Hong Kong Trip Photos

Hello everyone!

During my recent absence, my mom and I spent a month in Hong Kong!  So before we get into the regular articles, I wanted to share some photos of the trip with y’all. Enjoy!

HK park

Hong Kong Park

HK Times Square

HK Times Square

street market

A street market.

HK park

View of the city from HK park.

Stanley Beach

Stanley Beach

HK at night

View at night from the tram.

HK harbor

HK harbor, taken from the Star Ferry.

HK skyline

HK skyline

God bless!

-christrocks

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Beautiful Creations

Brace yourself; I think of strange analogies sometimes!

I recently got my hair cut. I didn’t want to at first (I loved having long hair), but having a new haircut is always thrilling–for me at least–and I got caught up in the excitement.

Today, for fun, I Googled new hairstyles I could try. My French braid turned out rather horribly, so I improvised and ended up with this:

Pardon the odd angle, taking a photo of the back of my head with a tablet was not easy!

Pardon the odd angle, taking a photo of the back of my head with a tablet was not easy!

You may think me silly, especially those of you more experienced with this sort of thing, but I was so excited! There’s something about creating anything with your own two hands and having it turn out right! I mean, it’s not perfect, but I love it!

Here’s where the analogy comes in. As I was thinking about all of this, something occurred to me. I’m a creation too.

I think we can all recognize that feeling of pride, of accomplishment when we create something. It’s the work of our hands; it’s a joy! But have we ever stopped to attribute those feelings to God? To think that He also feels that way when He looks at us?

We are His creation. We live in a beautiful world, though fallen, in which every detail was carefully crafted by Him. He lovingly designed every part of us, from our cells to our soul.

Have we sinned? Yes. Do we fall short of His glory? Yes. But thank the Lord, He loved us, His creation, enough to die for us. To save us from our sins, to pay the price for our transgressions! And because of that, we, His beloved creation, have the opportunity to come into His presence, to fall into the loving embrace of our maker.

And yes, all of this came from a braid. He works in mysterious ways! But I would like to leave you with this: Whoever you are, whatever you’ve done, God loves you. He knew you before you were born. If He didn’t care about you, He could have let you continue on the path we had all chosen, the path we chose in Eden. But He didn’t. God gave His Son that you, His beloved and beautiful creation, may have life everlasting.

Never forget that.

Five Years of Blogging

Five incredible years. Here and gone, so quickly.

keyboardWhen I first started blogging, I wasn’t thinking much about the future. I was feeling inspired, I’d written a handful of articles, and I wanted to share them. Just like that, my first blog was born.

Last year, I was definitely thinking about the future! My view count grew steadily each year, and I had high hopes for 2015. Little did I know what was to come.

I am ashamed to say that I have published an underwhelming seven articles so far this year. I know that no one’s keeping track, but this blog is very important to me. To think that I have let something so important to me get so little of time is unpleasant, to say the least.

This year has been a weird one for me. I may not have put much work into the blog, but I know that God has been working in my life. It hasn’t been easy, but it’s been worth it.

So, in the past year, I’ve written quite a few articles on how I was sorry I hadn’t been writing and I would pick it back up. Well, I was certainly sorry, but apparently I never followed through on getting back to writing. I hope this year is different. This blog is a blessing, and you, my dear reader, are a blessing, one I’m not willing to neglect any longer.

So… until next time!

-christrocks

Through Tears

tears

This weekend was beautiful. The weather was perfect (which is subjective, of course, but I’ll stand by my claim). Sunday was the type of day that makes me want to sit outside in the sun, breathe in the fresh air, and just enjoy life.

Today was less perfect. It was a little too cool for my taste, the kind of weather that makes me unsure whether I should go outside in a t-shirt and shorts or just hide inside all day wearing warm pajamas and a robe.

According to the weather people, come Thursday (happy Thanksgiving!), we’ll be “enjoying” a low in the thirties. Ugh. And that’s pretty much the fall/winter weather where I live. Just as I start to get used to a certain range of temperature, it will drop or go up thirty degrees from one day to the next.

