A Funny Easter Story

Sunday, April 4th, 2010

So if you have been around a Kuban on Easter, you are aware of our Easter greeting.  For those that haven’t: a “He Is Risen!” is said with authority followed by the response of “He Is Risen Indeed!” said with equal gusto.  (If someone fails in the gusto department - the greeting starts over after some encouragement)

Anyway, one year a friend of mine from college spent the holiday weekend with my family.  He was totally unfamiliar with this tradition as he was not yet a Christian.  Now dad -with his cat like reflexes- generally initiated this greeting the first go round in the morning.  Later I found out my friend confessed that he had thought this was a daily ritual in our home: where my father would go around informing us that he was awake and we would respond in the affirmative that yes, he was awake. :D

He found out later in the day what we were really talking about, but I’m glad he shared the misunderstanding with me.  Our family fondly reminisces about it every Easter.

He is risen!

Birthday Notes

Friday, March 5th, 2010

Thanks to everyone that left my Dad a note on the web site or had a hand in the Book of notes from Lee.

They were all much appreciated.  :)

A “Burning” Update

Tuesday, January 26th, 2010

Here’s another Dan update for everybody.  Jan 24th was 1 year since Dad had he surgery up at Duke.  I’m very happy that God has allowed him to beat all of the doctor’s projections.  We recently celebrated Mom’s -uhm- 39th birthday and all the family was in town and that was another good time.

Dad gets tired fairly quickly and it is uncomfortable for him to sit or stand for too long, but he’s still able to enjoy life.  When I was up there last he was able to out drive me on the RC Car he recently got from Uncle Dave.  But that’s OK because I can still out fly him on my RC Heli!

Amidst the football games, grilling out, and hanging out - Dad remains the consummate mentor.  I got a few tips from him on time management and life balance during a chat last week.  Dad continues to point -well- basically anyone that will listen back to the Lord.  I find that very strengthening to my own faith because if God is of value during your darker days - He certainly can brighten our sunny ones.

On a similar but unrelated note, I snagged one of my father’s notebooks a few months back.  I think we were looking for something on biblical discipleship at the time, but I found a few notes on various bible translations that were interesting to me.  So I borrowed that notebook to read more about it later.  Well later finally came and I’ve been thumbing through a few pages as part of my quiet times.  It’s funny how much you absorb from your parents (you’re always teaching your kids whether you realize it or not - scary isn’t it!)…  such as similar short hand style.  Anyway, today I came across a page the summed up what I have been trying to explain about my recent bible experiences so well that I just had to share it.

I thought about retyping it but I figured most people would enjoy this “peek” into Dan Kuban’s study time so I’ve uploaded the page as a PDF. This is it.  This is what I seek each morning as I munch my cereal and read God’s word.  As I told a friend recently: “There’s something about this book…” - may you discover the burning in your heart that can change your life.
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Family Update

Monday, December 7th, 2009

A lot of people have been asking me for an update for the web site on the status of our family.  So here is my attempt to accurately convey where we are.

God has been gracious and good to our family so we continue to experience the abundant life each day (John 10:10). While my father’s body has weakened, it has given him the chance to teach us boys about a different kind of strength.  In fact, these circumstances have only strengthened our faith.  Because of the way dad led his life - there are no regrets.  No broken relationships to mend; No wisdom that wasn’t already passed on; No life that wasn’t seized.  Hindsight on life choices is always twenty-twenty - one can not at the end go back and re-do a lifetime. As my father would say “if you don’t have time to do it right the first time, how are you ever going to have time to fix it later?”  Thankfully my dad lived so that there were no “if only”s.  Here is hoping that you learn from his life’s outcome and also live without regrets.

Remember your leaders, who spoke the word of God to you. Consider the outcome of their way of life and imitate their faith. (Hebrews 13:7)

Now, my father is always worried that too much talk about him takes the focus off of Christ.  So I will proclaim that no one is good except God (Mark 10:18) and that man’s good fruit comes from God working though us:

“Remain in me, and I will remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing… This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.” - Jesus (John 15:4-5,8)

I, however, worry about the flip side of the coin.  Those that hold that good Christian living comes down to mere belief.  That God is good and he saved us - and that’s pretty much it.  He’s loving and forgiving and he understands that I’m really busy and…

Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by what I do. You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that—and shudder. You foolish man, do you want evidence that faith without deeds is useless? Was not our ancestor Abraham considered righteous for what he did when he offered his son Isaac on the altar? You see that his faith and his actions were working together, and his faith was made complete by what he did. (James 2:18-22)

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Biblical Insights On Living Well To Die Well

Tuesday, June 2nd, 2009

Biblical insights on living well and dying well video (55 min). This talk was inspired by some writings of William Perkins, a Puritanical Preacher, that were originally published in 1616. Perkins points out many biblical truths about both living and dying 400 years ago that seem new even today. There is overlap between this video and Dan’s Victory of the Last Enemy talk.

