The One Thing I’d Tell Them

Wednesday, July 8th, 2009

Dear friends:

Its been a while since I posted seeking to respect Dan’s desire to honor God and not have the focus on his condition, but I share the following with his blessing.  Its an answer to the question asked by a friend that was going to speak at a high school graduation.  Dan wrote these words in response to the question - What’s the one thing you would tell them?  Pass these words on - we are using them as a Bible study guide around my home this month, you might enjoy that too.  Blessings - Lee

What’s the One Thing I’d Pass On…?    by Dan Kuban (5/5/09)

…Spend time in your Bible!

By “spending time” I mean regular, consistent, planned, quality time reading, studying, meditating on & memorizing the Word.  Why?  Because I can testify after a 32 years of being a student of the Word, there is no better source for life’s challenges.  To be sure there are numerous excellent Christian & non-Christian authors to learn from.  But “good, better & excellent” are the biggest enemies of the best!  The Bible is simply the best.  It contains answers for anything you’ll face.

In it you’ll learn why you should work (2Th 3:10, Ecc 5:12), how to work (Eph 6:5-8, Col 3:23), how to be a boss (Eph 6:9, Col 4:1, Mt 5:37, Pr 3:27), how to relate to your co-workers (Mt 5:42, Mt 7:12) & your boss (Col 3:22), and how to find favor before God & man (Pr 3:3,4); how to be a friend (Pr 17:17, 18:24, Jn 15:13) & how to treat your enemies (Pr 24:17, 25:21, Mt 5:44), how to be a son/daughter (Pr 31:28, Eph 6:1-3, Col 3:20), how to be a husband/wife (Eph 5:22-29, Pr 12:4), and how to be a father/mother (Pr 22:16, 23:13, Eph 6:4).  You’ll also see how to run a business (Ja 4:13-15, Lev 19:11, Pr 11:1, 16:11), how to make money (Duet 8:18, 1Chr 29:12), how to give away money (Mt 6:3&4, 2Cor 9:7, Pr 3:9), how to save money (Pr 10:5, 30:24&25, 1Cor 16:1-3) & how to spend money (1Tim 6:17-19, Ecc 5:19).  It even tells you how to make money in your sleep (Ps 127:2) & how not to sleep (Pr 6:9, 26:14).  The Bible explains how to pay your taxes (Mt 22:21, Rom 13:7) & how to drive your car (Rom 13:1,2).  It teaches us how to have joy (Jn 15:11, Ph 4:4, Ja 1:2&3), and how to handle sorrow (2Cor 7:9&10, Mt 5:4), how to enjoy life (Mt 6:34, Ecc 5:18, 1Tim 6:17), how to live long (Pr 3:1,2,16, Ps 91:16), how to pray (Lk 18:1, 1Th 5:17, Mt 6:5&6) and how to make decisions (Pr 3:5,6, Ja 1:5, Jer 29:11).  It tells us how to have success (Josh 1:8, Jer 9:23&24), and survive failure (Duet 31:8, Is 41:10, 2Chr 20:15, 17, 2Cor 12:9), how to survive the storms of life (Ps 30:5, 126:5&6, 2Cor 4:17), how to avoid temptation (1Cor 10:13, Heb 2:18, Ps 119:9,11), and how to have victory over the evil one (2Cor 10:3-5, Ja 4:7).  It tutors us on how to exert personal influence (2Tim 2:2, Heb 10:24,25, 2 Thes 3:9), how to live (2Cor 4:5, Lk 17:10, Ezr 7:10), and who does ministry (Mt 28:19,20, Eph 4:12).  The Bible is clear on how to have sex (Gen 2:24, Heb 13:4), and how to not have sex (1Cor 6:9,16,18, Eph 5:3).  It instructs us on how to be rich (1Tim 6:17, Jer 9:23,24, Mt 16:26, Ps 52:7, Pr 11:28), how to be poor (Ja 2:5, Mk 12:43), and how to be content (Ph 4:11-13, 1Tim 6:6-8).  It teaches us how to live when we are young (1Tim 4:12), and when we are old (Pr 20:29, 16:31, Ps 71:9, 18, 92:14, Is 46:4) and  even how to face death (Ps 23:4, 2Cor 1:9, Ecc 7:1).  And finally, it declares how to find God (Jer 29:13, Lk 9:24), and be certain of everlasting life (Rom 6:23, Jn 5:24, 1Jn 5:11-13).

