Warning: include(wp-includes/class-wp-term-connect.php) [function.include]: failed to open stream: No such file or directory in /home/content/22/8608422/html/wp-config.php on line 93

Warning: include() [function.include]: Failed opening 'wp-includes/class-wp-term-connect.php' for inclusion (include_path='.:/usr/local/php5/lib/php') in /home/content/22/8608422/html/wp-config.php on line 93

Warning: session_start() [function.session-start]: Cannot send session cookie - headers already sent by (output started at /home/content/22/8608422/html/wp-config.php:93) in /home/content/22/8608422/html/wp-content/themes/widely/header.php on line 1

Warning: session_start() [function.session-start]: Cannot send session cache limiter - headers already sent (output started at /home/content/22/8608422/html/wp-config.php:93) in /home/content/22/8608422/html/wp-content/themes/widely/header.php on line 1
Hidden Potential - Ramblings and Photos
Hidden Potential
My church has recently started a new series called “HGTV Life.” Apparently, our minister spent a lot of time watching HGTV after one of his recent surgeries…and it occurred to him that this concept of home improvement might make for an interesting series…especially considering that God is the ultimate “Design Star.”

Last week, we kicked off the series with a discussion of character. Although I did not post on my blog, I did not skip the lesson…rather, I applied that inspiration to an upcoming guest post at Higher Calling Focus which will post in October. This week, we continued the series with “Hidden Potential: Discovering Our Character Potential.”
IMG_7807 RS
It’s true, much like those ratty old homes seen on the HGTV show, “Hidden Potential,” each of us has hidden and often untapped potential. But, as Erwin Raphael McManus says in his book, Seizing Your Divine Moment:
“What once was a statement of promise is now an assessment of lost opportunity.  There is a point where you’re not supposed to be full of potential; you’re supposed to be full of talent, capacity, productivity.  Potential is a glimpse of what could be, yet there must be a shift from where we have potential to where we are potent.” 
Unfortunately, for so many of us, we lack the confidence to live up to our spiritual potential as much as we lack the confidence to live up to the potential we have with anything else…be it school, sports, relationships…even photography. We’re quick to throw out excuses for why we can’t: too busy, too damaged, not talented enough, etc. Why is it that we are so quick to say “accept me for who I am,” and yet some people seem to be sprinkled with Jesus fairy dust…you know like Peter Pan and Tinker Bell. 

I’m sure you’ve seen these types of people…it’s as if they’re living and breathing the Holy Spirit all the time. And they are always having these intimate experiences with God that the rest of us can only dream of having. Then we look at ourselves in the mirror and wonder why we can’t “hear” God speak to us…or why we can’t “feel” God moving within us. So…to make ourselves feel better, we idolize and make heroes of these God-like people…you know, the ones who are actively sharing the word…serving others…looking and behaving like “Christians,” except we call them missionaries.

We can’t keep making excuses…we certainly don’t accept excuses from others. If your child says they can’t do math (insert any subject matter here)…you spend more time studying that subject. God is the same way. He doesn’t accept our excuses, only sees our hidden potential.
IMG_7792 - scripture RS
And, if we were to ask God what he wants our character to look like, he would point at his son, Jesus. Romans 8:29 says:
“For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers.”
Jesus died as an example of how we should live our lives. His life is a model for how we should live…and what our character should look like. And just as it says in John 15: 1-5…apart from him, we can do nothing. But, if we simply abide (remain, stay close) in him, we can start unlocking our full potential. But, where do we start?
  1. Start thinking and acting relationally, not religiously. A religious view makes people try really really hard to be accepted, but never feeling adequate enough. However, God gave his son’s life to bridge the gap…not so we could have religion, but a relationship!
  2. Adopt the attitude, “I can’t, but HE can through me.” Stay close to Jesus and let him live through us. Philippians 4:13, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” At some point, we just have to give up the fight and allow God to take the lead.
With that said, are you living up to your hidden potential? 

On another note, I’m sure you’ve heard of the devastation that occurred in Joplin, Missouri. Fellow blogger, Simply Life Photographs recently posted this message: CLICK HERE. Right now, hopes and prayers are being collected to show these people how much they are loved and being loved around the world. If you’d like to know more about this project or where to send your prayer, CLICK HERE. The deadline is October 1st. I submitted mine this past weekend. 

      Now that would make a very interesting series! Unlike your pastor, if I were to watch HGTV all day, I would want to go out and buy, buy, buy…Thank you for your post!

      Another incredible post Ashley.

      I love that you take always take an opportunity to shine your light for Jesus!!

      “I can’t, but HE can through me.”

      I’ll continually repeat this until I really get it and start living it daily.

      Thanks so much♥

      Glad to have your pastor’s sermons back! I just always wish God was done with my remodel. I love that first photo; really gorgeous!

      This is a Fabulous post girlfriend!Thank you for sharing not only your love for photography, but of your faith. It is a beautiful thing, & you have inspired me to not be so tough on myself. (at least for today lol)

      Beautiful post my friend. You have a way with words. Thank you for sharing.

      You write beautifully. And your pictures equal that beauty.

      Thank you.

      This is right on. Really like to two steps of the starting place. Much of the world is turned off to the church today, b/c we are more religious than relational. Good post.

      I love the idea not to act religiously, but relationally. Yes. I couldn’t agree more.

      Your words always encourage and challenge me.

      This post has been most encouraging to me today! My daily devotion for today was long the same lines.. hmmm!

      What an awesome message! I really needed to hear that today. Thanks so much for sharing! :)

      I wish I was more like your pastor and could turn my mindless tv habit into something more useful.

      Great thoughts here, Ashley. I appreciate your distinction between living religiously vs. living relationally. Sometimes I think the former (religion), turns people away from God, while relating speaks so much more about who Jesus really is and who he wants us to be.

      Great message Ashley! Keep inspiring & blessing us!

      This post is soo great.. The I cant but he can through me.. Is something i struggle with right now. I have problems with giving up control. I should let him take the lead!

      Thank you for posting this :)Love the pictures

      Beautiful post my friend!

      SHINE ON!!!!!


      I just love this post. Beautiful!

      “God is the ultimate Design Star.” Love that! In fact, this morning my 5 year old asked to wear some make up (blush) for picture day at school. I asked her why and she said “to be beautiful.” I told her, “but make-up doesn’t make you beautiful God does, and his spirit is in you, so you are beautiful already.”

      Lovely images and definitely food for thought…for me I am trying to do what I love to show my daughter that you can do whatever you love to work for…I think though it takes many baby steps for me to approach that fear or lack of confidence. It is nice to remind myself though. I kind of throw myself into my fears and force myself to overcome obstacles I put in front of myself. Good message to spread.

      Beautiful post! I love you how compared homework with spending time with God. I won’t allow my kids to make excuses for not getting their homework done. What makes me think it is okay for me to make excuses for not spending some quiet, quality time with God? Definitely something to think about.

      Beautiful post. You are an inspiration in your faith, writing and photos. Thank you.

      Thank you for sharing your faith on your blog. Loved this post. :-)

      Thank you for sharing your faith on your blog. Loved this post. :-)

      I am always trying….struggling….trying…..struggling…..surrendering…trying…..struggling…….

      I love the message here… “and we call them missionaries”. It is so important to realize that we are ALL missionaries…