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

Don’t Quit!


There’s a scene from the movie Facing the Giants, in which coach Grant Taylor tells Brock Kelley to do the death crawl with a teammate on his back. The kicker is that he had to do it blindfolded, and the only direction he would received was the voice of the coach, not the sight of his eyes. It is a very inspiring scene. It represents life in many ways, yours and mine. We go through life many times crawling, because that’s the only way we can advance. And we also we find ourselves crawling blindfolded with extra weight over us. A perfect combination for a quitter.

We have all had these seasons in our lives. Moments that make us question everything. Times when our sight is clouded, blindfolded, and we have no direction whatsoever. Times in which we have an extra weight on our backs that pushes us down, reviving the idea of quitting every second. It’s in moments like these that I appreciate the coach Taylor’s of the world. Those that push us harder and inspire us to continue to move forward, even when we can’t see where we are going. That voice that leads us to the end zone, and helps us realize that we can do more, be more, achieve more. That voice that will not accept a no for an answer, and will expect the best of us, no matter what.

We need those voices. We all need from time to time; a firm voice that will acknowledge the pain, the struggle, but in spite of that will inspire and push you to the end zone. Just when Brock says, “its hard”, coach Taylor responds, “I know its hard, but you can do it”. And louder and louder he shouted on, “Don’t quit, Don’t Quit, your very best!”.

The same I tell you today. Don’t Quit. I know its hard, I know you can’t see anything in the horizon, but trust the voice, even if it is your own, that tells you; Don’t quit! Don’t quit on your family, it might be hard, but you have to give your very best! Don’t quit on your passion, I know its frustrating some times, but you have to give your very best!, Don’t quit on your children; there are many disappointments, but they are full of potential and they deserve your very best. Don’t quit on your God, He is the ultimate voice that leads you to the end zone, that pushes you further, beyond your limits, because He knows you can do more.

You can be a coach Taylor to the Brock Kelley’s in your life. Or maybe you feel like Brock, and just want to give up. I know, I’ve been both. Just follow the voice, push hard. If you do I promise you one thing; You will get to the end zone and everyone, even yourself, will be amazed of what you will achieved.

So above all, DON’T QUIT!

Enjoy the clip!

“BREATHE expectantly, LIVE confidently and MOVE Boldly”
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© 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.

To text or not to text?


IMG_1274 - Version 2Text is a great tool. It saves time and in occasions is the best way to communicate important information when we are in a middle of a meeting or in noisy places that make it difficult to talk. Sometimes we just want to reach someone and a personal conversation is practically impossible. Our lives are full with meetings, errands, work, family and many other things that we are usually exhausted and, let’s admit it; there are days or moments that we don’t want to talk to anyone. However there is no way for a text conversation to convey any real sense of intention, mood or emotion. When you use text to communicate with someone, there is a lot lost in the process. Texting more often than not, can be misinterpreted or construed in the wrong way. Face to face conversations or even phone conversations are always better.

I am a relational kind of guy, I like to talk to people and understand them better. Texting my way with someone is not a way to develop a relationship. Don’t get me wrong, I use text but to give or get directions, ask questions or joke around with people I already know well. These “text” conversations are more relaxed because there was a previous relationship that has been developed over time. But when I meet someone new or that I am still in the process of getting a deeper understanding, I have found however that text conversations can change the mood of the relationship just because of the lack of emotions. It is basically lost in translation, so to speak.

I have also found that texting our way in life desensitizes people. We don’t feel it at the moment or even think of it that way, but we start to loose our sense of community and think of relationships like a mere transaction. When relationships matter, we need to be careful. Jesus himself stated this principle in John 15; without a relationship with HIM, we could do nothing. Relationships are everything in life. Why would we water down such an important part of our existence? The fallout of a misinterpreted text can be ugly, and I have heard of instances of even deadly. In the end almost always we have to go back and fix with a personal interaction what an impersonal text has damaged.

Here are some practical guidelines that can be used as to when or when not to use this technology. These are just some, you might find that there can be more do’s and do not’s, but for starters here are a few.

