Watershed Moments: Living by the Book

Watershed is defined as; an important point of division or transition between two phases or conditions.

Every life is filled with watershed moments.  For the Christian, each watershed moment serves to accomplish the purpose for which we were created.  Christian take heart; "God makes all things work together for the good of those who love Him and are called according to His purpose (Romans 8:28)."

There have been many watershed moments in my life such as; my conversion to Christ in October of 1983, my marriage to Brandy in June of 1998, the adoption of Angel in August of 2007 and Jasmine in 2013.  Those events transitioned me from one way of living and thinking to another.  

While the aforementioned moments are obvious and for most universal, there have been additional moments that unbeknownst to me, at that moment, would create a watershed moments. Most of these moments, one of which I will share today and others that I will share subsequent blogs, were created by books. And it wasn't so much the entirety of the book that enabled those moments, but paragraphs, sentences, and sometimes a single word in those books that produce those moments.

I remember receiving a call from my friend, Reuben McCain, about a book that I had to purchase immediately.  At that time Reuben was a first-year student at Dallas Seminary.  He was taking a class taught by Dr. Howard Hendricks who wrote the textbook for his class. This textbook, according to my friend, was a must-have book.  The book was entitled Living by the Book.

To appreciate this story you need some background information on my friend.  Throughout our high school friendship, he was avowed atheists.  However, he was converted to Christ while attending a Campus Crusade for Christ meeting at Auburn University.  This conversion and subsequent discipleship led him to Dallas Seminary and his encounter with Dr. Hendricks.  

Reuben insisted that I immediately go to the local bookstore and purchase a copy.  As any good friend would do I procrastinated until his persistence wore me down.  I eventually went to my local bookstore and there placed my order for this must-have book.

A week later I received a call, these were pre-email and Amazon days, that my book had arrived.  I picked up my book and took it home.  I can't say that I was overly excited about reading a book that was taught in seminary.  My understanding of seminary at that time was; "seminary is a code word cemetery."

I begrudgingly open the book so that I might be ready to answer the inquisition that awaited me.  I could have never imagined what awaited me in the opening lines of page one. I will never forget Dr. Hendricks opening line; "Sin will keep you from this Bible or the Bible will keep you from sin."  I was hooked!

As I continued to read I came across more watershed words such as; "what makes one Bible student better than another?" answer, "what they can see in one square inch."  For someone who doubted their Bible study based on acumen, I was learning that "successful" Bible study was rooted in sharping one's observational skill.

This book revolutionized my approach and confidence in Bible study.  Since reading this book I have given more copies away than I can remember.  I even bought the DVD set so that I could put a face with the voice of Dr. Hendricks.  Every year I read all or parts of this book.  I have taught it numerous times in various churches.

I thank my Heavenly Father for leading my friend, by way of a girl, to Auburn University.  Then leading him to Campus Crusade for Christ, by way of a different girl.  So that, he could lead him to the well of salvation.  And this so great salvation would eventually lead him to encounter the great Dr. Hendricks; so that I might have a watershed moment which benefits me to this day.