Perhaps the best-known of all Dallas teachers is the famous Howie Hendricks. He was a character! Being from the northeast, he could be a bit frontal in conversation, though in a most humorous fashion. Early in the time of my service as worship pastor at Grace Bible Church, a young woman in the church with a similar vocal training background as my own was insistent that we needed to perform a particular duet. We rehearsed it right before church, and I was not sure it sounded that great. I was concerned. The guest speaker that morning was Howie. So I ran into the pastor’s office for a final prayer before the service began (a weekly event), and was quickly introduced personally to “Prof.” Still distracted by my musical concerns, I must have had a vacuous look on my face, because he squeezed my hand tightly and looked closely into my eyes and said, “So, are you with it today, or not!!??” It was an embarrassing moment. “Oh, yes… yes… I’m fine… just concerned about a potentially stinky special song today.” We all laughed. But I have no memory about how the song turned out.
Here is Howie Hendricks’ devotional …
Light out of Darkness
“In him was life, and that life was the light of men” (John 1:4, NIV).
DARKNESS. Deep below the earth’s surface, lights went out as the tour guide in Carlsbad Caverns reminded us: this is total blackout. With no speck of light anywhere, all sense of direction was lost. It echoed the opening words of the Bible, “… darkness was over the surface of the deep.” No life, no growth could be sustained. Then “God said, ‘Let there be light’ and there was light” (Genesis 1:3).
No scientist can adequately explain the origin of light; we know only that we have it and it leads the thinker to ask: How? Who? What does it mean for me? Yes, I can see physically, but how do I know intuitively what is my next best move? My eyes see, but I struggle with private doubts. Is there a way to do life right, and what about the hereafter?
CHRISTMAS. The light shines in the darkness. Jesus, the babe of Bethlehem, the true eye opener, declared, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life” (John 8:12). Just as God provided light for the physical creation, He revealed His solution for spiritual blindness. John’s Gospel illuminates the core truth: this same Person who first brought physical light into the world is the same One who came to offer spiritual sight.
SOLUTION. Our spiritually dark world, groping for stability, stumbles into repeated disaster. Through His written word we see inner light. “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path” (Psalm 119:105). No one need flounder in our world’s present insecurity. “For God, who said, ‘Let light shine out of darkness,’ made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ” (2 Corinthians 4:6).