Text should be used to:

  • Encourage someone
  • Give or get directions
  • Answer a simple question or those that require just a yes or no
  • Thank someone
  • Send a reminder
  • Anything that is practical and not of a relational nature

Never use text:

  • While driving. I will admit it, I have been guilty on this one
  • For contractual conversations, it can be costly
  • For counseling; a big NO
  • To build or address relational conversations, with friends, spouses, family or significant others, Need to say more?
  • When building or ending a relationship. Man up or Woman up!
  • To chastise or correct someone. Always show grace.
  • To get even with someone. Use the high road, always.
  • Send inappropriate media.

It’s quite simple, Is it personal or transactional? Will it build or destroy? Is it honorable or dishonorable? Is it urgent or can it wait? Above all we should use common sense and caution when using text. To text or not to text?

“BREATHE expectantly, LIVE confidently and MOVE Boldly”

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© Copyright Danny Maldonado, 2013
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.

Be careful who walks with you


COUPLE-WALKING-ON-A-PATH--001There is no explanation (at least none that I found) that would explain why the children of Israel let foreigners leave Egypt with them. There are many theories. That they were probably slaves from other races or even egyptians that decided to walk out with the Israelites after seeing all of the plagues that had come to the land. The matter of the fact is, that they are called the rabble. This is a strong word. It denotes the mindset and a set of customs of people considered among other things, trouble makers, mob, inciters, complainers, people considered socially inferior, in short the crowd you would usually avoid.

We do not know why the people of Israel and for that reason Moses himself let them tag along. Maybe they already had ties with the israelites or it might be convenient for the israelites themselves to use a helping hand with all the treasures they were leaving with, who knows. But what is clear by the events that followed was that these inserts knew nothing about the God of Israel. They wanted the blessing of the chosen but remained distant to the God that chose them. They wanted blessing and protection without commitment. They were convenience travelers and emotional journeymen. When the provision of manna had been steady and sustainable, they started to complain that they had not eaten meat. – The rabble with them began to crave other food,a and again the Israelites started wailing and said, “If only we had meat to eat! We remember the fish we ate in Egypt at no cost—also the cucumbers, melons, leeks, onions and garlic. But now we have lost our appetite; we never see anything but this manna!”

The dissatisfaction sprouted from a shallow soul and a lack of character, direction and of convictions. The first sign of unmet physical needs, was enough to stir up a complaining tongue. In spite of all they had seen, this was even expected from them. They saw the signs of the Liberator but did not know Him. They had benefit from the exodus from slavery, but ignored to bring to heart the One who freed them. The miracles were convenient, but the commitment was not. And the story develops in a way that we see those that believed were now doubting. Those that had first proclaimed were now withdrawing, and all because of those they associated with. The associations we permit in our lives will determine the outcome of it. Bad associations are often long distractions.

Who do you associate with? Are they trouble makers, inciters and complainers? Are those that walk with you in life, lack the commitment to walk along no matter the circumstance? The people of Israel followed the route of less resistance, just because their companions incited them. And they were punished for it. They fell prey to the negative comments of those that were not branded with the vision of a promised land. Furthermore, they knew not the Vision Maker. So in any endeavor that you set your course to, be watchful of those that tag along. There are many you can do nothing about. But they’re some you can choose not to invite to the journey that you will embark in. Don’t settle for less or sacrifice peace for advancement, or temporary comfort. Your life and your purpose is too important to sabotage it with a forty year interruption, just because you were not intentional of who you would permit in your path.

As Jeff Henderson once said, “The people that you listen to, are a preview of the future you.” So mi advice would be, be careful who walks with you.

“BREATHE expectantly, LIVE confidently and MOVE Boldly”

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© Copyright Danny Maldonado, 2013
Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, Today’s New International® Version TNIV®. Copyright 2001, 2005 by International Bible Society®. Used by permission of International Bible Society®. All rights reserved worldwide.

Welcome home!