The Bible contains all we need (2Tim 3:16,17), and even promises a blessing for those who take the time (Rev 1:3).

Redirecting the Focus

Sunday, March 8th, 2009

So many of you have been so gracious in your prayers and concerns for Dan.  I want to join him in expressing heartfelt thanks for the inquiries, the messages, the prayers and the faithfulness that you have shown.  Its time for us all to redirect our focus from concerns for his treatment to celebration of the impactful person that Dan is.

Rather than focusing on the storm that cancer has presented for this stage of his life, it is his desire that we focus on the Master of calming storms.  I do not know what Dan’s next steps are physically in his approach to treatment and it is completely appropriate for us all to simply relate to Dan as Dan - friend, father, partner, leader, adviser, mentor, etc.  Do not take this as a negative or a capitulation - he is stronger each time I see him - but it is a total desire to put his faith in the Lord in total control of his circumstances,

My personal tendencies are to be a “fixer” - to strive unceasingly to locate that piece of information that holds the key to unlocking the answers to any question.   This is one of those admissions of personal limitation that we all have to face some or many times in life when we confront challenges that are so far beyond our reach that we can only rely on God for answers.  My focus has been so much on the cancer, that I have fogotten about celebrating the relationship.

Whether Dan has 1 day or 10000 days ahead on this earth, each one of those days is an opportunity to enjoy relationship with Dan.  I would encourage you also to shift your focus from Dan’s cancer to Dan’s life - celebrating what he means to you rather than the concern for his physical struggle.  He is fully in the hands of the Lord and that’s exactly where he wants to be, and he will be there from now until eternity whether his earthly days are many or few.  Continue your kind prayers for his health, but next time you see him, ask how his grandchildren are doing or whether the Vols will make it to the NCAA and enjoy a smile with the man that we all care deeply about.  Your smile will say it all and be the best earthly medicine that he could receive.

I will be slowing down on my updates during this season for Dan.  First, he is in a time of recovery from the operation and all appears well with that, but more importantly, he really seeks a time of “treatment” privacy desiring to refocus on the Lord for his life, blessings and health.  It is my hope to honor his wishes.  If there is a major change in his situation that he desires your specific prayers or praises for, I will post that information - until then, I thank you for your faithfulness in walking this journey with Dan.

Thoughts from Job

Thursday, March 5th, 2009

I’ve been reading through the Book of Job the last few days to seek understanding about the emotions of one who is in dire circumstances.  Job had it all and it was all taken away and in the middle of the book, all of his friends start to give him advice.  In Job 16:2 Job responds to their advice:  “I have heard many such things - sorry comforters are you all.”  Given the limitations of all of my research and advice to Dan, I fall into that “sorry comforter” category - a sort of frantic striving for cloudy answers.  There is only one true comforter in these times - the Holy Spirit.   Dan is seeking His will for each step in the journey.

Each time I see Dan lately, he is physically stronger and is now getting out again and doing life.  I called him while he was with Jan flying yesterday and got a one sided conversation - I am in the airplane and can’t hear a thing! Thanks to you all for your continued prayers.  They have impact beyond what any of us know.

Pressing Forward

Sunday, March 1st, 2009

Dan celebrated his birthday with Jan Saturday.  I trust it was a fun day together in the mountains.

Thursday, I gave Dan some personalized M&Ms candies with a picture of Dan and Jan on each one!  I think it was the first time I had helped him laugh in months so it was well worth the express shipping!   Each time I am with him in the last two weeks he is physically stronger.  I still sense that the emotional roller coaster and the challenging treatments have taken a toll, but your prayers and God’s steadfastness are the only remedies that I can see for that.

