Do not be afraid

“I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.” – John 16:33

It was a normal morning for me or so I thought. I was eager to meet with my client and show how the new plan would work. I was tired, I had driven for almost an hour. Then, in the moments when I was greeted and accompanied to the office, the news broke on the TV. Something terrible had happened. I immediately saw the images, I saw the chaos, I saw something I never thought I would see. I had been there just a couple of months before, with my wife and my two children ages 2 and 3.

I was perplexed. I was paralyzed and shaken. The meeting was called off. I then went off to my car and called my wife. I was crying. My words to her where, “did you see that? It fell”. She was crying on the other end of the phone and told me, “the other one fell too”. My entire being was overcome by fear, insecurity and doubt. My first expression was, “I can’t bring any more children to this world. This world is too sick, mean, and dangerous”. I was 1,601 miles from where it happened, but the effect of the moment felt very near. That day I had to talk to my clients since they would be directly affected by this. At the office, everyone was shocked and looking for any type of direction.

Later in the morning I went home and hugged my wife, my son and my daughter. Then I realized that as dumbfounded as I was, there were others that were unconsolable, lost and in total despair. Many horrific stories were surfacing hour after hour. So as time passed and I continued to digest what had happened, a still small voice resounded in my soul. It said, “Do not be afraid”. I Then remembered the words of Jesus when he said …But take heart, because I have overcome the world. He had foretold us that for this and any other trial and sorrow that we would confront, he had overcome it already. It was through Him, that we would be strong and we would find peace.

Maybe you are just like me, and will never be able comprehend completely why these events occurred, nor how deeply it has and will touch many for generations to come. Or on the contrary, you have been directly impacted by the events  on September 11, 2001 and you know the impact it has taken on your life and of those around you. In any case, one thing is certain, we will never forget the events of that day and those that lost their lives. But that day many lives were also brought to life, I remember what someone once said, “children are the way God says that this world must go on, there is hope in the future”.

The story has a myriad of angles, perspectives, opinions and emotions. So today as we honor those that where lost, and reflect on these events, many different things will come to heart again. But be comforted to know that you should not be fearful of the future and for those that you love, because He overcame this world, so we would have peace.

Take heart, do not be afraid.

“BREATHE expectantly, LIVE confidently and MOVE Boldly”

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© 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.

Finishing well

What will you story say at the end? Is your story worth saying? I make myself these questions everyday. Is it because of how I see myself in the story? Do I have an “ordinary” life and reading about all of the other extraordinary ones, creates an angst in my chest of, not being “there” or having “it” (whatever any of those mean). I think about the end, a lot. I think of how my actions today will impact the lasting memory of my likeness in the minds and hearts of those I love. Will my life reflect greatness? Will my actions exude my highest and most noble thinking? I hope so. In fact, I pray so. What will my story say to those that will remain? What is my story saying now? This really gets to me.

Recently I attended a mens group called Seven, that met for seven weeks at seven in the morning on Fridays. We explored the seven questions that rattle the minds of most men. Great conversations and even better community. The theme that really got to me was that of leaving a legacy; finishing well. How will I be remembered? How will my wife, my son and my daughter be impacted in the days, the months and the years to come? What will my grandchildren say about me? More importantly, what will God say about me?

I am a big fan of movies that depict true stories. I feel attracted to them when I can relate to many of those to whom it happened to. But if you are like me, what really stirs my heart are the endings. The underdog finishing on top, or the dejected changing his or her ways, or the stories of how the human resilience conquers the most difficult situations; epic endings. Maybe I feel attracted to them because I wonder if my story will be memorialized as those that have made it to film, not because of fame or fortune, but because of the inspiration it can bring to generations to come. Will my story inspire someone else to achieve the impossible? Will my life change the course of someone else’s story? Can I make a difference for the world to see? Will my story be epic? Have you made yourself these questions, or is it only me? For some of us, when we look at our present life we recognize that by our standards, we are not living an epic tale. And we question our existence, over and over again. I don’t know the answers to any of the questions I have made and are still making to myself. But I know they will be answered in due time.

