About this Blog

The purpose of this blog is to encourage your personal, daily walk with Jesus Christ, by seeing Him through the eyes of Mark Rodriguez. Updates will be made regularly so please subscribe. Most posts are taken from Mark's private journals or written by his mother unless otherwise noted.

Thursday, July 31, 2014

What am I holding back?


Jesus wants everything.  I cannot count the costs and say, "well...I'll just keep this one thing for my life."  NO! What am I holding back?

You shall love the Lord 
your God with all
your heart and with 
all your soul
and with all your mind

If I let go of everything for him, he'll naturally become my obsession.  

At the same time, he commands me to love others.  This is a ridiculous task..if I'm living a life of self.

I prayed that God would show me what he wants me to do today.  I think he wants me to avoid petty arguing and to look after those being unjustly treated.  I don't know how to treat the other guys when they pick on __________.  I need the Lord's wisdom for that.   

Mark and Ben's "Everything" by Lighthouse 

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

God's Smile

1-11-13 part 2

--I will behold your face.  When I live how you've shown me, when I act out of the love we have, you rejoice.  And I will feel your wonderful smile!  In the midst of darkness, of painful trials, I will be tempted to succumb to hopelessness, to bitterness.  But if I have even an inkling of faith towards you, I will feel your joy; I will feel you smiling over me.  That can sustain me through anything.  There is nothing greater than knowing you rejoice over me and you are proud of me.  The more I abandon myself to you, the more I will see your smile.  

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Winds of Testing


Psalm 11
--You are my refuge
--Because you are my solace, evil cannot touch my soul
--You, the all-powerful God, are my protector; therefore, I can be joyful forever

--You test me.  Trials will come that you will not simply take away.  But, "You know the way that I take; when you have tried me, I shall come out as gold." (Job 23:10) I need to be faithful.  Under testing, don't let me forget who you are and what you've done for me.  For if I endure, if I hold to you, I will emerge from the test as gold.  Refined, strong, sound in my understanding of You.  Oh come winds of testing, that I may fall more in love with God.  

Monday, July 28, 2014


May 6, 2014


I realized tonight when I'm deliberately silent and deliberately listening, I learn to love.  When someone's speaking and I care about them and their story and I'm not trying to come up with a joke or anecdote then I begin to love them.  Because then I value them above myself. 

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

The World is a Love Song


It adds so much color to life to be in love with God.  I've written before that our feelings about a gift completely change depending on who gave it to us.  It's the same with God.  The sun filtering through the trees outside my window right now is beautiful, yes, but to know that the Lord made that beauty out of love for me blows my mind.  

Suddenly, the world is a love song, and I realize that the Lord knows exactly how to blow my mind, what it takes.  And when I look around and see that beauty, I realize just how close God is :)

"You have captivated my heart with one glance of your eyes..." Song of Songs 4:9

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

The Best Life Possible

May 14, 2014

The fact that I can trust God with my life is such a beautiful thing.  On the beach last night, I was bummed...And then the faith hit, and I was reminded that God will use the points in my life to which my circumstances have brought me as tools to give me the best life possible.  And that's a wonderful thing. 

In him you also are 
being built together
into a dwelling place for God
by the Spirit

Eph. 2:22

Monday, July 21, 2014

Serious Faith


Sometimes, loving Jesus is easy.  The days are beautiful, people are getting along, I'm hearing a ton of good news.  But sometimes, loving Him takes some serious faith.  It becomes not a state of bliss, but a determined pursuit that's just as rewarding.  Sometimes it's a struggle, but He'll never deny me His love. 

Saturday, July 19, 2014




*  My relationship with God isn't supposed to be casual, but intimate
*  He is desperately in love with me and wants my love in return

*  He has been beaten, spit upon, and crucified without a word from me

*  He won't stop coming after me until I give him everything

*  I am an unfaithful lover, seeking pleasure rather than love

*  He loves me anyway

Friday, July 18, 2014

Drunk on Beauty



Thank you so much for the nice weather coming this week.  Though I know I can be content with whatever weather, the forecast is literally my favorite. Thank you.

