• Rodney Cox changed their profile picture 1 year, 5 months ago

  • While there are very few things I find myself reposting, this one is a no-brainer. But, before you read the post from David Zahl at http://www.mbird.com/ here is a link that might help you with the history of […]

  • ThumbnailOld Testament Characters and Their Strengths: Joshua
    If you’re facing a significant transition, you want a person like Joshua on your side to help navigate risk.

    Here is a guy who had survived four decades […]

  • ThumbnailOld Testament Characters and Their Strengths: Abigail
    If you’re facing conflict, you want a person like Abigail on your side to help mediate.

    She was a classic “Listen and Be Patient” woman. Caught between […]

  • ThumbnailRich and Elisa Brown with Inca Link use profiles to equip short-term overseas interns
    As spring turns to summer each year, Rich and Elisa Brown and their Inca Link team in Quito, Ecuador, gear up for an influx of […]

  • ThumbnailOld Testament Characters and Their Strengths: Moses
    If you’re facing a challenge or undertaking a new project, you want a guy like Moses to grasp your vision.

    Moses was a classic “Check Out the Facts […]

  • ThumbnailThis exercise helps you have meaningful interactions using profile data in conversation.
    For You To Think About
    Words have incredible power; they can be unifying or isolating. Think back to a time when you were […]

  • ThumbnailHow God Used Mary and Joseph’s Strengths, Part 4
    God specially selected Mary and Joseph to be Jesus’ earthly parents. He used their different strengths in processing information, solving problems, managing […]

  • ThumbnailA Devotional About Gratitude
    Quick question: are you thankful for the differences you see in those around you?

    Maybe
    No
    Not always

    If you mentally checked any of the above answers, take heart. It is […]

  • ThumbnailFirst in a 3-part series that celebrates how differences complete us
    It’s a simple truth: people are different from one another.

    Differences are one reason people are increasingly unable to get along. Conflict […]

  • ThumbnailDifferences between a husband and wife need not be a threat in marriage … but rather can be the most significant factor pulling them together.

    That is the truth that has slowly dawned on Roger and Darlene. […]

  • ThumbnailDo You Color Inside the Lines or Outside the Lines?
    As the marriage conference presenter continued to speak, Darlene glimpsed over at her husband. Roger had flipped his conference booklet page to the next page […]

  • ThumbnailFind the Missing Puzzle Piece – and Fit It In
    A jigsaw puzzle is set of numerous interlocking pieces which are assembled together to produce a complete picture, often of nature, landscapes, or a recognizable […]

  • The Puzzle of Strengths, Part 2: The Puzzle of Interlocking Pieces
    A jigsaw puzzle is set of numerous interlocking pieces which are assembled together to produce a complete picture, often of nature, landscapes, or a recognizable piece of art. Each piece is unique. When fit together, each piece contributes to the entire puzzle.

    A jigsaw puzzle is an apt depiction of the Body of Christ. Each of us represents a unique piece of a puzzle. When our strengths are combined, we make a whole.
    Interlocking Puzzle Pieces Fit Together
    [caption id="attachment_4298" align="alignright" width="300"]two interlocking pieces of a puzzle Image: Memories of Londa[/caption]

    Most jigsaw puzzles are “fully interlocking,” meaning adjacent pieces interconnect with one another. The fit is both structural and visual. When combined correctly, the pieces produce the puzzle’s visual image. But fully interlocking puzzles also stay joined structurally. Connections in between pieces of a completed interlocking jigsaw puzzle are tight enough to allow it to maintain its shape when it is moved.

    On the other hand, non-interlocking puzzles are made up of pieces that are not as close-fitting. These pieces match up visually, but not always structurally. Pieces often shift around. When completed, the puzzle must remain where it was constructed, often in a box or on a flat surface. If is moved or lifted off its surface it will not maintain its shape. Instead, pieces will fall apart.

    God creates the Body of Christ to be like interlocking puzzle pieces, rather than non-interlocking ones. Each of us is endowed with unique strengths. When members of the Body find their strengths, use their strengths, and value strengths in one another, we interconnect with each other to form a whole. Together we are stronger and can withstand changeable movements that are part of growth. We’re designed to fit together to reflect the character of Jesus … and for our connections to remain strong.

    But if you don’t know your strengths and use them, you may shift purposelessly, much like non-interlocking puzzle pieces that lack clarity about fit.
    Interlocking Puzzle Pieces Produce Order
    What happens when you empty the content of the puzzle box onto the table and begin to sort through the pieces? Chaos reigns.

    The first thing most serious puzzlers do is to turn the puzzle pieces face up and begin the sorting process. Each interlocking puzzle piece displays just a tiny part of the picture’s full image. Puzzlers work to arrange pieces according to the image. Border pieces are grouped together. Pieces with similar colors or visual textures are clustered so they can be assembled into smaller sections. Awareness begins to bring about order from the confusion.

    Likewise, confusion can abound when God’s people are not aware of their strengths. That’s one reason the strengths discovery process is so powerful.

    The process begins when you allow God to “sort” – or identify – your strengths. In discovering your strengths, you begin to see the tiny portion of God’s image that you represent. God can reveal where He has placed you to use those strengths. He can use you to begin to create order.

    Our God is not a God of confusion, but of order (1 Corinthians 14:33).

    Awareness of your strengths begins to bring about order from the confusion.
    Interlocking Pieces Build on One Another
    Puzzlers study sorted pieces to ascertain where one, then another, fit together. Sections in interlocking puzzles come together piece by piece, as one joins with another. A correctly-placed puzzle piece paves the way for more puzzle pieces to be added.