Today’s sermon was spot on for my yearnings for Dan.  Taken from Proverbs 3:6-7 and I take the liberty to add verse 8 also:

6) In all your ways acknowledge the Lord and He will make your paths straight.  7) Do not be wise in your own eyes, fear the Lord and turn away from evil.  It will be healing to your body and refreshment to your bones.

In so much of these difficult treatments, we are wise in our earthy eyes, but maybe needing to trust in Him in all ways.  Dan is nearing key decisions on his next steps.  If you would hold him up for wisdom, discernment and godly will, I would be most appreciative.

Decisions on Treatment

Monday, February 23rd, 2009

Please pray for discernment for Dan as he is deciding what treatment options to pursue going forward.  He is getting out a little bit now - lunch here and there, a Lady Vols game with family, etc.  His pain is lessening and he is off pain medication which really helps with his clarity of thinking and his will.  He remains in prayer for God’s will to be evident in his decisions and actions.

When I spend time with him, I see a man of God that is facing a tremendous battle with extraordinary courage.  My mind and heart both are at odds with a medical community that has pronounced Dan as terminal.  Perhaps it is because of my lack of medical training, my desire for a different outcome, or just perhaps its because they do not know Dan Kuban like I know Dan Kuban - a man with copious discipline and healthy habits, follower of an Almighty God, and a man who still has many journeys to make proclaiming Him.

Friends, Dan will celebrate his birthday this Saturday (28th).  Actually, if I am not mistaken, he was born on a leap year day, so he really doesn’t have a birthday this year!  If you have the time and inclination, drop him a card or an email and just let him know you are thinking about him.  We were at a busy Panera’s last week and everywhere we turned, someone was coming up to him to say hello and wish him well - I think your prayers and kindnesses are sustaining him in this painful time along with God’s care. Thanks.

At the Foot of the Throne

Tuesday, February 17th, 2009

Dan continues to strengthen a little bit each day.  We had a good time together today just to catch up on a number of things.  While Dan’s physical condition continues to improve in tiny, but noticeable steps, his will is significantly strengthening.  Dan is considering several options for treatment as next steps ranging from doing nothing, orthodox medicine approaches to alternative natural medicine.  Over the next 1-2 weeks, he plans to just be at the foot of the throne in prayer seeking God’s discernment and guidance on what is His will.  Dan needs a little time away from the treatment routines (scans, medications, pain, nausea, etc.) to just seek peace and clarity in his mind.  Please pray specifically for discernment of God’s will for Dan’s treatment and for continued strength to return to his body.

On a side note, I got a de-chlorinating shower head a couple of weeks ago and gave one to Dan today.  Chlorine is a carcinogen used to treat the water supply (kill bacteria) and even if you use a water filter for your drinking water, a significant amount of chlorine is absorbed through your pores in a hot shower.  Just a little note for those of you that seek to do the little things to create a healthy environment in your home.

Again, thank you for your prayers and notes for Dan.  Their power is immeasurable in lifting his spirits and needs to the Lord.

Slow, Incremental Progress

Sunday, February 15th, 2009

I have seen Dan a few times over the past week and each time I see his strength returning in tiny steps - a stronger voice, better color, clearer thinking, longer visits.  He is still in some considerable pain from the incision made during the operation compounded by the infection that is improving, but persisting.  I saw him on Friday and I think that he told me that he is finished with the pain medication.  What I observed was a much clearer look in his eyes and a significantly clearer thought process.

Friends, Dan is pretty beaten down by the events of the last 4 months and most particularly the last three weeks. I ask you for prayers of encouragement for him.  He has always been one that encourages others, but now is a season where we need to join together to encourage him.  His physical enemy has shifted several times during this ordeal from a diagnosis of pancreatic cancer (with a 90 day mortality prognosis), to the inability to gain a conclusive biopsy, to several biopsies leading to a confirmation of pancreatic cancer, to radiation and chemotherapy intended to kill the cancer by taking him to the verge of life, to an operation to remove the tumor and save the pancreas, to a realization in that operation that the cancer was not in the pancreas but originating from the duodenum, to an infection resulting from a weakened immune system with a major incision, to another mortality prognosis of 12-18 month.  Dan is a warrior for the Lord, but this kind of physical and emotional roller-coaster is enough to extinguish anyone’s spirit.  Please pray now for the physical, emotional and spiritual fight to return to Dan in abundance.

