The Old and The New; Not Meant To Be Mixed

Luke 5: 36-39

 

36 He told them this parable: “No one tears a piece out of a new garment to patch an old one. Otherwise, they will have torn the new garment, and the patch from the new will not match the old. 37 And no one pours new wine into old wineskins. Otherwise, the new wine will burst the skins; the wine will run out and the wineskins will be ruined. 38 No, new wine must be poured into new wineskins. 39 And no one after drinking old wine wants the new, for they say, ‘The old is better.’”

 

As I was reading these verses, they kept tugging at me. I wanted to know what a wineskin was (sounds pretty weird to me) and just really decipher what Jesus was saying here. So with a little research, prayer and focusing on the Word, I finally grasped the meaning of what Jesus was saying. I felt that I needed to share this for anyone out there that’s going through a struggle or rough time in their walk with God, and especially to those of you who don’t know Him as your Savior yet. If you don’t, I urge you not to click the back button or stop reading. I urge you to read and see how God truly loves all of His children.

 

In verse 36, the new garment can be thought of as the robe of righteousness, or blood of Christ. When we accept Christ as our Savior, the new garment covers our sins and takes place of the old garment, the  filthy rags caused by our sin. Jesus says that no one can tear a patch from the new garment and sew it on to the old because the patch wouldn’t match the old garment and the new garment would be torn in order to do so. What this means is that once we surrender to Him and accept Him into our heart, we can’t turn back to our old ways and still be covered by His righteousness. We can’t hold on to our old sins; the things that we used to put in place of God. Notice when the scripture says ” he will have torn the new garment and the patch from the new will not match.” Basically, BOTH garments will be ruined. Living in sin while simultaneously living for God is something that does not, never has and never will, exist. That’s one of many reasons why God is so awesome. It’s His way or the highway. He WANTS us to live for Him and He WANTS to help us, protect us, heal us, provide for us and love us! God, the one and only God wants YOU to love Him because He ALREADY loves you. Think about that for a minute. That’s something that is so easily said (well…. typed too) but so easily passed over. Isaiah 61:10 gives a perfect example of how God has supplied the new garment for us:

“I delight greatly in the Lord;
my soul rejoices in my God.
For he has clothed me with garments of salvation
and arrayed me in a robe of his righteousness,
as a bridegroom adorns his head like a priest,
and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.”

Verse 37-39 talks about the wineskins and how if new wine is poured into an old wineskin, that it would burst. When I first read this verse, I thought to myself, “Self, what is a wineskin. That sounds pretty gross.” So, I did a little research. Turns out, it is pretty gross… to us anyway. I’m sure people back in the time that Jesus walked the Earth thought that it was pretty awesome.

Wineskins are the skins of goats. The goats were skinned and the skins were sewed up to be like a vessel or a bottle. Grape juice would be poured into the skins and allowed to sit and ferment for long periods of time to make wine. When fermentation happens, gasses (Carbon Dioxide in this case) are released as a by-product. The gases would stretch the wineskin to it’s very limit. Once the wine reached the desired point of fermentation, the wine would be poured out, but the wineskin would remain stretched. Since it was stretched to it’s limit, it could not be used again because it would burst open when the gases would be released during fermentation during the second time around.

“Where are you going with this,” I can hear y’all thinking. Well, the old wineskin is your old self (old garment) once you’ve been saved. You were stretched and filled full of your old sin, so there clearly couldn’t be any hope, redemption or use for you. WRONG. That’s where God steps in. Into you, I should say. He transforms you and changes you. He makes you into the new wineskin. Pure, clean and in prime condition. The new wine is the Grace of God. Our old selves, our old wineskins, cannot hold the grace that God wants to give us. It’s already been used and tainted with sin. But how great is God to make us new and ready for the Grace to be poured into us! His grace fills us like wine into new wineskins. It stretches us to the limit, filling us up to maximum capacity with no room left for anything else. Our God wants ALL of us, not just a part. The KJV version of verse 38 says:

38 But new wine must be put into new bottles; and both are preserved.”

Did you grasp that. In the verses mentioned earlier we learned that both garments would be ruined if we tried to go back to our old selves. But here Jesus tells us that if we allow Him to come into our hearts and allow Him to make us into a new creation, that He would pour His grace in us and that BOTH would be preserved! How awesome is that!?

Verse 39 says that,  “And no one after drinking old wine wants the new, for they say, ‘The old is better.”