I feel like my life’s been like that lately. I’ll enjoy a short period during which everything seems to be going well. Life is good, until the cold front blows in, and to be honest, I haven’t been handling the cold very well.

Monday night, for instance, I was feeling rather depressed. It wasn’t anything important. In fact, I imagine that if I were to share the details of what I was struggling through with a friend, they would have gladly, if possible, traded their problems for my “problem”. Putting all that aside, I was depressed and, I’m ashamed to say, crying a good deal.

water dropI was sitting in my bathroom, feeling miserable and crying intermittently. When I was crying, all I wanted to do was stop. When I wasn’t crying, I had no idea what to do.

As I sat there, I thought of God, watching me and perhaps rather amused by how easily I cried over such little things. The more I thought about it, however, the more I realized that God doesn’t find my pain funny, no matter how insignificant the cause of it may have been. When we see someone we love in pain, is there any good reason for us to mock them for it? So how could God, whose love is infinitely greater and ultimately beyond our understanding, not care about us when we are in pain? How could He not care, even about the silly things, the small things? And how could He not feel pain, just as we feel the pain of our loved ones?

These thoughts slowly traveled through my mind. As I processed them, I felt a small degree of comfort, but I continued to cry. In fact, I think I started to cry harder.

I began to pray through my tears. I can’t really remember what I said. What I remember is that, at one point, I was no longer able to pull my thoughts together and put them into words. Rocking back and forth where I sat, I simply said, “I love you.” Then I said it again. And again. And again.

This wasn’t me saying, “God, I love you, so help me.” I think that the moment that I began to say those words, I realized something. God loves me. Nothing else matters. In that moment, it didn’t matter what was going on or why I was crying. What mattered was that I felt God’s love, and I wanted Him to know that I loved Him too.

God loves me. Nothing else matters.

It was such a simple thing, that realization. “God loves me”. But the truth is, it was not simple. It was great, profound, powerful. It was everything. It’s an idea that many, many people know, but not one that many people understand or take seriously. But maybe “understand” isn’t the right word, for who can completely understand God’s love? I know I don’t, but last night was a step toward something amazing. God loves me. Nothing else matters. That realization was something worth crying over nothing for.

I don’t know how long I sat there saying, “I love you”, but eventually I felt a peace sweep over me. I mean that quite literally. Before, there had been something raging inside, causing tears and pain and misery. Now, slowly, it began to calm down. And I felt at rest.

When I started this post, I hadn’t meant to write about all of this. To be honest, I began by talking about the weather because I had no idea what I wanted to talk about. I suppose God wanted me to share what He did for me, and I’ve written this gladly. It was a difficult night, that’s for certain, but ultimately, I’ve been blessed because of it.

On a lighter (maybe?) note, after all that transpired, I went back to reading a novel and within minutes it was making me cry. But that’s okay. A good book is worth crying over. 🙂

God bless!

-christrocks

After all this has passed, I still will remain
After I’ve cried my last, there’ll be beauty from pain
-Superchick

A Matter of the Heart

heart

Over the past few months, I’ve been trying to come up with excuses for why I haven’t been blogging lately. Excuses for myself, mostly, although you’ve heard one or two of them.

Busyness has been my favorite excuse. And, for the most part, it’s legitimate. I feel like I’m doing school work from morning till night–well, actually, I don’t feel that way, that’s just how it is. It’s mostly if not entirely due to my tendency to be easily distracted lately, something I’m working on. At any rate, the point is that I just haven’t had much time for anything, blogging included.

Another excuse that I like is overall brain-deadness. (That’s a thing, right?) It seems like every time I do have time to sit down and blog, my brain just goes blank. I sit in front of the computer for half an hour, writing the beginnings of three or four different posts that all end up in the trash.

And as good (or bad) these excuses may be, I’ve begun to realize that they are not the reason that I haven’t been blogging. I believe that my blogging has suffered because I’ve begun to lose my focus on God.

