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.

Friday, August 29, 2014

A Hungry Life

7-18-13 (on plane from Atlanta to Managua, Nicaragua)

"Happy am I to live a hungry life, blessed am I to thirst."

I pray for constant hunger, to never be satisfied with how much I know you, but to always want to know and love you more.  

The "full" don't feel like they need you so they don't seek You (mediocre, predictable, lonely life)

Blessed are the hungry, for they are constantly being filled, constantly going deeper in you.

"Hunger is an escort to the deeper things of you." 

Note: the first quote is from the song "Lovesick" and the second is from "Soul Cry" by Misty Edwards

Thursday, August 28, 2014



Lead me in your truth and
teach me, 
for you are the God 
of my
for you I wait all
the day long.
Psalm 25:5


I'm praying that any selfishness in my life would be made known to me.  Any bitterness, jealousy, pride, the things God pointed out to me in Nicaragua, need to go.

Yesterday, I asked God to give me someone I could serve.  And bam, _________ was discouraged and I was able to thank them and encourage them for their influence in my life.  

God listens and moves; He loves me. 

Wednesday, August 27, 2014


5-2-12 (Part 2)

Lord, eclipse my dark with your light.  I can't believe how much I downsize you.  You are so much more than I could ever imagine.  Open my eyes to the murk on my lantern that blocks people from seeing the fire.  Without fire, a lantern is useless.  It exists for one sole purpose, to proclaim light.  To display the fire within for all to see.  

Shine through me. 
         Burn past me.
              Eclipse me. 
                  Silence me so your voice may ring.

You mustn't just become greater. I mustn't just become less.  You must become EVERYTHING.  I must proclaim that EVERYTHING to EVERYONE. 

Or my time here is 




Tuesday, August 26, 2014


5-2-12 (Part 1)

I can't wait for the day I see You.  This world is so chaotic, so broken, so sinful.  Things are not the way you built them to be, and that is our fault.  Sometimes, when I see a baby, I think to myself, "This poor kid is going to grow up someday.  He is going to face pain, and sin will fight to make him succumb." I just wish that kid could be home, right now, with you.  I wish it could all be over, that we could be up in Heaven happily ever after.  That things could be how they were meant to be before we humans messed it up.  

But the time isn't up.  The story isn't finished yet.  There are millions out there walking in darkness; not all of them will come into the light.  

I just wish all this sorrow, all this sin, could be over with, You know?  That I could go home.  

But at the same time, I know there's things I want here.  I want to grow up, get married, raise a family, start a job...and so much more.  Also, I know I have a purpose here.  This black world needs firelight, and in order for it to be carried, light needs a lantern.  I am a lantern. 

I am your megaphone.  I'm just the words, but you're the sound.  I want people to see through the glass walls of my lantern and be awed by your fire.  I want your fire to eclipse me so completely that you're all they see.  I am worthless if I fight that, because that is my purpose;  To glorify you; to proclaim you. 

Monday, August 25, 2014

The Light within Me



You are the light of the world.  The light that will never flicker, dim, or go out.  The Light within; the Light within me.

Like lost ships the people of this world wander.  Seeking shelter, seeking home, seeking safety.

You are the lighthouse.  You guide our paths, you lead us to safety.  Father give your light to my mouth as it sings of hope, of you.  Give your light to my hands, so that they can play for you.  

I long to sing to You a new song; to play skillfully, to shout for joy.  I long to show people your grace, your love through music.  Please, Father, make me into the best singer/guitarist I can be, so that I can serve you through song.  This is what I long for.  This is my dream.

I love you, 


Note: Mark loved music, but this entry makes me want to fill in the blank...
"Please, Father, make me into the best _________________, I can be, so that I can serve you through ____________" and "I long to show people your grace, your love through __________."
What are the gifts you and I have been given? What are our passions that God has created in us and will use in us to shine His light?

Friday, August 22, 2014



Psalm 66:20

"Praise be to God, who has not rejected my prayer or withheld his love from me!"

Lord, When I cry out to you, you listen.  Even if sometimes it seems as though I'm just saying words, you ARE there and you DO hear what I say.  Thank you, Lord, that I can count on that.