You have seriously given me so much to be thankful for, God.  And it is such a glorious feeling to stop complaining and embrace those things.  It feels like, suddenly, I have no fears, no anxiety.  Just pure, undeserved joy.  That's how I wanna spend everyday, Lord.  Caught up in your beauty, drunk on it.  Then, I will shout from the rooftops that there is so much more to live for. 


Thursday, July 17, 2014

More than All the Cosmos


Dear God, 

You are so BIG.  Bigger than I could imagine, infinitely bigger, stronger, more powerful than I am.

You speak, and searing balls of gas trillions of times the size of Earth are formed.  you opened your mouth and light split the untouched darkness.  You spoke, and life was made.  But you didn't speak me into being.  No, No, No.  When man entered the world, you stretched out your hand and FORMED him.  You didn't watch the power of your words in man's case; no, you breathed life into man.

You love me more than I could ever understand.  You love me more than all the cosmos that dazzle me, than the music that entrances me, than the sunsets that floor me.  I don't understand it.  I really don't. But God, thank you.  Thank you that you love the brokenness humanity is.  

Thank you.  Thank you.  THANK YOU.


Tuesday, July 15, 2014

A Most Dangerous Prayer


There are things I really want to understand better.  One of those is your love for me.  Tied to that is how badly I've committed adultery against you.  I need to understand your sacrifice as well.

God, my greatest desire is to be close to you.  But Father, I can't come close if I'm selfish.  What am I still holding on to?  What haven't I fully surrendered to you?

I want you to break me. However messy it needs to be, please, just take away my selfishness.  You bring joy.  You bring peace.  I want to be close to you Father; I want my day to be filled with powerful communion with you.

You've done so much for me, and I take so much of it for granted.  But I don't want to anymore.

Monday, July 14, 2014

The Reason Behind the Sunset


I've somehow recently forgotten how incredible your love is, how much you desire intimacy with me...

I asked God for a passage that would break through to me.  I opened to Nehemiah 9.  

--Despite the Israelites' many betrayals you were "a God ready to forgive, gracious and merciful, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love, and did not forsake them."

I can give into sin and reject you, and you would still bless me and welcome me whenever I returned to you.  But I'M NOT OKAY WITH THAT LIFE.  I want everyday to be a day obsessed with you.  I want to recognize every blessing and the powerful love behind it.  

I want to really, really, love you.  God, open my eyes.  Let me see the reason behind the sunset that looks just amazing to me.  Nothing I do is worth it if it wasn't done in love with you. 

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Come Further In

April 24, 2014

Lord God, All I want is relationship with you.  THEN HAVE IT CHILD.  IT'S RIGHT HERE, TAKE IT!

This is important: Right after I wrote those two lines above, I opened my Bible randomly and landed on Psalm 145.  This verse was underlined:

The Lord is near to
all who call on him, to all who call 
on him in truth.

I call on the Lord.  He is near me.  He wouldn't hide; he wants so badly to be in a relationship with me.  But I need to seize it. 

I am in relationship with God.  I'm never out of it, I never was out of it.  But I think the entire time, he was right in front of me saying, "Come further in! Get to know me better! I want you too; I'm right here!"

Friday, July 11, 2014

What we found in Mark's planner...

The following quotes are little things written throughout Mark's planner on various days scribbled around his homework assignments...some serious, some funny.  Enjoy...and consider how we can write little thoughts about God everywhere!

"Mom owes me $15 bucks"

"Thank goodness they brought pigs so we have bacon" Mr. B

"I love how as I'm kinda running into this question of the importance of theology and doctrine, I'm entering into this class bout how theology isn't more important than love, but it's still important. God's moving :)"

"Mark, you're scared of losing me but I never have and I never will leave you." God

"Oh Jesus, keep me far from bitterness and jealousy and judging others.  Empty me of these selfish thoughts and spring up a well of love and joy within me."

