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Summary: Part 1 of 5 of the series, Christmas Perspectives. It all began with the unusual message. An angel visited Mary and then an angel visited Joseph. This "unusual message" speaks to us today as well. A message that leads to a journey, and finally, the mom

ONE UNUSUAL MESSAGE

Part 1 of the Christmas Perspectives Series

READ AT BEGINNING OF SERVICE:

John 1:1-5 (NIV)

1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was with God in the beginning. 3 Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. 4 In him was life, and that life was the light of men. 5 The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it.

INTRODUCTION:

Perspective is an interesting thing. What you or I see is not always the same as what someone else sees…

Have you ever noticed: When the other fellow acts "that way", he is ugly; when you do, it’s nerves. When others are set in their ways, they’re obstinate; when you are, it is firmness. When your neighbor doesn’t like your friend, he’s prejudiced; when you don’t like his, you are a good judge of human nature. When he tries to treat someone especially well, he’s a flatterer; when you try it, you are being thoughtful. When he takes time to do things well, he’s a slowpoke or lazy; when you do, you are deliberate and careful. When he spends a lot, he is a spend thrift; when you do, you’re generous. When someone picks flaws in things, he’s cranky and critical; when you are, it is graciousness. When someone dresses especially well, that person is extravagant; when you do, it is tastefulness. When he says what he thinks, he’s spiteful; when you do, you are being frank. When he takes great risks in business, he’s foolhardy; when you do, you are a wise financier. (Autoillustrator.com, PERSPECTIVE)Lack of perspective or a poor perspective often leads to tremendous breakdowns in communication as can be seen by the following example:

A school superintendent told his assistant superintendent the following: "Next Thursday at 10:30am, Haley’s Comet will appear over this area. This is an event which occurs only once every 75 years. Call the school principals and have them assemble their teachers and classes on their athletic fields and explain this phenomenon to them. If it rains, then cancel the day’s observation and have the classes meet in the auditorium to see a film about the comet." Assistant superintendent to school principals: "By order of the superintendent of schools, next Thursday at 10:30 Haley’s Comet will appear over your athletic field. If it rains, then cancel the day’s classes and report to the auditorium with your teachers and students where you will be shown films, a phenomenal event which occurs only once every 75 years." Principals to teachers: "By order of the phenomenal superintendent of schools, at 10:30 next Thursday Haley’s Comet will appear in the auditorium. In case of rain over the athletic field, the superintendent will give another order-something which occurs only once every 75 years." Teachers to students: "Next Thursday at 10:30 the superintendent of schools will appear in our school auditorium with Haley’s Comet; something which occurs once every 75 years. If it rains, the superintendent will cancel the comet and will order us out to our phenomenal athletic field." Students to parents: "When it rains next Thursday at 10:30 over the school athletic field, the phenomenal 75 year old superintendent of schools will cancel all classes and appear before the school in the auditorium accompanied by Bill Haley and the Comets." (Autoillustrator.com, PERSPECTIVE)

Perspective is that word that describes the condition that many of us can readily identify with in our own lives but rarely struggle to understand in another. Perspective influences our actions, our reactions and sometimes even our lack of action. When we look at something in a certain way we have a certain perspective on it – one that is often unique to us alone and rarely duplicated in the way someone else looks at the same thing. Perspective depends on several filters through which it is developed: circumstance, experience, and character. Your perspective is shaped by the circumstances you are in, the experiences you’ve had in the past, and who you perceive yourself to be. But perspective can also be influenced by what I like to call the HOSI (How Others See It) factor that is, one’s openness to try to see things through another person’s perspective.

I would like to give an example of this HOSI factor. I’d like to describe something to you.

It is a self-balancing, 28-jointed adapter based biped with the following: Millions of warning signals, railroad and conveyor systems…crushers and cranes (of which the arms are magnificent 23-jointed affairs with self-surfacing and lubricating systems); A universally distributed telephone system needing no service for 70 years if well managed; An electrochemical reduction-plant, integral with segregated stowages of special energy extracts in storage batteries, for subsequent actuation of thousands of hydraulic and pneumatic pumps, with motors attached…62,000 miles of capillaries. And the whole, extraordinarily complex mechanism is guided with exquisite precision from a turret in which are located telescopic and microscopic self-registering and recording range finders, a spectroscope, etc., and the turret control being closely allied with an air conditioning intake-and-exhaust, with a main fuel intake. Within a few cubic inches that house the turret mechanism, there is room, also, for two sound wave and sound-direction-finder recording diaphragms. There is an expertly devised analytical laboratory large enough not only to contain minute records of every last and continual event of up to 70 years experience, or more, but to extend, by computation and abstract fabrication, this experience with relative accuracy into all corners of the observed universe AS WELL AS a forecasting and tactical plotting department for the reduction of future possibilities and probabilities to generally successful specific choice. (Autoillustrator.com, PERSPECTIVE)What did I just describe to you? I described man! You see the HOSI factor can also shape our perspectives. Some of you may be influenced by this description of "Mr. Jones" in such a way as to have a different perspective on your makeup as a human being -

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