He opened his eyes and woke up. It had been another restless night. His heart was aching. Was it all a dream? As he could, he hurried to his son’s room. There it was as the day before, an empty bed, and the ache became even more pronounced. Walking slowly around the room he wondered why he had left. He had given him everything he needed and had loved him everyday since the day he was born. “Why would he leave a place of love for a place of lavish life?” He asked himself. How many nights this room was a witness of the laughter and the stories, and yes, the tears. Back then this room was warm place. He laid down on the bed and cried himself to sleep, hoping that it would become a warm place again. How much he wanted a chance to mess his son’s hair again, while he was sleeping, embrace him and kiss him. After a while he opened his eyes as the sun started to raise, warming up the room where he was; but not warm enough as to erase the cold feeling of the empty space in his heart.

And as the other days went, tending to the farm, the flock and his servants maintained him distracted, which was good. But from time to time he caught himself glancing at the distance, longing, hoping. How many times had he done this and nothing? Should he just give up to the fact that his son was not coming back? But this love was so deep, so wide, that kindled this hope constantly.

As his servants where informing about the days work, he glanced to the distance once again and then and there he saw something he had not seen before. A silhouette he was very familiar with. Could it be? Could this be his son? Wiping his eyes as he was seeing a vision, he peeked out to see clearly, leaving everyone still talking. And his heart bursted, filled with love and compassion as never before. It was him! With no regard of how he would look, or what would anyone think, he ran desperately to his son, nothing else mattered, his son had returned. With tears in his eyes and trying to catch his breath, he embraced him and kissed him in a way like he would never let go again. His son was dirty, malnourished and hurt. But now he was home and everything would be ok. The one that was lost had been found.

This could be you. On the outside, a smile is always seen in your face, but in the inside you are lacking and wanting. You are hurting and you desperately want to come home. Take courage and do so, it will all be good. So go ahead, return to your father, to the one that loves you in a way that surpasses any understanding.

He has been longing for your return, and is waiting for you.

And when He gets a glimpse of you, he will run to you, embrace you and kiss you and say, Welcome home my child, Welcome home!

So he returned home to his father. And while he was still a long way off, his father saw him coming. Filled with love and compassion, he ran to his son, embraced him, and kissed him. – Luke 15:20

“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, 2012
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

Staying Awake


Night and day, while he’s asleep or awake, the seed sprouts and grows, but he does not understand how it happens – Mark 4:27

It is a little embarrassing but I cannot refrain of telling you the first lesson I learned in the wee hours of the new year. Last night after a full day of activities, we returned to the hotel to get prepared for the New Year’s celebration. We were going to find a spot to see the fireworks and enjoy the show. I was hungry, and tired. You can tell I was hungry because I wanted to eat pizza, which is not my favorite, but that I’ll get to that in a moment. So at the hotel I took a bath and got half dressed and lied down on the bed reading some news and waiting for everyone else to get ready. My daughter was complaining because she didn’t want to go out again and was already in her pajamas and went on to change. I know I saw my wife changing and getting prepared for the night. Then everything started to get blurry. I can vaguely recall hearing her saying, “we are not going”, and I can hear in the distance, even when it was happening right there in my room, my daughter saying, “We are not going anywhere, and I have to get changed again”. Yes, it happened; I fell asleep.

At 2:36 a.m., I opened my eyes and in disbelief I realized that I had missed that moment and I had slept through it. Immediately a small still voice in my heart spoke to me saying, “Don’t sleep through the important moments in life, stay awake.” It might not be a big deal for you, but to me it was important. In life we are so consumed in achieving, succeeding, impressing, and so many more things that we get tired along the way wasting energy in things that are temporal and of questionable significance. And when the important moments come along, we fall asleep, and it is in those moments where life is made, were bonds are tighten and love is nurtured. These are the important moments in life where we cannot go by dozing out on them. We cannot sit down and ask, how was it? It will never be the same as experiencing them. Back to the pizza. I woke up with an empty grumbling stomach and I found two untouched, cold pieces in the fridge. I can assure you that they would not taste the same as when they came a couple of hours before when they were hot and fresh, just like the moment that I had missed.