Outwardly, everything’s good. I read my Bible (almost) every day. I pray frequently. I attend church twice a week, and I serve on the worship team. Everything seems right; nothing seems different.

But on the inside, everything feels wrong. My Bible-reading usually feels like a chore, my prayers feel empty, and going to church twice a week in and of itself does not make for a healthy Christian.

I’ve come to realize that I’m in a place where my first priority is my life, and my second priority is God and my relationship with Him. It twists me up inside to write that down, but it’s the truth.

Clearly, this has affected me in every part of my life, but I believe it has struck a heavy blow to my blogging. Every time I started to write a post, it just felt so…wrong. I felt guilty. Hypocritical. Since my relationship with God had weakened, I didn’t feel right telling other people how they could improve their relationship–at least not until I spent some time focusing on my own.

I know that all Christians go through times like this. But I also think that some people don’t pull out of it. I’m not going to let that be me.

My game plan starts with turning my focus from the things of this world to Him. Spending more time in prayer, and taking the time to realize that I’m not just saying meaningless words–I am having a conversation with the One who created me. Reading my Bible more, knowing that I’m not just reading another book, but that I’m reading the holy Word of God, the One who gave His life for me.

I’m also going to start blogging more. I believe that blogging helps me stop in the middle of my schedule and turn my attention to God. To take a moment and think about the things He’s been speaking to my heart.

I also ask for your prayers. Beyond that, I’m not really sure what else I can do. I do know that I don’t need to do anything else, though. If I make the effort to turn my life around and start running towards Him, I know that He’ll be there. This isn’t about what I can do to fix this. It’s about my allowing Him to do a work in my life.

Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me. (Psalm 51:10)

-christrocks

 

 

Prayer Request

Hi everyone,
I’ve been sick all this week. I no longer have a fever, but I’ve developed a nasty cough. Please be in prayer that this will pass quickly. I have the ACT tomorrow and I can’t afford to be sick right now.
Thank you all!
christrocks

Four Years of Blogging

On August 18, 2010, I started The Teen Theme. Four years and God’s many blessings have turned a random idea into what TTT is today.

For me, blogging has always been a journey–and it has been a wonderful one. There are days, of course, when I stare at a blank screen with no clue what to write, or when I check my stats only to be disappointed. What blogger hasn’t had the same experiences? These things are nothing, however, when I think of how much I’ve been blessed by my blog.

blogI’ve been blessed with a way to reach others. If you’ve read any of my posts, you know that I blog for a reason. I blog to encourage anyone who might stop by. I blog to challenge my readers to grow closer to God, to strengthen their walk with Him. I blog with a hope of making a difference in the lives of those who read what God has placed on my heart.

Thus far, God has blessed my blog with 20,580 views and 326 followers. It’s mind-blowing for me to think that so many people have read (and cared about!) what I have to say! God gave me a passion for writing and for Him (and for music, but that’s another story), He gave me a way to use these passions, and then He blessed the effort beyond what I ever imagined!

In my biography on the website Quirky, I describe myself as “a Christian, a musician, a blogger, and a cat-lover”. Of course, those four things aren’t an exhaustive list. There are many things just as important about me that I didn’t mention. But the point is, blogging has become an integral part of who I am. It isn’t that I would have no identity without blogging; rather, blogging has simply contributed a great deal to who I am today. It has given me a place to exercise a passion, writing. It has given me responsibility, putting the operating of TTT entirely in my hands (and WordPress’, of course). It has also helped me grow closer to Jesus, as I study and think over His Word in preparation for a post.

I have also been incredibly blessed by the community here on WordPress. I felt this most strongly when I had back surgery last year. Your prayers and kind and encouraging comments meant the world to me! And beyond that, every thought you have taken the time to share has been a gift from God–so thank you, and God bless you! ❤

In summary, I thank God for giving me the inspiration to start blogging, and for blessing me in this undertaking. And I thank all of you who have been a part of this incredible journey!

God bless!

-christrocks