step

So you know what needs to be done. What are you waiting for? Take another step.

“BREATHE expectantly, LIVE confidently and MOVE Boldly”

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© Copyright Danny Maldonado, 2014
Scripture quotations are taken from THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

Posted in Change, Courage, Decisions, English, Faith, Growth, Promises, Resources | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

If I had a time machine


One Sunday morning I watched my daughter walk towards her group in 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 just 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 just sit down, history books on hand, and just 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 greatest 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 to the moment when my daughters face graced our lives for the first time. I would embrace every second of my smiling son and daughter. I would contemplate intently the refreshing laughter of my wife and her beautiful voice 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 it’s 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 just 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 happen. 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

Posted in Dreams, English, Family, Relationships | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

A view from the bottom


When life hits us with a storm of problems, the first thing that usually gets impaired is our view. We usually only see the immediate, the here and now, the critical issue that needs attention. Problems are all we see; it is in most cases our first reaction. We get immersed in the situation and our view becomes focused on that particular item. Health, finances, relationships, whatever it is that is hitting close to home, takes center stage and it seems to come to us with a vengeance. We look around and the only thing we see is a hopeless bottom.

Isn’t it curious that we can one day be at the top of our game and seem that we can conquer the world and then suddenly, we are thrown to our knees begging for help because we can’t see a way to even conquer ourselves? Life is hard. For some, it’s harder than most and we cannot understand why, or even make sense of it many times. It is in these moments where an uninvited guest usually knocks at our door and without hesitation strolls in. Regret mines our mind and accuses us continually. “Why did you say that?” or “Why did you do that? If you hadn’t gone there, or If you hadn’t bought that everything would have been different.” That list can go on and on. Regret points us even further down to the bottom, whispering to us that this is a permanent place for us and that we blew it.

But the bottom even as hard as it might be, has another vantage point, UP. You see, being at the bottom is sometimes a good place to be to look from. Everything looks different, you see life from a different perspective. You appreciate life in a deeper more profound way. We can decide to continue to roam and resign ourselves to live in the low places, or we can scout the bottom for a step to move up. King David penned it best in Psalm 121; I lift up my eyes to the mountains—where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth.” A beautiful view from the bottom.

The bottom is a reminder for us to look up. To raise our voices and focus our view to higher, greater, bigger places. I know that the feeling at the bottom is sometimes a constant angst, despair. A place of loneliness and shame. But it also can be if you decide, a place of hope and new vision. When our inner eyes look up, our outer circumstances will follow suit. A place of despair can become a place of hope. A place of tears can become a place of joy. A place of sickness can become a place of healing. A place at the bottom can become a place to look up.

A place at the bottom can be a vantage point. A place to look up to our Heavenly father, that in the midst of your current circumstances is waiting for you to look to him. You might not know your next step, and even thinking of taking one is frighting because you fear it will make your stay at the bottom permanent. But the great thing to remember is that He created the heavens and the earth and knows and created every path imaginable on your trek up the mountain. And if there is none, he will make one.

No more tears, no more regrets. Lift your eyes towards the mountains and take the next step. Your Heavenly father awaits. And you have the best view right now, a view from the bottom.

“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, 2014
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, Decisions, English, Faith, Growth, Promises | 1 Comment

Fifteen years – AGAIN!


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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.

Posted in Life | 1 Comment

Destiny vs history


Your destiny is bigger, brighter and stronger than your history. Change your story. – Danny Maldonado

“BREATHE expectantly, LIVE confidently and MOVE Boldly”

Posted in English, Quotes | Tagged , | Leave a comment