    Likewise, the people in Body of Christ are assembled one at a time. It begins when just one person is willing to be used where God places him.

    That willingness is win-win. As you begin to lead from your strengths and become willing to interlock with another, you not only connect with the whole. You also create a means for others to do so, too. As you interconnect, you show others that their strengths are needed.

    It takes just one person to start the interlocking-puzzle-piece process at home, at work, in the community, or in ministry – by discovering your strengths, using your strengths, and valuing the strengths in others.

    You can be that person.

    Growth Point
    Your strengths interlock with others’ strengths.

    Scripture
    He makes the whole body fit together perfectly. (Ephesians 4:16, NLT)

    Prayer Points

    “The strengths discovery process is powerful.” How have you seen that to be true?
    How do different strengths each reflect a tiny portion of God’s character?
    What is one step God may be calling you to take to be a catalyst for interconnection in your home, at work, in the community, or in ministry?

    Devotionals: The Puzzle of Strengths
    The Puzzle of Strengths, Part 1: The Puzzle of Unique Strengths

    The Puzzle of Strengths, Part 3: Find the Missing Puzzle Piece
    Devotionals: Ways the Disciples Used Their Strengths
    Part 1: Managing Change – Let’s Go or Let’s Make a Plan

    Part 2: Processing Information: That’s Wonderful or Give Me Proof

    Part 3: Problem Solving: Fix It Now or One Step at a Time?

    Part 4: Facing Risk: Outside the Box or Work the System?

  • The Puzzle of Strengths, Part 1: The Puzzle of Unique Strengths
    A jigsaw puzzle is set of numerous interlocking pieces which are assembled together to produce a complete picture, often of nature, landscapes, or a recognizable piece of art. Each piece of the puzzle is unique. When fit together, each piece contributes to the entire puzzle.

    [caption id="attachment_4286" align="alignright" width="329"]puzzle pieces of different shapes Image: UOR.net[/caption]

    A jigsaw puzzle is an apt depiction of the Body of Christ. Each of our strengths represents a unique piece of a puzzle. When our strengths are combined, we make a whole.
    Unique Puzzle Pieces Fit In More Easily
    Most jigsaw puzzles are “fully interlocking,” meaning adjacent pieces interconnect with one another.

    But the shapes of puzzle pieces differ greatly. Some pieces have straight edges to be used in the puzzle border. Some puzzles even feature “whimsy pieces” which are cut into specific recognizable shapes, like flowers or animals. Many puzzle pieces are four-sided, with rounded tabs on two opposite ends and gaps on other sides to fit tabs of adjacent pieces.

    But even puzzle pieces in this standard shape are very different from one another. The size of the tabs and gaps on ends may be larger or smaller. Or the distance between the tabs and gaps varies.

    Regardless of puzzle piece shapes, when they have obvious differences it is easier to fit them together. Odd, unique, irregular, and offbeat pieces stand out.

    So do puzzle pieces with distinct colors and visual textures. It’s common to pull out pieces with a bit of red or yellow, for example, and put together those sections first – or pluck out an unusually-shaped piece and find its neighbors quickly.

    Uniqueness in puzzle pieces is a strength.
    Similar Pieces Have a Harder Time Fitting In
    Ironically, the most difficult jigsaw puzzles to complete are those with uniformly-shaped pieces or those made of all one color. Sameness creates a problem.

    Quite simply, the pieces are too much alike to distinguish from one another. It is extremely hard to find the right place for pieces that look alike.
    Why Your Unique Strengths Bring Others Together
    Clearly, differences are strengths – both with jigsaw puzzles and in the Body of Christ.

    In our drive for acceptance, we may be tempted to think that being different is not a good thing. The person who is unconventional or who possesses unusual abilities may fear being ostracized.

    God takes a different approach.

    Just as unique pieces of a jigsaw puzzle are a key in allowing sections of a puzzle come together, so it is with individual strengths. Your uniqueness makes you stand out, allowing you to find your place in God’s story.

    When you understand your strengths and are in place – functioning well – others can interconnect with you more easily. The whole comes together.

    Don’t think for one minute that your uniqueness isolates you. When you recognize your strengths and begin to lead from those strengths, you help others to do the same.

    Like a one-of-a-kind puzzle piece, your strengths make a special place for you … and allow others to fit in.

    Growth Point
    Your unique strengths define a special role for you.Scripture
    In fact God has placed the parts in the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be. (1 Corinthians 12:18, NIV)

    Prayer Points

    Describe one of your personal strengths you may view as odd, unusual, irregular, or offbeat.
    Have you been told this quality is unique or have you arrived at your conclusion on your own?
    How can the drive for acceptance snuff our your uniqueness?
    God planned your uniqueness. How does that comfort or encourage you?

    Devotionals: The Puzzle of Strengths
    The Puzzle of Strengths, Part 2: The Puzzle Of Interlocking Pieces

    The Puzzle of Strengths, Part 3: Find the Missing Puzzle Piece
    Devotionals: Ways the Disciples Used Their Strengths
    Part 1: Managing Change – Let’s Go or Let’s Make a Plan

    Part 2: Processing Information: That’s Wonderful or Give Me Proof

    Part 3: Problem Solving: Fix It Now or One Step at a Time?

    Part 4: Facing Risk: Outside the Box or Work the System?

  • Load More