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

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.”

A Whisper


The Lord said, “Go out and stand on the mountain in the presence of the Lord, for the Lord is about to pass by.” Then a great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart and shattered the rocks before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. After the earthquake came a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper. 1 Kings 19:11-12

While driving to work some time ago I was listening to a song from René Gonzalez, “Mi Vida” or “My Life” in English. René is a friend and an internationally renowned and gifted singer and pastor from Puerto Rico. While I was listening to this song, a couple of lines caught my attention and made me remember my accident.

“Mi vida, vio la vida que refleja tu mirada,

yo pensé que era el final de mi jornada,

pero Tú llegaste para rescatar, mi vida”

This is not necessarily a good translation for the verses of the song, and may note reflect the correct cadence, but are here to relay the meaning I gleaned while listening:

“My life, saw the life reflected in your gaze

I thought that this was the end of my days

But You came to rescue, my life.”

While the song is referring to the redemptive power of Jesus from our sins, I could not but think of my experience with lightning. It’s been some time since I wrote about my accident in the post I’m still standing. During this time I have thought a lot about it, especially when there are thunderstorms. But when I listened to the words of this song, I immediately went back to that day. My heart was full of gratefulness as I remembered that it could have been an entirely different story. It was a moment of complete rendition, and my heart was submerged in worship.

During these months I have asked many questions and looked for meaning. Why me? What for? and more times that I can remember, I have also asked God to speak to me. But then something came to my attention like never before. While reading Psalm 29, verse 7 came alive: “The voice of the Lord strikes with flashes of lightning.” Could it be possible? Can this be true? That I had been spoken to and didn’t realize it? I know that my lightning strike experience is one in a million, but still my questions remain. I then remembered when Elijah was in the cave and there was an earthquake, fire and a rushing wind. The spectacular is what we oftentimes relate to God, we want the extraordinary to be showcase in our lives, the impactful is what stirs us and moves us. But when Elijah heard a whisper, that is where God was, in the ordinary. He whispered because he was close.

It is humbling to know that the Creator of the universe chose to speak to me the way he did. And I’ll admit that I might never fully comprehend it all. But one thing became especially clear to me; He speaks in more ways than what we credit him for. Could it be that you and I have been so distracted that The Lord of Lords has been trying to make us see the life that reflects from his gaze upon us, and you and I are missing it? Has he been whispering to you and are waiting for lightning, an earthquake, fire, or a rushing wind? Have you made the struggle of this world the lord of your life?

He is whispering. Are you listening?

Here is the video of this song by René Gonzalez

“BREATHE expectantly, LIVE confidently and MOVE Boldly”

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© Copyright Danny Maldonado, 2018
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”

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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.

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

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”

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.

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.

“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.