Wednesday, 30 September 2015

One Moment at a Time

Life always feels like it's either too fast or too slow....
You either find yourself stumbling over your steps, or yawning because of slow paced days.
When it's slow, we want fast. When it's fast, we want slow.

But really, time is always the same, and how it moves on actually depends on what we are doing with it, and how we're doing it.

"He has made EVERYTHING beautiful 
in it's time."
Ecclesiastes 3:11

As human beings we get wrapped up in the present, and well...when you think about it, even our dreams for the future are the present! Have you noticed how our plans and dreams change when time goes on? That is because only God knows and dwells in the future, we have absolutely no control of it, yet we can rest knowing that HE has already made it beautiful. 

Maybe we could start by realizing that each breath is a gift, and each second an opportunity to enjoy every minute...for once it passes it will be gone forever.

"Yesterday is the past, tomorrow is the future, and today is a gift."


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Trips to the mountains are always memorable, but this one was extra special.

The amazing "wolf-shaped" Peyto Lake, 
nestled between innumerable peaks and immense forests.

Little house in the big woods!

Getting ready for a spectacular ride above the Rockies.
(watch the video here!)

Stunning views....

Back on the prairies....back on the saddle.

As many of you know, tomorrow I will be on my way to Guatemala along with an amazing team of 12 people to begin my work at the Arms of Jesus Children's Mission, if you haven't read the backstory of this trip, you can do it here.

I am excited to see what God will accomplish during this new adventure, and I am thrilled to be able to share my favorite moments with you! I will not post on this blog during the trip, instead I will be posting updates on The Journey frequently, so if you are interested, head over there and fasten your seatbelt, we're going on an incredible ride together!

I also want to take a moment to thank all my sponsors and supporters, thank you for your generous hearts, your ineffable support in prayer, and your encouraging messages, I could have never done it without all of you! THANK YOU.

So with this I bid farewell to this beautiful country I call home...

Sometimes life takes a different direction and we don't feel ready to take a big leap into the uncertain future, but as my terrified feelings are swirling inside me, my heart is at peace knowing that God calls us time and time again to step out of our comfort zone, and that forces us to let Him have full control of our lives, which He can do so much better than us!

"Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen."
Ephesians 3:20-21

Ready? Let's go.

Saturday, 22 August 2015

Are We Walking on the Edge?

Summer time is almost coming to an end, but the memories that I've made with the people I love has made this Summer unforgettable. One of my favorite things about Summer is being able to hike in the mountains and enjoy the amazing outdoors, it's pretty remarkable how God continually blows me away by the lessons that He teaches me through nature.

One occasion that comes to my mind happened during a hike that my brother, sister in law, and I did last month. 
To get to the beginning of this trail, a boat needs to take you across a fairly big lake. As soon as the boat drops you off, you eagerly begin your way through the trail.

You soon begin to go through a variety of scenery, including a pretty wet and (rather dull) gloomy forest.

After what seems like forever, you finally reach the tree line, and you suddenly come face to face with the immensity of the Rocky Mountains, and you begin to doubt if your already-weary-legs will make it to the top.

Then you begin to make the ascend through rocky and slippery terrain, until you are faced with a cliff drop on one side and a sheer rock face on your other side, with a steel cable bolted into the rock as the only object available to hold on to dear life.

As we continued to make our way through the narrow path, my thoughts trailed off as I considered how our spiritual journey is much the same.

God takes us through necessary dark and gloomy "forests", where we can't even see what is ahead or what we're aiming for. It's a tough part in the trail, and definitely not my favorite, but it is crucial if we want to reach the top.

The most wonderful thing about this part of the journey is that as we come out of the dense forest we come to admire the sweeping landscape that unexpectedly appears before our eyes with deeper appreciation.

To make it to the top we simply need to climb, there's no way around it. The climb will be difficult and even dangerous, you will pass others who seem to have given up and linger behind or even go back. But you keep going, even if your legs are burning in pain and your heart is ready to give in.

You suddenly come to the place where your trust in God is tested, the last part of the climb, where one wrong move and a minor distraction can cost you your life.

We live in a world where the pressure of distractions are all around us. Maybe we are going through that narrow path where steep cliffs surround us, and the only way to make it through it is by paying close attention to each step, and moving carefully forward.

But temptations will come, they're part of the journey. Just as having to hike on the edge is a required portion during a hike. But what we need to be aware of is the risk that is involved at this time, and that not taking God's warnings seriously can be life threatening:

"Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour."
1 Peter 5:8

So while many will give up, others will doubt, and most will get discouraged....that we may be part of the ones that reach that worthy destination: a crystal-clear lake on top of the mountain where your strength is restored and your faith elevated into the greatness of God's reward to those that endure unto the end! 

But the one who endures to the end will be saved.

Matthew 24:3


My hiking buddies!

The "ordinary" country life continues.... :P

Meeting this adorable new calf!

Friday, 24 July 2015

Together We Can Make a Difference!