So I have resolved that until those answers come, when I’m faced with impossibilities, I will continue to believe that all things are possible. When i feel discouraged, I will continue to inspire and be inspired. When I’m talked down and demeaned by others, I will continue to think like an eagle when everyone else around me is not. When handed the worst, I will continue to expect the best. When all seems at a lost and at a dead end, I will continue to trust that God has a plan for my life and for those I have been entrusted with. A bigger, greater, brighter, stronger and more wonderful plan than what I can possibly imagine. When faced with small minded people that want to water down my existence, I will continue to dream BIG because I serve an unmeasurable God. When wronged by someone I consider a friend, I will continue to believe in friendship, because it is the face of kindness in the world. When there is no clear path, I will continue to live my life based on the possibilities, because living by fact alone ignores any faith and greatness. If times are scarce, I will continue to give even when all is taken from me. If shunned by the world, I will continue to love. If I fall, I will brush off the dirt, clean my wounds and get up every time. When faced with injustice, I will continue to fight for those that cannot fight for themselves. If I’m left as forgotten, I will continue to remember those in need even when nobody else acknowledges me. And by doing all of this, I trust, I hope and I pray that I will be able to answer many of my questions and dilemmas. Maybe you should do the same.

I long for the day when I bow before the Almighty and lay my crown at his feet and say, “Lord, I made it. There were times when I thought I would fail, but I made it”. That day, that glorious day, I will know that I finished well.

“BREATHE expectantly, LIVE confidently and MOVE Boldly”

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© Copyright Danny Maldonado, 2012

A moment

What is a moment? It really depends on what you are talking about. I like the definition that is attributed to physics: Moment of force (often just moment) is the tendency of a force to twist or rotate an object. This is an important, basic concept in engineering and physics. A moment is valued mathematically as the product of the force and the moment arm. The moment arm is the perpendicular distance from the point of rotation, to the line of action of the force. The moment may be thought of as a measure of the tendency of the force to cause rotation about an imaginary axis through a point. In mechanical and civil engineering, “moment” and “torque” have different meanings, while in physics they are synonyms. So in other words, a moment is actually movement, thrust or change. A moment.

Have you ever felt that you have received something you knew you didn’t deserve? That feeling that tells you deep inside that you are the luckiest person in the world. It’s that moment when you realize that “a moment” has happened to you. A moment that will change the entire course of your life. And you know inside that it is a good one. I had one of those. A moment in which everything became clear in my mind. A moment that defied all of my understanding. It was that second, that instant in which I knew in my heart that I had an undeserved gift before me.

It was a Sunday. I thought it was going to be like any other Sunday. But that day, hope was met by a promise and a “moment” was birthed. It was surreal. Time stopped and everything around me blurred completely. I opened a door and there she was. And I whispered to myself. A “moment” overcame me. Little did I know that this Sunday, and this “moment” would change everything.

Sixteen years ago today, I married that girl. I still remember her blue dress, her smile and her beautiful voice. Today her smile still captivates me, and her voice is more beautiful than it has ever been. That “moment” started an adventure that continues to develop every day and creates new “moments”. That day I opened a door and today I continue to open doors for her, but today we walk through them together. Something amazing happened that day. I ask our Lord to give us many more years so we can walk together, cry together and dream together and have more “moments” together.

Don’t ignore the little “moments” because they can birth the greatest adventures in your life.

I love you baby. Happy anniversary!

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

A review

by DP

This has been a year of many changes. A year that has challenged many, myself included. I have also been privileged to see many of these transformations first hand; lives stretched, inspired and changed. And by having the unmerited opportunity to witness many of them, I experienced some transformation myself. I have had the incredible opportunity to inspire and challenge many talented individuals. Men and women that have empire mindsets within themselves and yet have to discover the depth and extent of them. I have seen the immeasurable works of God in their lives; for that I’m thankful.

Like my friend and his entire family that stepped up to the plate and filled the gap for children’s in need, changing the future for many. Or an unassuming individual that has elevated his life to one that inspires many with his example of humbleness and the amazing favor of God over him; an invisible leader. The couple that has dreamt of changing those that have nothing and lift their standard of living, transforming trash into treasure. And how can you measure witnessing a giant awakened and unleashed in a couple that is changing the way church is done and reaping innumerable changed lives? I have also seen the birth of many dreams and the impact of uplifting words in the life of countless individuals. What about the mother that stayed home to nurture and dedicate herself to her family and is transforming her talent into her calling; a life changing performance. And many countless more that could fill pages upon pages of real life -everyday individuals- inspiration. This reminds me about Psalm 8:5. “Yet you made them only a little lower than God and crowned them with glory and honor.”, in it the psalmist is referring to mankind. In the passage, the term God is referred as Elohim in the hebrew, which means the unalculated power of the trinity of God. These individuals have tapped, if just a tad, at what God has deposited in them; and from where I have been watching, the future looks is incredibly bright.

This has been a rare opportunity that I have been given. This has also been a rare year; in a good way. I have seen this transformation in my wife, my son and my daughter. For this and for more I thank all of you that had giving me the honor to be part of your lives. But be certain that the one that has been transformed and changed the most, has been me, and for that I praise God.