Lord, you are incredible.  Nature proclaims your name to all the world, though many shut their ears.  You've created such beautiful, complex things, some of which man will never understand.  There's always something more to learn or discover. 

Thursday, August 21, 2014

I'm Untouchable


"To Live is Christ, and to Die is Gain"
Philippians 1:21

I love this verse so much, Lord.  It makes me feel invincible, untouchable.  If I'm alive, then I can serve and glorify Jesus, if I'm dead, I'm with Him.  My enemies can't take that from me.  Satan can't take that from me.  No matter what, I will live forever, and I can have joy and peace every moment of that eternity.  Now I know I'll block that joy and peace from myself sometimes, most likely in times of trouble.  Which is kind of backwards, honestly.  In a time of pain, why wouldn't I want joy and peace?

Anyways, Lord, I thank you that I have that assurance.  That I'm untouchable, that I'm yours.  I am your child.  That's part of my identity as a new creation now.  Give me the strength to remember that, to cling to it.  No matter what troubles come, I am a child of God, and I will live forever.

Thank you, 


Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Someone is Chasing You

4-29-14 continued

You have turned for me my mourning into
you have loosed my sackcloth
and clothed me with gladness,
that my glory may sing your praise
and not be silent, 
O Lord my God, 
I will give thanks to you 
Psalm 30:11-12

I want to see blessings for what they are.

What kind of love would drive a perfect God to die for a sinner? Something radical...

When I run away, you do a whole lot more than just wait for me to come back.  You RUN after me.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

The Voice of Love

Psalm 29
The voice of the Lord...
Is over the Waters...
Is Powerful...
Is full of Majesty...
Flashes forth flames of fire...
Makes the deer give birth...
Strips the forests bare...
I love your Voice.
When you speak to me clearly, either through people or creation, my heart leaps.  There's something I sometimes forget, though.  You are always being presented to me.  All Creation shouts in praise of your glory.  When it does, if I'm paying attention, I won't be able to help but to join in the song.  And I should not forget that that Beauty I love, be it in creation or a friendship or a song, is a gift and an "I love you!" from you.  I may not always be running giddy all over the place, but I want to live my life through the perspective that someone so much more powerful than I loved me to the point of death.  That's worth more than I know.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Sin Sneaks Up


Dear God, 

Today I heard that I must throw off any sin that hinders my walk with you.  However, I still gave in to temptations today.  I still sinned.

God, sin is a tricky thing.  It sneaks up on you, making you unsure of when to flee.  

Lord, I pray that when the very beginning of temptation enters my head, I would flee.  Give me strength to push the thought away, and if it pursues, give me the strength to flee.  When I am tempted, remind me why that sin is wrong.  Remind me why I don't want to do that sin.

Lord, I am not bound by sin.  I have been crucified with Christ; sin's chains have been cast off.  Help me, Father.  Please pull me away from returning to those chains.  

I will not, must not, put those chains back on.  Take control, Father.  Please stop the temptations that keep chasing me by screaming why they are bad.


Thursday, August 14, 2014

Unsafe Life


I live such a safe life and I'm thankful for that, Father, but I pray that you'd put me in risky situations in which I can glorify you, through which I can "leaven the whole lump [of dough] through my life lived in the midst of adversity."  I want to be able to show your glory to the hopeless, to the distraught, to the mourning.  Only you can save, only you can satisfy. 

But God showed His love for us
in that while we were still sinners, 
Christ died for us.
Romans 5:8

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

I am Going to Live Forever


Your Love never Fails
Never Gives Up
Never Gives up on Me

And on and on and on it goes...

Thank you, thank you, thank you, Jesus.  You are limitless, boundless, endless.  You paint the skies with love day and night.  I swear I deserve none of it.  But you surround me constantly with wonder, with newness, with sights and sounds that I've never known.  Smile after smile escapes from my lips at the blessings in front of me.  And Lord, these blessings are far from temporary.  I'm going to live forever.  With you.  No person, no thing, can take that from me.  To live is Christ and to die is gain.  I have learned how to be content in any and every situation.  You are with me in all I do, I need not be afraid.  Write that on my heart Lord, let me never forget it. 


