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”

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© Copyright Danny Maldonado, 2016

Posted in Courage, English, Purpose | Leave a comment

The 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”

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© 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 Español, Vida | 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

¿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”

¿Quieres esta inspiración de café caliente por correo electrónico cada mañana? Ingresa tu e-mail para suscribirte en la parte superior derecha de esta página bajo el encasillado 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, 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”

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 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