This is just the beginning. With every “Canlet” made, for every child sponsored, for every youngster awaken, for every leader inspired, for every horizon opened for others, for every soul saved, for every ornament made, and for many more things that escape my mind or my imagination, these individuals are making a dent in the universe, and so can you. It is not to late, it’s actually the right time for you to stand up for what you believe and act. Remember Paul’s words “So let’s not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up.”

These men and women have all been “Dreamspired, and for that I tip my hat to them, they are all amazing and so are you. God has deposited in your DNA, seeds of greatness and it is your duty to unleash them. So BREATHE expectantly, LIVE confidently and MOVE boldly. I finish by saying, the words in Philippians that are true for all of us: “And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns.”. See you at the top.

“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 DP, 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.

Un repaso

by DP

Este ha sido un año de muchos cambios. Un año que ha retado a muchos, y me incluyo. He tenido también el privilegio de ver muchas de esas transformaciones de primera mano; vidas retadas, inspiradas y cambiadas. Y al tener esa inmerecida oportunidad de ser testigo, he experimentado transformación también. He tenido la increíble oportunidad de inspirar y retar a muchos individuos talentosos. Hombres y mujeres que tienen mentalidades de imperio dentro de sí, y aun necesitan descubrir la profundas y la extensión de ellos. He visto las obras inmensurables de Dios en sus vidas; y por eso estoy agradecido.

Como mi amigo y su familia completa, que se alistó y llenó la brecha para niños en necesidad, cambiando el futuro de muchos. O el individuo sin pretensión que ha elevado su vida a ña que inspira a muchos con su ejemplo de humildad y del favor de Dios sobre el; un líder invisible. La pareja que soñó el cambiar la vida de aquellos que no tenían nada, elevando su estándar de vida, transformando basura en tesoros. ¿Como podría uno medirse ser testigo del despertar y el soltar de un gigante en una pareja que está cambiando la manera que se hace iglesia y a la vez cosechando innumerables vidas cambiadas? He visto además el nacimiento de muchos sueños y el impacto de palabras edificantes y alentadoras en la vida de muchos. Y que de la madre que decidió quedarse en casa para nutrir y dedicarse a su familia y transformar su talento en su llamado; un desempeño que cambia vidas. Y muchas incontables más que podrían llenar páginas y páginas de historias e inspiración de personas de la vida real y de todos los días. Esto me recuerda el Salmo 8:5. “Sin embargo, los hiciste un poco menor que Dios y los coronaste de gloria y honor.”, en el que el salmista se refiere a la humanidad. En el pasaje, la palabra de Dios se conoce como Elohim en el hebreo, que significa el poder incalculado de la trinidad de Dios. Estas personas han descubierto, apenas un poco, lo que Dios ha depositado en ellos, y de donde he estado observando, el futuro es increíblemente brillante.

Esta ha sido una oportunidad única que se me ha dado. Éste también ha sido un año raro, en el buen sentido. He visto esta transformación en mi esposa, mi hijo y mi hija. Por esto y por más tengo agradecer a todos los que me han dado el honor de ser parte de sus vidas. Sin embargo, pueden estar seguros de que el que se ha transformado y cambiado más, he sido yo, y por eso alabo a Dios.

Esto es sólo el principio. Con cada “Canlet” hecho, por cada niño apadrinado, para cada joven que despierta, por todos los líderes inspirados, por cada horizonte abierto por los demás, por cada alma salvada, por cada ornamento hecho, y por muchas más cosas que escapan mi mente o mi imaginación, estas personas están haciendo una hendidura en el universo, y también puedes hacerlo tú. No es demasiado tarde, en realidad es el momento oportuno para que puedas levantarte a favor de aquello en lo que crees y actúes. Recuerda las palabras de Pablo “Así que no nos cansemos de hacer el bien. A su debido tiempo, cosecharemos numerosas bendiciones si no nos damos por vencidos.”

Estos hombres y mujeres han sido “Sueñoinspirados“, y por eso me quito el el sombrero ante ellos; todos son increíbles y también lo eres tú. Dios ha depositado en tu ADN, las semillas de grandeza y es tu deber el liberarlas. Así que Respira con expectación, Vive con confianza y Muévete con valentía. Termino diciendo, las palabras de Filipenses, que son verdaderas para todos nosotros: “Y estoy seguro de que Dios, quien comenzó la buena obra en ustedes, la continuará hasta que quede completamente terminada el día que Cristo Jesús vuelva.” ¡Nos vemos en la cima!.

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

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© Copyright DP, 2011

Las citas bíblicas son tomadas de la Santa Biblia, Nueva Traducción Viviente, derechos de autor © 1996, 2004, 2007 por Tyndale House Foundation. Usado con permiso de Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. Todos los derechos reservados.