"You think I don't know swag? How bout that scarf? She had swag with it."

"I am not okay with the grades I've been getting.  Not because I want good grades but because I know God has gifted me for school.  I need to be using the gifts he's given me to their fullest extent for his glory.  I'm working for the Lord, not men, and even if school isn't my favorite thing, it is an opportunity for me to GIVE HIM GLORY!"

And Finally...
"Life is beautiful.  Live it.  Be thankful and love people.  Stay away from pride and selfish ambition.  Seek God and keep your eyes open to how he's moving.  And pray continually, seeking his will and his guidance.  This is how life should be." 

Thursday, July 10, 2014

I want to be like Mark

From Mark's Mom:

Many of you have said you want what Mark had while he was here on earth.  You want an intimate relationship with God.  It is easy to think Mark was "special" or "different" but I am here to tell you that any of us can have the same intimacy with God that Mark had.    Mark was surrendered.  He worked hard to be near God, and God loved that!  Here are some of the patterns we saw in Mark's daily life: 

1.  Show up.  Every day, no matter what you have on your schedule, no matter how you feel.  Set aside time with God and bring His letter to you (the Bible) and your journal.  It doesn't have to be a super long time, but just some private time.  This isn't legalism, this is a discipline.  Mark had some private places he would always go to meet with God.  He used our treehouse or even his closet.   He asked God to give him that special relationship. 

2.  Worship and Praise.  This may seem awkward at first, but do it anyway.  It doesn't have to be in song, but use the gifts God gave you.  Draw something, say something, write something, dance something, think something....Enjoy how Awesome God is to you.  Often Mark started with a Psalm and this prompted his own ideas of praise. 

3.  Acknowledge, in light of God's holiness (you have just praised Him, so this will be more obvious) how you fall short. This time can feel like a nice shower after a hot sweaty day.  What a relief to tell God you are messy, can't handle your life and need Him to clean you up and set you right. 

4.  Live Loved. Have fun with God!  Mark was a goofball and didn't take himself seriously.  Fully enjoy the fact that He loves you.  Receive His Grace.  You are forgiven, a child of His, His treasure.  Meditate on this.  Mark was ridiculously focused on the fact that God delighted in him, rejoiced over him and wanted an intimate relationship with him.  Mark felt special to God because he believed, despite his sin, God had invited him to be in a relationship with him. 

5.  Seek Beauty.  Expect God to love you through His Creation and His people.  Expect God to show you He loves you throughout the day.  Watch and see.  Pay attention.  You will be amazed at how He has been shouting out His love to you.

6.  Encourage Others.  Almost every day, Mark would ask God to help him love like Jesus.  He would often ask God to specifically place someone in his path for him to encourage.  I am quite certain often that blessed person was you and me.  I felt so loved by Mark.  He believed that the way to deepen his love for God, was to love others.  So ask.  Ask God who needs some encouragement today and see who He brings into your life. 

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Grateful and Stoked


Keep me aware, Jesus, of your glory around me.  I know it's there, but knock on my head and remind me of just how good and awesome you are. 

Philippians 4:6-7 Don't be anxious, but present to God your requests with prayer and thankfulness.  Then, he will fill you with this incredible peace.

I've loved experiencing this lately.  No stress, just trusting and faith. 

I want to be aware and acknowledge how sinful and dirty I am.  But I don't want that to be something that makes me depressed and turns me from God.  I want that knowledge to make me more and more grateful and stoked on God's mercy and grace.  I am so undeserving, but he passionately loves and pursues me. 

Tuesday, July 8, 2014



God, I want to know you better!  I want to fall more and more in love with you.

So whether we are at
home or away (heaven, earth)
we make it our aim to 
please him
2 Cor 5:9

I love reading the last chapter of Revelation.  Jesus is coming in all his glory, and His Spirit within me cries out for that. 

God, let me know your glory and love more.  Amaze me, fill me with awe, so I may fall more in love with you.

I will know Him and love Him more, the more I love others.

