What are you waiting for?

“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 made to the Israelites. They knew what they had to do and stood still, even when they were promised a better place and 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. I know, I have been there myself. But when we are all by ourselves, we know what we need to do. Furthermore, we know that action is the only option to move forward, 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 take action. The best way to break a series of bad decisions is to make one good one. 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, 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.
  • Change what you are reading: If you only read news and are plugged to every media outlet, you will be informed but you will grow very little. Bad news always sells but never builds.
  • 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.

You know what needs to be done, so what are you waiting for?

“BREATHE expectantly, LIVE confidently and MOVE Boldly”

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© Copyright Danny Maldonado, 2013
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.

Saying “No”, creates capacity

How hard it is sometimes! Saying this dreaded word for the new writer, the starting preacher, the rising businessman or the aspiring entertainer is difficult. For the seasoned ones it’s also hard. The two letter word, NO. When we say to ourselves, “This will make all of the difference”, saying no in our minds, means to stop any progress or even kill our dreams. It is difficult to say no at times. not because we are afraid, but because we struggle with the idea that an opportunity can be slipping from our hands and we might not see it again.

In reality accepting everything that comes our way, is a reflection of how much we value ourselves to the eyes of the world. Learning to saying no might be just what you really need to be good at in order to become precisely what you have always dreamt of becoming. Let me be clear, I am not suggesting that you pose as a negative person. All the contrary, your personal skills are very important to develop. What i’m suggesting is that you become a more selective individual. Learning to say no to good opportunities opens your capacity to accept the better ones. Many times we struggle with this, I do too, but it is especially hard when you are starting out any new endeavor. There is always learning curve for every line of business, craft or calling, but if we step back and carefully study those that have excelled in the arena we pursue, you will find that there is a “selectiveness” (if that is even a word) to what they do. It creates the capacity for them to continue doing what they do best. This in turn actually makes them even more appealing to those around them and in there sphere of influence.

So how do we master to say no to good opportunities for the better ones? Every situation is different, but I have experienced that when I have a clear understanding of what is important for my family and me on the long run, it is much easier to say no. This leads me to where I suggest you should start: with the end in mind. I know it is difficult for many to look beyond today, but it is possible. Recently I had the opportunity to discuss further about the legacy we construct with our lives. Regardless if we admit it or not, we all are constructing something, but how we construct makes a big difference. I used an illustration to explain this: Picture a well organized garage with boxes clearly marked. Two adults suddenly approach you. They are well dressed and appear to be well groomed and educated. These are your children. On another scene the same garage but in complete disarray. Garbage is all over and the two adults that approach you are disheveled and clearly disoriented. The time is two weeks after you have died, and this is your legacy to the world. Which will you choose? This brings me this principle: What you choose today will directly reflect on how you will end tomorrow. Everything is connected.

Having a clear perspective, will help you say “NO” to those opportunities that might be good, but not great. It will help you discern what will impact your legacy. You might start by asking yourself a lot of questions like these.

  • What are my values? What is it that moves me?
  • Where is my family and I headed in life?
  • Saying yes to this opportunity, will it mean that my time and resources will be compromised beyond my capacity? Who will be robbed of my time?
  • Will my family be impacted by saying yes? Can this be done by someone else?
  • What are the options?

Another tool I use is a decision matrix. This is a process of assigning values to the factors more important to me for any set of options I might have. After adding them up, the greater the total, the most “logical” the answer. You can request a template here.

Learning to say “NO”, should be an action you want to master, because it will determine your success or failure. We all struggle with this, I still do, but Im getting better every day. And sometimes the most “logical” option might not be the one you end up pursuing, but it will be the one that brings you and those you love, the greatest peace. Saying no will lead you to greater capacity and greater purpose. You will be able to construct your life, immensely, beautifully and purposefully for the generations to come.

Learn to master that two letter word, because saying No, creates capacity.