So what is next?  Dan is considering more of the same with the established medical system (chemo and radiation) and he is also looking into some alternative approaches.  Please pray for wisdom, discernment, and energy to make wise decisions and to take action rather than be trapped by fear of the unknown or replication of treatments that have not been beneficial.  Faithfully believe that God will use Dan in a most mighty way.  Blessings to you all for your fervent prayers for Dan.

A Call for Prayer

Friday, February 6th, 2009

Friends of Dan:

I have been on the West Coast this week and a bit out of touch with Dan.  Today, I stopped in with him at his home.  I had noticed the last few days that his voice was not as strong and had attributed that to the recouperation period from the surgery, but I learned more today and I am seeking your intensified prayers on Dan’s behalf.

An infection set in from the surgery just internal to the incision.  As a result, Dan is taking antibiotics and continued pain medicines.  These in turn have had their impact on digestive processes that were already revamped by the surgery.  This is a time in this journey that Dan is at his physically lowest point.  The compounded effects of chemo, radiation, surgery and now infection are taking their toll on his body, and also on his enthusiasm.  So, I would just ask all you prayer warriors to kick in extra for the next two weeks to ask for physical strength, healing and spiritual encouragement for him.

In visiting with Dan today he specifically asked for your prayers.  He relayed to me that he can sense the power of your petitions for him even to the point of when they are many and intense and when they are fewer.  I have been remiss in the last week in updating all of you as I was a bit unaware of what was next for Dan or what to expect in this phase of the recovery.  The infection has been a setback and one that we need to rally around specifically.

You are all such a blessing to this dear man.  Thank you for your steadfast vigilance for Dan.

Coming Home!

Wednesday, January 28th, 2009

Kevin called and relayed that Dan was getting out of Duke University Hospital today (Wednesday) as soon as all the paperwork was done.  He should be headed back home in the next day or two.

Welcome home, Dan!

A Beautiful Picture of Family

Sunday, January 25th, 2009

Dan’s journey continues to be covered with faith and surprises.  What I saw Friday was the definition of family.  Dan was surrounded by the Lord’s love and the love of family.  Wife, boys, brothers, sisters, grand-children, friends —- all there just to encourage, pray and express their love for this man.  It was a sight to see and a blessings to behold.

Dan should be back in Knoxville by next weekend if his recovery goes as expected.  In the mean time, drop him a card at the address in the last post if you have the chance.  There is more knowledge about his situation and he may have a few different options to consider.

Dan’s sister, Lori Tondini, created a digital blessing for Dan and for those of you that would like to, watch it and pray for Dan.  The link is:

Thank you all for your continued encouragement for Dan with your prayers, emails and calls.   He remains in God’s total care.

Important Day Ahead

Friday, January 23rd, 2009

Dan will be in surgery at Duke Medical Center (Durham, NC) today.  It is a 3-step operation with each step depending on the outcome and information from the previous one.  My understanding is that the third step, called the Whipple Procedure, is a very delicate operation.  I will post again tomorrow whatever I learn.

We covet your simple prayers: skill and wisdom for the surgeons and God’s tangible protection on Dan.  Thanks.

May the peace of the Lord be with Dan and his family and friends this day.

Prayers Requested for Operation

Sunday, January 18th, 2009

Dan and Jan will head to North Carolina on Wednesday to arrive at Duke Medical Center on Friday for his operation.  It is my understanding that this could be a very delicate and difficult operation.  Please pray for God’s protection for Dan and skill for the surgeons.

I spent some time with Dan on Saturday and he is facing this with a courage and peace that only the Lord can provide.  His outward physical appearance and inward strength continue to be positive.  Dan just wants to be used for God’s glory.    I pray that God’s glory will be manifest in a total and complete healing for Dan.  Thank you, friends, for your fervent prayers for him.