Monday, July 7, 2014

What do you want to be known for?

8-10-13 (in Nicaragua)

I don't want to love because I want to love.  I want to love because the Spirit within me causes me to abound in love for God and others.

Just read Matthew's account of Jesus' death and resurrection. 

Matt 28:20 "And, behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age."

John 13:35 "By this all people will know you are my disciples if you have love for one another."

I don't want to be known as spiritual, or religious, or someone with awesome prayers.  I want to be known as someone who loves. 

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Start Doing


Dear Lord, 

Open my eyes.  Give me an understanding of your grace, your love, your sacrifice.  Remind me of the many blessings around me that I don't deserve.  

I long to be filled with such joy that I proclaim your glory from the rooftops.  To be so amazed by your glory and creation that I run from door to door, begging people to open their eyes so that they can too share in the joy that drives me crazy.  I want to go crazy for you, Lord.  I want to take risks and chances that others may see as wildly absurd.  I want to DO things, to stop planning and analyzing and worrying and start doing.  Too often I convince myself out of doing something because it might not work out.  It's time to start doing those things because even if they don't work out I'll fall back into your arms with no harm done. 

Drive me, control me, amaze me.


James 2:14a, 17 "What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works?...So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead."

Friday, July 4, 2014

Come with Me



I thank you for this beautiful world you've created.  Today I wanna go out and take some pictures, explore, adventure.  I love that you've created such a world for that, with mysteries and surprises and wonders around every corner.

I pray that you would surprise me today.  Blow my mind, make me laugh.  I pray that it wouldn't just be an adventure on my own, but that you'd come with me.  Show me your world, your creation, your majesty.  Soften my heart to embrace every beautiful thing out there. 

Thank you, 

Psalm 27:4 "One thing have I asked of the LORD, that will I seek after: that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the LORD and to inquire in his temple."

From Mark's mom:  Because Mark died on a Friday I was beginning to dread them.  But, in light of Mark's pursuit of beauty I am resolved to make Fridays a day I seek God's beauty in honor of Mark's life, which was lived seeking the Beauty of the Lord.  Will you join me? 

Thursday, July 3, 2014

You are Invited to the Secret Place

May 26, 2014 (4 days before Mark went to Heaven)

There are a couple of things I need to get straight if I'm gonna draw closer to God this Summer.  First off, it is worthless if my prayer times are when I come and talk about how I'm gonna seek Jesus, but then kinda forget about what I read as soon as it's done.  I'm going to stop during the day to pray and dwell in the Lord's smile...

...If I let myself fall into being selfish, I am defying God's beautiful love and pushing him away.  I pray that Jesus would cultivate such a heart for loving others in me that I wouldn't even start to take that step. 

The last thing has to do with love.  Love must be a priority; it is my weapon and my war.  I want to love and respect my parents, I want to love my siblings.  I want to show love to every single person I run into and I want to understand how much God loves them.

I want to fade away.  My selfish desires have to go.  My hunger for recognition, compliments and being the center of attention is meaningless.

Let this be the summer of the Secret Place, where I create things for you God, you and you alone.  Where I truly listen and you tell me beautiful things.  Where you become more and more my passion, and I become more and more your bride.  

I am excited for this.

Psalm 17:15 "And me? I plan on looking you full in the face.  When I get up, I'll see your full stature and live heaven on earth." (MSG)

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Live this Life Today


Everyday that I wake up, there is a choice before me.  I can go through my day being tossed between sadness and happiness due to circumstances and events, OR I can except your invitation to live with uncircumstantial, undeserved Joy.  Everyday I wake up, there are THOUSANDS of blessings prepared for me.  I'm realizing that I accept very few of them.  I long for a life of joy that seems illogical to this circumstantial world.  To live and to laugh and to enjoy everyday to the fullest.  This is not something that requires a long process.  I can start living this life today.  Help me to remember I can be content in any and every situation.

I love you Lord

Philippians 4:11b, 13 (ESV)
"I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content...I can do all things through him who strengthens me"