Just as the farmer in the parable does not understand how the seed he has scattered grows, wether we are awake to the moment or not, life continues to happen to all of us. We will plant seeds this year even if we realize it or not. And that seed will grow, night and day. So what seed will you scatter? And more importantly will you be awake in the moments that matter to see the seed sprout? I was told that my wife kissed me, and yet I didn’t feel or remember it.

Don’t miss the moments that matter. I know you don’t want to find cold pieces of pizza and be the only one asking how it tasted when it was fresh. My new year’s resolution and yours should be as well: Staying Awake

“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, 2012
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.

Beginnings


The faithful love of the LORD never ends! His mercies never cease. Great is his faithfulness; his mercies begin afresh each morning. – Lamentations 3:22-23

Beginnings: It means different things to different people. For some, it is the reluctant reality that they need to accept after a failed event in their life. It is not necessarily embraced or welcomed. Not because what it represents, but by how it presents itself. Like the soul that is devastated by a divorce and needs to find strength to pick up the pieces of his or her life as it was known. Or the companion that has left this life on earth and has skipped into eternity leaving an empty space in the hearts of love ones; or the job or the business that is no more. All of these are endings and many of them very painful. So an ending is a beginning in disguise. Beginnings usually come after an ending.

For others, beginnings transpire as the emotion of hope, of the possibilities, of what could be. For these, endings are embraced, welcomed and expected, because a beginning is in sight. Two opposite points of view, but with the same ending; to begin.

It is a thought that can transform your life completely, if you choose. You might be at either side of the coin in your viewpoint, but the fact remains that something in your life has ceased to be, something has ended and something new must take its place and fill the void. These are the curves that life brings and we must know how to handle them in order to continue to thrive, to live and to begin again. And we are confronted with our human fragility and believe that the end is just that, the end. We think that there is no future, no hope no new things in our life will ever happen and that there is no point of knocking on the same door of unfulfilled dreams over and over again. But God who is rich in mercy knew and knows how we are prone to go astray of his ways and from our path. So He is constant. His love never ends, even when ours does. His mercy never ceases even when judgement is warranted. And then we read this refreshing truth that brings hope for the future in our lives, his mercies are fresh every morning. Every day a new beginning, no matter what has happened before, that in itself is a transformational thought. And who better to talk about beginnings, but God himself: He is the Beginning and the End. He started everything from nothing and he has created you and me in his likeness.

If something has ended in your life, a relationship, a job, a business, a loved one’s life or even the desire to continue to press on, remember that God is the God of beginnings and his plans and thoughts for you are plans for good. So no matter what is going on now in your life, this ending is a moment for a great start, for a great beginning. His mercies are new and fresh every day.

A new and blank page is waiting for you, so go ahead and write the new chapter of your life, starting today. You might want to call it: To begin.

“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.

Two weeks and a day


It was another Sunday, o so I thought. I can’t remember the date, but I can remember the scene. I opened the door of the church and everything stopped. There she was, full of life, full of joy and looking stunningly beautiful, doing what she has done all her life, singing with passion to her Master. I do remember my thought at that moment, I said to myself, “She must be married. I mean, what man in his right mind would not pursue a woman like this.” And then I asked for the president of the youth of the church, and yes you are right, it was her. As I talked to her, her smile captivated me. I had seen my dream and the pursuit for her heart began that day. And as I realized, this had not been just another Sunday.

It has been 15 years today since we got married. It has been an amazing ride, sometimes bumpy, sometimes smooth. It has been 15 years of laughter, of tears of joy, years full of hope and full of dreams. And today we look into the future with expectation, with confidence and with boldness that for our time remaining on this earth, we will make it, the best time of our lives.

Time has gone very fast, that is why to me it hasn’t been 15 years, it’s more like two weeks and a day. And as I look at you, as I hear you, as I love you, I pray that God may give us many more years, to laugh, to dream, and to love.

I love you Sandy, Happy Anniversary Baby!