Surgery Next Friday (1-23)

Friday, January 16th, 2009

Dan has conferred with his surgeon at Duke and plans are underway for surgery next Friday, January 23.  This will be a very delicate operation and could be lengthy with a rather lengthy recovery.  Dan asks for your prayers for a successful operation that removes all the cancer and that he retains satisfactory function of the pancreas.

Thank you all for your continued inquiries and prayers on Dan’s behalf.  I visited with him recently and to all outward appearances, he looks great and his energy is returning to pre-treatment levels.  He continues to trust God’s will and his faith is a constant example to me.

More Waiting …

Monday, January 12th, 2009

Dear friends of Dan:

Dan travelled to Duke today to take his tests, records and scans to his surgeon to determine if surgery was the next step.  I spoke to Dan this evening and learned the following -

The surgeon is unsure if the tumor has retracted enough from key blood vessels to operate.  He plans to carefully study the information with an assistant (a radiologist, I think) to see if they can tell whether the tumor has penetrated any of the key arteries.  Seems they might be able to tell from the CT scans indications of blood flow in the area/vessels of interest. Dan expects to talk with him via the phone on Thursday.  The decision will be a difficult one due to the complexity of the surgery and the delicacy of the operation, particularly as it relates to removing the tumor from the close proximity of the arteries.  That’s about all I know on the physical front.

On the spiritual front,  this ordeal is about honoring God.  Dan reminds me of that with every conversation.  Dan’s future is in God’s hands, not man’s.  His hope and being are God’s.  With each passing tes, conference and day, it is clear that this malady may be beyond the skills of man’s medicine as we know it today, but Dan rests securely in the knowledge that “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” PHIL 4:13  It is powerful for me to see this friend who is closer than a brother go through this battle with faith a strong as steel. It has not waivered and from knowing Dan and God’s position in his life, I know it will not.

Prayers - for patience, for wisdom of the doctors, for comfort for his family, for God to be glorified.  Blessings to you all.

Test Results Varied

Thursday, January 8th, 2009

Wednesday morning, Dan met with his oncologist to review the results of the CT Scan from Monday and the blood work from two weeks ago.  Seems like he got good and bad news.  Let me do a little explaining.

The blood work is a test for a specific “marker” that indicates the chemical activity of cancer in the body.  Dan has shared that this number is typically 70-100 in a healthy person and up to 20,000+ in a person in final cancer stages.  Dan’s first marker 3-4 months ago was at 700 leading to the further inquiries and diagnosis.  In the middle of the chemo treatments, it went up to 1700 as the cancer was sort of stirred up.  The measurement as of two weeks ago from the blood work at the end of treatments was 170.  This is encouraging indicting that the activity of the tumor is reduced.  This is one important step to allowing surgery to get the tumor to slow down, I think.

The CT Scan revealed that the tumor has not shrunk appreciably.  At the beginning of the treatment, this was stated as a possibility because of the large amount of scar tissue in the area of the tumor.  In fact, it was this large amount of scar tissue that made the diagnosis so difficult to begin with.  The key question related to operability is whether or not the tumor has pulled back from key blood vessels allowing it to be surgically removed.  This decision will be made on Monday with the surgeon at Duke.

I visited with Dan on Tuesday.  He looks great and is gaining weight.  He is also back at 75% of his morning execise routine (which means he is in much better condition than I am!)  He still has some abdominale pain, but he does not know if it is from the tumor, the radiation effects, or just the stress of all of this.  Our conversation covered the waterfront and he is in good spirits with the exception of the waiting game.  He says its easier to go for treatments everyday than to wait for results. He remains steadfast in his trust and confidence in the Lord wanting to be used for His purposes in all things - even suffering.

This whole ordeal has taught me so much about love, caring, God, friendship and frankly what is important.  When all else is taken away, our faith and our dearest relations are what remain.  The power of faith and how it can sustain us through even the darkest hours and deepest challenges continues to be evidenced by Dan every time I talk to him or see him.