It all began last Fall as I was working one day in the comfort of my home. My eyes were on the computer screen but my thoughts were very far away. "If I am doing what I love and enjoy, then why do I feel so empty inside?" was the question going around in my head. I tried to brush the thought aside, but as the days went by, the more I felt a strong burden growing inside of me, making me feel like my life had no true meaning, and no other purpose than only benefiting myself. 
While seeking the Lord about it, I came across the verse that says: "Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God's grace in its various forms." (1 Peter 4:10)
I was speechless. That was it! God had been putting in my heart that I needed to stop living only for myself, and start returning Him the gifts that He has given me by serving others.
I began to look for a way that I could do this. I really had no idea what the Lord wanted me to do next. But I prayed, and searched, and prayed some more! And it wasn't until March 29th 2015, that He sent the organization Arms of Jesus into my life. 
I still remember very well the words of Pastor Sam Martin, founder of AOJ, as he spoke the words:
"If any of you feels like God is calling you to surrender your all to Him, lift your hand, and I will pray for you."
Even though he was all the way in Guatemala, and I was only watching the live streaming of his sermon, I lifted my hand along with the others, and in that moment my life seemed to take a whole different direction.

As we sang this song at the end, I knew what I had to do next:

"I'm building an altar for You oh God, to lay my life upon it.
I'm building an altar for You oh God, to sacrifice my all.
I give my whole heart to You oh God, 

and choose to embrace Your will for me,
I give You my life for Your glory, take it now I pray."

The Arms of Jesus Children's Mission ( is an organization based in Ontario, Canada. And it's purpose is to provide food for the hungry, water for the thirsty, homes for the homeless, healing for the sick, as well as send teams from North America to participate in medical work, construction, relief, development and evangelism in different parts of the world, including: Guatemala. Where I am from.
God has called me to return to my country and serve Him there. I am not sure exactly all that lies ahead for me, but one thing I know for sure: "For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you might follow in His steps." (1 Peter 2:21)

I will be joining a team that leaves from Calgary, Alberta on October 1st, 2015 and will be working at the mission in Antigua Guatemala as a translator and part of of the missionary team until October 11th. 
My hope is also to document the lives of the children while I'm there, with the desire of helping people realize just how blessed we are here, and how so many people in the world are in need our help. I will create a video and photo-book to share with you when I come back to Canada on November 7th, 2015.

I am asking for your support on this immense new chapter in my life. I simply cannot accomplish it on my own.
Most importantly, I'd like to ask for your support in prayer. Please be praying that God would start preparing me and my team to serve Him wholeheartedly there, and that we may be able to make a difference, not only by helping with the children's physical needs, but by sharing God's love with them, and leading them to the arms of Jesus!

If you also feel led to give financially, you can do so online, on my website, or by mail. Any amount would be greatly appreciated! This will help to cover the 11 days that I'll be at the mission. And if there are any funds that I don't end up needing during this first trip, it will go to help the Arms of Jesus Children's Mission.

Online Fundraiser: 
or Mail cheques to:
Box 808
Milk River, Alberta
T0K 1M0

Thank you so much for reading, and for playing a role in this story. I so appreciate you!

Together we will make a difference!
Laura Maldonado

Friday, 17 July 2015

A Voice in the Wilderness

Have you ever wondered why God decided to place you in this time in history? 

As I think back on all the different time periods, significant men and women come to my mind who made an impact during their lifetime. And I can't help but wonder, could I ever become a person that will be remembered as someone who impacted the 21st century?

My answer for that is yes. YES! because I believe that every Christian's goal should be to make an impact during the time that we are given on earth. 

I never like to read the news, it literally makes my stomach sick every time that I do. But last week I decided that it would be a good idea to educate myself a little bit on what's going on in the world. Well, I wasn't too surprised when I noticed that page after page was filled with bad news, and the more I read, the more it hurt to see the condition that this world is in....And as I read I thought: "If it hurts me to read this, how much more must it hurt you Lord?" I couldn't continue. I shut it off and angrily thought to myself "If I was God, I would've destroyed us already!!" but then an answer seemed to reach my heart saying "For the Lord your God is a merciful God; he will not abandon or destroy you or forget the covenant with your ancestors, which he confirmed to them by oath." (Deuteronomy 4:31) 

That is when I began to reflect on the amazing love that God has for the human race. Just to think that He came to suffer and die knowing that we would one day turn away from Him and constantly reject Him, makes me infinitely grateful. Yet His heart is grieved, and ours should be too.

Just because He is a merciful God, and hasn't wiped us off the face of the earth, doesn't mean that He isn't a righteous Judge, and that one day we will wake up and realize that His judgement has come and that it's too late for us to listen to the warnings that He lovingly sent our way time after time.

"For as were the days of Noah, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. For as in those days before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day when Noah entered the ark, and they were unaware until the flood came and swept them all away, 
so will be the coming of the Son of Man."
Matthew 24:37-39 

The answer to the question I had been asking myself, what can I do to make an impact on earth? seemed to come while I reflected on all of this.

There is definitely something you and I can do to impact the world during our lives. We can pray for the condition of the human race, we can pray for each other as we battle against the pressures of the world day by day, we can rise up and be voices in the wilderness crying "Make straight the way for the Lord"!

There are people all around us who need to hear about His love for us, who desperately need our prayers for their hearts to surrender to their Creator. Oh yes, we can make an impact in this world!

Weekly Reminder:

"When I say to a wicked person, 'You will surely die,' and you do not warn them or speak out to dissuade them from their evil ways in order to save their life, that wicked person will die for their sin, and I will hold you accountable for their blood."
Ezekiel 3:18

So that is something that has been on my heart for a while, and I wanted to share it with you.
As always, thank you for reading, and for your messages of encouragement to continue sharing a bit of my life on this blog.

Visiting the Remington Carriage Museum with friends.

Horse shoe tournament for Father's Day.

"Oh hello there!"

Canada Day fireworks!

Spending some time with friends in Montana!

I did very little editing to this picture I took the other night, the color of the moon was incredible!

Have a great week!