This can be taken as a warning. It’s all too easy to fall back on our old ways that we were used to, familiar and comfortable with. You can’t say that the old wine is better than the new if you’ve never tried the new wine. Remember, the new and the old cannot be mixed or both will be ruined.

What I want the reader to get from this is that God WANTS to give you His grace and love. He wants to save you from whatever it is that you may be going through. Saved or not, Jesus is there for you to change you into something new and great and fill you up with His love, righteousness and blessings. How great is our God that He would WANT us, even while we were sinners, to love Him and to provide for us?

                                                                

 

 

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1 Year Anniversary Quick-Shoot

At church Sunday before last, one of my best friends that I’ve ever had asked me to snap a few shots of her and her husband, Michael, for their one year anniversary.

I was honored that she asked me and of course, said yes.

It was very spur-of-the-moment.

In fact, I used her camera because I didn’t bring mine.

……..I need to start bringing mine everywhere, again.

But anywho, this is the outcome!

How BEAUTIFUL is this couple!?

I mean seriously, someone get Nicholas Sparks. He has a book to write about them.

Unfortunately, since we didn’t have much time, we weren’t able to snap many photos, so we ended keeping 4 sets of 2.

One picture in color, and one in black and white for a total of eight.

These four above are just my favorite out of each set.

I always love using black and white, and most of the time, I choose between it and color.

However, this wasn’t the case at this Quick-Shoot.

Black and white is just so classy…. and dreamy…. and lovely….. and someone play The Notebook already!

Michael and Tiffany had wanted to incorporate their wedding picture in their 1 Year shoot, and how awesome of an idea is that!?

That’s Tiffany for ya. Sharp as a tack, and a very talented photographer!

(I’m trying to get her to write a guest post……. I think she’ll come around.)

Helping Your Community

Hey everyone!

It’s been FOREVER, it feels, since I last posted.

Well…turns out….it has been.

Instead of just giving you the “I’ve been super busy” excuse, I’ll just prove it.

I’ve been really active in my church, the college age class and I’ve been given a few opportunities there as well.

Firstly, I am now over all Media related who’s-it’s and what’s-it’s galore.

(Yes, that was a Little Mermaid reference. I’m a Disney freak, I can’t help it.)

So with that job, I’m responsible for keeping the church website up to date, make any posters and/or flyers that are needed, be available to take pictures at all events, etc. etc.

I’m also getting ready to start helping out in the youth group there, which I’m SO excited about.

I’ve also been job hunting like crazy and finally got one!

Anywho..

A week or so ago, my church held a Clothing Drive.

The church does annual yard sales and we always have people donate clothes to us.

So, instead of saling the clothes, we decided to give them away.

We had TONS of clothes for all sizes and ages, and it was awesome to be able to bless the community with free clothes, and free hot dogs as well!

This was our lovely volunteers, and let me tell ya, these people are truly, apart from my family, the biggest blessing to me.

And yes, I’m the 6th from the left, top row. I had a serious debate with myself on whether or not I should blur myself out, but decided not to. So, could you just not look there, kthnxbai.

So, the question is:

Do you help out in your community? If so, what do you do to help out?

If not, what would you like to get involved in or plan to help your community?

Have a blessed day everyone!!

Winterjam!

Hey everyone! Sorry about the lack of posts! I promise to do better!

So yesterday, I went with my church’s College and Career Age class called The Verge to a concert a few hours away in Knoxville, TN.

All I have to say, is “WOW!”

The concert tour is called Winterjam, and this year’s tour was spectacular! Much improved from past years!

They had artists like: Peter Furler, Kari Jobe, For King and Country, Sanctus Real, Skillet and many more.

The Verge favorite was clearly Kari Jobe, of which, everyone already loved and listened to, apart from me. But after hearing her set, I knew instantly what the craze was about.

Enjoy this short, low quality video taken on my iPhone 4S (which I’m also using to post this!) I was amazed, however, at how good the quality of the audio turned out.

Kari Jobe Video

Sunday Afternoon, A Dog’s Play Time

As I’ve mentioned before, I love dogs.

Especially my dogs.

They bring me happiness and joy just by being themselves, and I personally believe that everyone should have a dog just to experience that happiness.

Any-who, today was a beautiful day. Here recently the weather has been so bipolar with all of the rain, sleet, snow and dropping temperatures that I believe everyone was in need for a warm, sunshiny day.