I would like to encourage you to leave him a note.  You will help him by just sharing with him.  Thanks again for so many prayers and inquiries on his behalf.

Time with Dan Yesterday

Wednesday, January 7th, 2009

I spent a most enjoyable hour with Dan yesterday at his home just catching up.  We talked about a lot of things including his view on The Shack that he had just finished.  In Dan’s way of being detailed and kind at the same time, he pointed out the theological short comings of the book while saying that it was a good read that might help many better understand a relationship with God.  We also talked about Protein Discovery and Protomet, endeavors that Dan has helped with for several years.  Our time included prayer for these organizations and their leaders.

Dan confessed that the waiting is almost harder than the treatments.  Waiting for information, for recommendations, for treatments to have full effect, etc.  Dan is always action oriented!  I think this is just more of the test of faith that he is experiencing.  He continues to grow in his trust and praise of the Lord and prays that his actions reflect Gods glory to all he comes in contact with.

Today, Dan will meet with the doctors at UT that have directed the treatments so far to review the results of the recent CT Scan and blood work.  The miraculous outcome would be no sign of the tumor; the best worldly result would be that the tumor has shrunk and is now operable.

CT Scan Today

Wednesday, January 7th, 2009

Just a brief update for you all.  Dan had a CT Scan today (Monday the 5th - I think this did not get posted then) to determine the state of the tumor after the treatments.  He will meet with his UT doctors on Wednesday to determine what was learned from the scan and also recent blood work that he has had.  If the chemo and radiation has done its job with the help of the Lord and the wisdom of the doctors, then the tumor should have contracted and slowed to the point that surgery is recommended.  Dan continues to strengthen each day and is back to his daily exercise, building a bit more each day.

I continue to give thanks to God for the way He has strengthened Dan through this ordeal spiritually, physically and emotionally.  I am most certain that your prayers have been a source of encouragement for Dan.  For those of you that may not have seen him lately, you would be amazed at his appearance and his attitude - both attributable to his faith and God’s provision.

After Wednesday, there will be a Monday (14th) visit to Duke to the surgeon to determine if an operation is warranted.

A New Year

Friday, January 2nd, 2009

Blessings for a happy new year to all of you that have been so faithful in your support for Dan.  I have been out of town and have now updated the site in a couple of weeks so I just wanted to catch you all up on Dan’s progress, plans and how the Lord continues to watch over him.

First progress:  Dan has completed the chemo and radiation treatments as of two weeks before Christmas.  All of his doctors were amazed at his strong condition, but we all understand that Dan is under the Lord’s protection.   We are thankful for what one doctor could only credit as a miracle.  For those of you that have not seen Dan lately, to me he appears most healthy and vibrant with the exception of a few pounds of weight loss (something most of us could use!) He was still doing sit-ups and push-ups each day until the last week of radiation - something that one of his nurses curiously commented she should start doing (if it was working so well).  Dan relayed to me that he constantly prays aloud during the radiation treatments that last about 2 minutes each time for the treatments to work, for God’s glory to be magnified, for wisdom for the doctors.  He is a walking and living testimony.

What’s next?  The waiting has been difficult as the residual radiation runs its course.  On Monday (Jan 5, 2009), Dan will have another CT scan to examine the condition of the tumor.  The desire is that the tumor has shrunk to the point that it will be operable.  He will take the results of the CT scan to his surgeon at Duke in early January to determine how to proceed - preferrably to operate and remove the tumor.  This operation on the pancrease is call the Whipple Procedure and is a very delicate one.  The doctor at Duke is one of the leading surgeons in this procedure so Dan will be in good hands, both earthly and heavenly.

At the conclusion of the radiation treatments, a few friends joined with Dan at his home to give thanks for the Lord’s protection thusfar and to offer encouragement to Dan for what lies ahead.  We are all touched by the way the Lord has been a source of strength and comfort to Dan in what has to be one of the most difficult medical treatments that anyone could endure.  While Dan is a testimony to us all, I want to thank all of you for being such great prayer warriors for him.  Please continue to lift him up and pray for God’s healing hand to be actively upon him.