“BREATHE expectantly, LIVE confidently and MOVE Boldly”

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© Copyright Danny Maldonado, 2012

There’s always something going on

“My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts,” says the Lord. “And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine.” – Isaiah 55:8

“There’s never nothing going on”. This was an expression said in the movie, Peaceful Warrior, based on a story of an olympian who was involved in an accident and how his mindset changed over time. In a scene, the mentor which had pushed him into the river, replied this to him when he said that there was nothing going on, and that he was to distracted to be aware of his surroundings. This made me think about Isaiah 55:8.

There are times in life when we are waiting for someone to take interest in us, or in our situation. And it seems like the minutes, the hours and days go by and everything and everyone, remains quiet. Nothing exciting is happening. No one calls, no one seems to be concerned. Life seems to be minimized to moments, because that’s what they are, just moments, in which we find ourselves going through trials and situations that clamor for direction. There is apparently nothing going on. What do you do, when you seek a response and all is quiet? What do you do when no matter the efforts that you make, all remains unfazed, unmoved unchanged? Clearly, our human emotions arise as the controlling force for the direction of our lives. And more often than not, we relinquish that control to our own human understanding. And along, all of the consequences that come with that decision.

But if we consider that God has said in his word that his thoughts for us are good and that his thoughts are higher than ours, this silence could mean that He has something better and bigger for you and for me.

Yet the question remains, what do you do when all is silent? There are many things one could do in situations like these. I will definitely agree that a change in our environment can help. Yet, you will never fail if you delve into God’s word, seeking wisdom and counsel and trusting God. The perpetual and practical truths that are memorialized in it’s pages will always comfort, heal, direct, teach and inspire us on every situation.

So when all is quiet, don’t despair. God has something better, bigger and brighter in store for you. You might not see it today, but this could be the best time in your life. If you use your idle, quiet, “uninteresting” time to know yourself and take inventory of your life, something good will come out of it. In the middle of your apparent nothingness, always remember that there’s always something gong on, there are no ordinary moments.

“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, 2011
Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright ©1996, 2004, 2007 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

Don’t take your promise to a dry place

by DP

Terah took his son Abram, his grandson Lot son of Haran, and his daughter-in-law Sarai, the wife of his son Abram, and together they set out from Ur of the Chaldeans to go to Canaan. But when they came to Harran, they settled there. Genesis 11:31 NIV

The story reveals a significant fact of the family of Abram. It was not foreign to him to be moving from place to place. Here we see that after the death of one of his sons, Terah, decided to move to a better place, Canaan. But along the way there he stopped at Harran and settled and died there. He never saw Canaan. History says that Haran was a place of trade, a midpoint to Canaan, and had an apparent prosperous life but it’s name means very dry, grievous and wasted years.

It is also important to say that Terah means delay, wandering. So while he was headed to Canaan he wandered and settled in Harran. Delay is the companion of wandering. Delay is the companion of wasted years. Delay always wanders to dry places.

You might also be in a similar situation. You headed out to the right place but wandered and settled in another. You headed to become a professional but settled for a smaller calling. You were headed to another city but stayed at the place of comfort. You were headed to a wonderful life in marriage, but settled for less. All to be seen years after, as wasted and wandered years. An apparent prosperous place, but in reality a dry and grievous one.

Don’t let delay dictate your steps. Don’t let apparent comfort, stir you away from your calling. Delay will carry your promise to a place of dryness and years of toil. Delay will blur your vision of the great destiny your life has. The story repeats itself, every one that settled at Harran, toiled and suffered years of delay, wandering in an apparent place of prosperity but in reality they were in a very dry place. Terah took the promise to a dry place. Abram and Sarai were the promise for the world and it could not flourish in a dry place.

Walk to your calling, don’t stop in Harran. Don’t settle in comfort, idleness and in unproductive places. Your promise is big and Canaan is waiting for you. If the vision for your life is clear why wander in places that will delay the promise of God for you? Your promise will come forth, and your life and world will be better for it.

Don’t take your promise to a dry place.

“BREATHE expectantly, LIVE confidently and MOVE Boldly”