An old seminary professor mine passed away last week.  Howard Hendricks.  He was 89.  He was old but he was still alive until the time he died.  Those who knew him would agree that he lived each day with passion and intentionality and compassion and energy.    For those that remember him  (and for those that never met him) click on  and you’ll find a short 3 minute video clip summarizing his viewpoint on life.  It brought tears to my eyes.

I knew Prof only from a distance. I took 2 classes with him over 4 years.  I was one of a 150 students in one class.  And I was one of about 100 in the other.  Yet, I would suggest to you that he treated me like a Timothy.  We would meet briefly after a lecture when I could ask a personal question or register a personal observation on the lecture material.  I would write assignments for him and they would come back with comments.  And the comments were life giving.  Me?  A nobody.  A  mediocre, pale faced, non aggressive, young Canadian man, studying at a seminary to learn how to teach the Bible for life…Hendricks treated me like I could be the next Chuck Swindoll (I am showing my age on that reference).   If Hendricks were here he would defend himself and say “well, what did I know?  you could have become the next dominant preacher of the 21st century! I saw potential in you and I just didn’t know where you’d finally land up!  Maybe I underestimated you?)

Well Prof, you didn’t underestimate me.  But I didn’t grow to become a copy and paste copy of someone else–I grew up to become me.  And I thank you for your part in that shaping.  I am NOT you, and  I am NOT Chuck.  I am me.  And frankly, I am okay with that.  But I am me because guys like YOU spoke into my life at pivotal moments.  Thank you.  You believed in me.

Who shaped you at pivotal moments in your life?  Did you get a chance to truly say “thank you” to them?  In many cases we do, but in other cases we still have some work yet to be done.  That’s one of the many values of heaven.

Thanks Prof.