A Few Reflections

Tuesday, January 27th, 2009

I thought it appropriate to post a few things I observed during this surgery weekend.

An extended hour: The day of surgery, there was going to be some time between Dan’s pre-op and the actual surgery though we weren’t given specifics from the doctors beforehand.  It ended up that my Dad could spend an hour back at the hotel with friends and family before returning to Duke. When I got the call from my Dad heading to the hotel after pre-op, I thought that an hour seemed too short… but I was wrong.  That hour could better be described by the likes of CS Lewis but I will give it a try.  The Lord extended that hour so that it seemed much longer.  This was not a painfully long hour (I am not talking about how “time flies when you are having fun” or drags when it isn’t).  But it did seem like there was plenty of time for everything: prayer, small talk, serious discussion, and kids playing with an imaginary juicer.  Plenty of time for everything but just enough time for what was needed - the perfect amount of time.  I saw God’s hand in the maximum life squeezed - but somehow fitting easily - into that one hour. (The pre-op hour was important because of the small but significant percentage of people that did not survive the whipple surgery.)

Surprised doctors: I have learned that God’s favorite answer to multiple choice questions is “E) none of the above”. The creativity of a God that created an entire universe to peer out at during the night, will not be content with doing the expected. The multi-staged operation had several critical points but no one thought that the surgeon would discover that the pancreatic cancer pushing on the small intestine would turn out to be intestinal cancer pushing on the pancreas.  Call it surprise or something else, I saw it on the face of several doctors over the past few days.  You see, the goal in cancer treatments is to cut out the tumor before it spreads.  If that can’t be done, the only option is maintenance chemo treatments.  So I witnessed several doctors launch into the “maintenance chemo” talk in recovery (before reviewing the file) because second operations aren’t done.  Inoperable tumors are -well- inoperable. But then surgeons don’t often discover that the cancer is actually a different form mid-surgery.  The surgery was supposed to go one way or the other, but God didn’t like either of those options and took it a third way.  Whether the new treatment can further shrink the tumor and a second operation can succeed remains to be seen.  But while some people would despair to see the experts surprised and confused, I can just smile because I know the one that is in control.  He seldom does what we expect but usually keeps thing interesting.

Surgery Day

Friday, January 23rd, 2009

While the surgery did not proceed like we expected, we have much to thank to God for: first and foremost the prayers of so many people. Thank you all! There was a peace in the waiting area surrounding the family and the surgery results were positive.

The surgery confirmed the CT scans - the Lord has kept the cancer from spreading beyond the one tumor. The surgeon also discovered that the tumor is growing out of his small intestine and not his pancreas. This is good news because, while this is the same type of cancer cell, it tends to grow more slowly than pancreatic. The tumor had shrunk back some from the artery but not enough to safely remove the tumor. However, given the new information, a new chemo/radiation treatment may further shrink the tumor so that a 2nd surgery can remove the tumor safely.

The mailing address for Dan is: (UPDATE: Dan may be checking out as early as Wed morning)

Dan Kuban
Duke University Hospital
Room # 2331
Erwin Road
Durham, NC 27710

I will try to post more later…

Lessons God Taught Me During the 1st 3 Months of Cancer

Tuesday, December 23rd, 2008

Lessons God Taught Me During the 1st 3 Months of Cancer Video (41 min).

Thanksgiving Video

Saturday, December 6th, 2008

Since Dan was not able to make the trip back to Lockport (near Chicago) this year for the usual massive Kuban gathering, the family decided to send some thanksgiving love down south.  Special thanks to David for the idea & shirts and Lori for the video. Also thanks to all the family, girlfriends, boyfriends, and dogs for the shirt pics, thoughts, and prayers.

For another surprise, while Dan & Jan watched the early version of the video - the Knoxville bunch donned their shirts and were waiting color-coordinated when Dad turned around. We then took some pics with Dan and sent those back to the family in Illinois (which Lori incorporated into the final video).

The final video is now online.  For the best picture click on the “google” box in the lower right corner and select “orginial size” as google video doesn’t seem to scale well.

Psalm 103

Monday, November 10th, 2008

In my dad’s battle against cancer, Psalm 103 has spoken profoundly to his heart and faith.  Because of this, I have composed the following song from the passage of Psalm 103:1-5.

- Rob Kuban

(if you are having trouble playing the song you can right click the link and select “save link” to play it locally on your computer)