Note: The song Mark quoted at the beginning is written by Chris Quilala of Jesus Culture, I think.  The verses he references are from Philippians 1:21, and Philippians 4:11

Monday, August 11, 2014


Search me, O God, and know my heart! 
Try me and know my thoughts!  
And see if there be any grievous way in me, 
and lead me in the way everlasting. Psalm 139: 23-24

Let me know the things that I am holding too tightly to. 

Love rejoices with the truth.

What a life it is to be in love with you!  What most would see as little things give me fantastic joy and peace.  When you recognize who a gift is from, it changes how you think about it.  And knowing what God went through to give me these gifts....Man!

By day the Lord commands his steadfast love,
 and at night his song is with me, 
a prayer to the God of my life.  
Psalm 42:8

Sunday, August 10, 2014

The Cords of Death


I love you Lord; you heard my voice and my cry for mercy.  You turned your ear to me; I will call on you as long as I live.  When I was entangled in the cords of death, when I was overwhelmed by the anguish of the grave, You saved me.  Not because I was good enough, not because I went to church, not because I prayed before eating.  No, you rescued me because of your mercy, because of your compassion.  Because of your love that transcends all understanding.  I love you, Father.  


Thursday, August 7, 2014

I have captured His heart


I need not stem the flow of rejoicing that springs from being God's beloved.  Yes, there is a war he wants me to fight, but first and foremost I am to bask in and enjoy his presence, love and blessings.  This is a love relationship, not a commander-soldier relationship. 

He has redeemed my soul from going
down into the pit, 
and my life shall look upon the 
Job 33:28

I love this image in Job 33 of the "light of life."  I think that that light's the joy and fire of living with God.  To be passionately in relationship with him is the greatest thing.  The one who causes the sun to rise beautifully and the moon to glow subtly; I have captured his heart with a glance. 

He is my love, my joy, my peace :)

Wednesday, August 6, 2014



Behold, the eye of the Lord is 
on those who fear him, 
on those who hope in his steadfast
that he may deliver their soul
from death and 
keep them alive in famine.
Psalm 33: 18-19

I've been thinking a lot lately.  I feel like a lot of the time recently I've thought I was pursuing God, but really I was pursuing joy.  But I can't have joy without God.  I want to get to know him better.  I want to understand his traits more; his jealousy, his compassion.  Most of all, I want to understand the lengths he went through out of love for me.  

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Amazing Communion


Lord, it's such a crazy thought that my prayers are "powerful and effective." That statement just blows my mind, even if I don't fully get it yet.  What I do get, however, is this: because of my prayers, something happens.  My prayers do something.  They have impact.   That's such a crazy concept, Father, and I pray that I would come to understand it more.  

It's also crazy just to think that I can pray.   That I can commune with you.  Before you took our sins upon you, communion with you was blocked by a veil.  When you died that veil literally tore apart.  A personal relationship with the God of the Universe became possible for even the lowliest person.  That's incredible, and like the other idea I mentioned, I don't completely get it.  I don't think I'll ever be able to grasp it while I'm on Earth.  What I do understand of it blows my mind; it seems impossible that I, a sinner, could have an intimate relationship with the Lord, with the Ruler, with the Master of the Universe.  And that you want that relationship with me, well...it's amazing.

Monday, August 4, 2014

More Musings from Mark's Planner

The following are random notes and scribbles from different days in Mark's school planner.  

I owe Carley $4

Why am I not helping the poor? If I truly love Jesus and want to live like him, why am I not helping and sharing the gospel with them?

Abba, I belong to you.  If I feel far from you, it is not your fault.  I am the one who allows shifting circumstances to change how I feel.  Your love flows eternal, you're in pursuit of me.  I belong to you; fill me, jealous Father. 

Ronald Reagan "Tear Down This Wall"

I should never try to create or force the fear or inspiration of God.  Those are surprises and gifts from God. 

"Jesus promised his disciples three things--that they would be completely fearless, absurdly happy, and in constant trouble."  G.K. Chesterton

Friday, August 1, 2014

Where is God?


Where is God in the wind?
Where is God in the earthquake?
Where is God in the fire?

These are not questions of doubt, but questions of faith.  I must have faith that he is always there, in every situation I go through.  In all the metaphorical winds, earthquakes, and fires.  All I have to do is search, and he will reveal himself to me.