Especially the dogs.

They stay cooped up in the house all winter long. Most of their time spent laying on the top of the couch, staring out of a window, dreaming of warm breezes of air, summer sunshine and being able to wear shorts and sandals again.

Well, maybe that was me impatiently awaiting shorts and sandals weather. But nevertheless, my dogs missed it too.

So, today after church my puppies and I went outside to get some fresh air.

That cute furball up there is Sputnick. He’s my little boy. He’s the one that easily gets cabin fever during the winter, so I take him outside to play any chance I get. He may be chunky, but he’s fast. That’s why he has to stay attached to the leash, because once he runs off, it’s game over.

This is Prissy. The energizer bunny that NEVER stops going. I’ve never seen a faster dog in my life. She loves to run circles in the back yard, kicking up leaves and grass in her wake. She’s very smart and obedient, and always stays in the area she’s supposed to.

Okay, now to the photography talk. As you can tell in the above pictures, they’re not perfectly in focus. Focus is a hard thing to achieve when using a high shutter speed and a quick moving object. So, I’ve learned a little trick to help remedy this. If you use Photoshop elements, all you have to do is make a layer mask. A layer mask is simply a filter put over a picture, in these cases you always use a Blur filter. The awesome thing about this, is that if you use the paintbrush tool with black ink, you can paint over the areas that you don’t want blurred, leaving them untouched.

That very technique is what I had to use on most of Prissy’s pictures. The background would be more in focus than her, but by applying the Blur layer mask to everything but her, it makes her look more in focus.

This isn’t the “traditional” way of using Blur layer masks, which is actually used primarily for portrait shots. Blurring the skin on someone’s face while leave their eyes, nose and mouth untouched creates a very professional, ethereal look.

Also, I’m a firm believer of never deleting pictures that you take. They each represent a moment in life that can only be revisited by memory and that photograph. That’s why I kept these:

If you were to know Prissy in real life, then you would know that these two pictures represent her personality to a tee. Loving, playful, mischievous and beautiful.

If anyone needs help with Layer Mask’s, feel free to leave a comment and I will make a step-by-step post.

Also, show me your pets! I want to see everyone’s little companions.

Instagram #2: Lux!

As I stated in my last post, I am completely and irrevocably in  love with Instagram.

I usually do not like all of the “filter” apps on the iPhone, because most of them are cheesy and over-done.

How ever, Instagram does it perfectly. But in their lastest update, they released a new tool called Lux.

Lux is supposed to enhance your photos into an almost HDR effect.

At first, I hated Lux because I would use it on pictures of people’s faces and my dogs and it never turned out quite right.

I think I’ve hit the jackpot now, because I figured out what it did work on. Landscapes!

Here is a little proof.

This picture of my churches steeple, as seen in “Light In The Storm” post, which has had the Lux feature added.

When I first seen this, I thought it looked to grainy and over-worked, but I think for this picture it works.

Lux really accentuates dark colors, as seen in the blacks of the windows and shuttering on the steeple and in the clouds.

 This is the same picture, with the same filter (Amaro) but without Lux.

As you can see, the photo isn’t as dark and contrasted as the previous one.

Being as indecisive as I am, I can’t choose my favorite.

No seriously.

It’s WW3 in my head.

“The dark, rustic and contrasted version of Lux! No! The dreamy and crisp version sans Lux!”

Well… you get the point.

But which photo do you think looks best?

Regardless, Instagram is awesome and so is their new update, Lux.

I hope this helps everyone out there. Whether you’re just now getting started on Instagram or are a seasoned Instagram…er. Send me your favorite Instagram photos! Follow me, @dusthug.

Light In The Storm

So here recently I’ve been trying to think of a post to put on here, but every time that I would get my camera out, I would suddenly lose all inspiration.

So, tonight when I left for church, I told myself that I WOULD take a picture of something just to see if I could see if I could get some inspiration flowing. The outcome are these picture of my church’s steeple. They are dark, eerie and mysterious, but for some reason I love them.

I secretly think it’s because of the light inside of the steeple. It’s shining bright, regardless of how dark the world around it is.

 Just like a lighthouse. Beckoning lost souls to the light and safety.

The pictures are by far not my best, but are sentimental. The camera was on AUTO setting and the ISO was up a little too much for my taste.

So, what do you do when you have a lack of inspiration?