Happy new year to you all and my to rest in the same assurance of God’s love that is sustaining our dear friend, Dan.

Pray Continually

Monday, December 15th, 2008

I have spent a lot of time posting about Dan, his walk, the Lord’s faithfulness to him, and his health, but I wanted to take this opportunity to share with you what I am learning from all of this (after first praising God that Dan is through the chemo and he only has 3 radiation treatments left. He has remained in great spirits and outward good health).

I have heard the concept - pray continually - a number of times, but I never really have personally experienced it like I have these last two months.  Dan has been a  friend and mentor to me through the years and the suddenness and severity of his diagnosis shocked me as it did many of you.  Through these months of shock, followed by sadness, then searching, then hope, and all covered by prayer, I have experienced an urge to pray for him like I have never comprehended.  A friend of mine, Jimmy Pitcannen, had a similar situation with a dear friend and he pointed out to me what the Lord was doing - teaching me to pray continually.

So what does it look like and feel like?  First thought as you wake up in the middle of the night - lift up Dan’s rest to the Lord.  First thought in the morning - ask the Lord for Dan’s physical protection today.  Get in the car to go somewhere - thank the Lord for all the experiences, past and future, that you have shared with Dan.  Prepare to take a meal - ask for God to make digestion easy and to retain the sense of taste for Dan during this treatment.  Coach a basketball game - thank God for all the folks Dan has coached and helped and for the opportunity to continue to do so.  Maybe there is a friendship that goes along with the “peace that passes all human understanding” - a friendship that only Jesus can reflect as He walks beside us in our trials reminding us that all blessings come from His Father.

The radiation ends Thursday (Dec. 18) and then Dan will have a few weeks of rest leading to more tests early in the new year.  Thanks for covering him with your prayers and allowing me to share with you my heart for him and what this is revealing to me about the continual steadfastness of our Lord.  –Lee

God is Awesome!

Tuesday, December 9th, 2008

Dan has been teaching me by his example of the power of our God and focused prayer.  God has been so gracious to protect his body from the ravages of the treatment he is under - both chemically and radiologically.  Dan completed his last chemo Monday and has 7 more radiation treatments to go to finish this regimine of treatments.  He shared with me that both of his doctors were amazed at his stamina after this much treatment.  One said it was a miracle and the other had to agree that this was God’s covering.

Our spiritual walk is a uniquely individual journey that never ends as we grow closer to Him.  As I see Dan, his faith and God’s awesome hand of protection, grace and answers to prayer, I am reminded that there is so little that I can comprehend of His majesty, but I am steadfastly thankful that He is a God that is actively engaged in our lives.

To all that have been prayer warriors in this, claim assurance that God is in control and that Dan is in the middle of His will and care.  Thank you so much for your continuing vigil for Dan.  He would be the first to tell you the glory is His and then he would thank you profusely that you care enough to petition for him.

Good Progress, Great Spirit

Thursday, December 4th, 2008

I had a great hour with Dan this afternoon.  He has completed 18 of 28 radiation treatments and 4 of 5 anticipated chemotherapy sessions.  He looks great, tires early and is still exercising everyday!  He told a nurse the other day that he was having some muscle pains in his stomach and thought it might be from the 40 situps each morning - she gave him a strange look and committed to doing 5 tomorrow! That’s just like Dan - inspiring others to a greater place.

Dan said that he is really learning about being specific in his prayers - specific covering for certain areas of pain, specific help in keeping food down, good blood counts, rest when needed, but Dan is also praying for others.  He has been a prayer warrior for me in a current business endeavor that I think is important - what a friend.

We had a good talk about friendship today and how it is easy to have many friends, but difficult to have more than a handful of folks that you go really deep with.  Its a matter of compatibility, but particularly a matter of time.  Dan is special to so many people because he takes the time to serve and help. He is certainly a blessing in my life.

Please keep praying for his strength and the effectiveness of the treatment.

Half-way point

Sunday, November 30th, 2008

It is my understanding that Dan anticipates 6 weeks of treatments (28 in all).  As of Friday, he finished number 14 in great spirits.  Please keep him in your prayers for continued strength of body and spirit, a good appetite and positive digestion to keep his energy level fueled, and that he continue to experience and reflect the love of God with each day.  I am so thankful to know this man and to experience personally the strength of his faith.  Blessings to you all.


Wednesday, November 26th, 2008

How do you give thanks for a friend like Dan?  Words fall so short of expressing the thankfulness that so many of us have for the friend that Dan has been to us.  He may have coached our child in baseball, he may have built a church with you or for you in Mexico (or driven you on a bus), he may have faithfully worked with you on professional projects - always to completion (the finisher!), he may have lead you to the Lord or to a deeper understanding of your giftedness, he may have hiked with you to the top of the Andes, or perhaps he just had a perfect word of encouragement for you in a time of need.

Dan has done these things and more for many of us.  I am please to say to you that he continues to teach us all lessons with his strength, positive attitude and unshakable faith.  I have seen Dan a couple of times this week and talked to him several more.  He is in great spirits and looks tremendous.  He has completed 13 of 28 anticipated treatments as of today.  The major effects are fatigue and some nausea, but all in all he is really upbeat and doing better than I could ever have imagined.  Praise God!

As far as prayer goes - Dan is teaching me a few things about really specific and focused prayer.  During his radiation treatments, he is focusing prayer on the physical enemy in his body seeking to add His power to the radiation.  After the treatments, Dan is simply asking for a minimization of the pain and the side effects.  He is a walking example that prayer works beyond our comprehension.  Thank you to so many that are holding him up in your prayers.


Thursday, November 20th, 2008

Friends of Dan:

I have talked with Dan a number of times in the past few days, but I have been out of town so I have not seen him.  In conversation, Dan is so steady, so full of faith and such a warrior.  His strength in this time of difficulty is a tremendous testimony to any who come in contact with him.

Dan has made up his mind to be intentional in his thoughts and actions.  He has always been a positive person, but in light of these circumstances, his constant approach to remaining positive, looking forward to the day, giving a smile to others, praying for their needs and never complaining is such a blessing to me.

Any of you that are faced with a difficulty today can remember Dan and his battle, particularly the grace with which he is fighting it and the trust and confidence as to Who is eternally and ultimately in control.

Physically, Dan is tiring early in the afternoon, has some stomach problems, particularly on the days immediately following the chemo (every Monday), and he occasionally and irregularly has internal pain that seems to be associated with the intensity of the treatments.

Pray that the treatments are effective in killing this internal invader and that he can eat sufficiently to maintain his strength.  As of this writing, he has 9 treatments down and 21 to go with his spirits remaining exceptionally strong.

An Afternoon Visit

Thursday, November 13th, 2008

I stopped by Dan’s home this afternoon just to catch up with him and see directly how he was doing after chemo and 4 days of radiation treatment.  I have long looked at the world throught he 4-square view - physical, mental, social and spiritual (see Luke 2:52 a description of Jesus’ growth to manhood).  So, I will give you my 4-square perspective of Dan.

Physically, he looked great - no outward evidence of the war that is raging inside his body.  He is tiring early as his body is drained recuperating from the treatments.  Dan described the radiation sessions as very short (2-3 minutes), but the dosage rates very high.  He continues to exercise each day with the discipline that he has always had and that I respect so greatly.

Mentally, he is sharp as a tack.  We spent a good bit of time going over a business document and he asks the same piercing questions that I have come to know him for.

Socially, he enjoys conversation and is getting out to church and some lunch engagements.  He had lunch and a tour of the new ORNL yesterday with my brother.  The old engineering building has been replaced with a new facility and the old parking lot has another building on it - both devoted to environmental work.

Spiritually, he is like a rock.  With each bolt of radiation he says a prayer - even the ceiling tile alignment lasers make a cross!  He is facing this challenge with a foundation that is secure and a great source of strength.

It was a good visit and I am encouraged by his demeanor and spirit.  Please pray that nausea and fatigue would not overcome him.  Blessings to you.