This Father’s Day got me thinking about my dad.  It seemed appropriate to write a Dan short note.  In no particular order, Dad thank you for

  • Showing me that a real man isn’t afraid to have fun like a kid
  • Answering my intellectual questions about spirituality intellectually and not with some cop out answer like “God made it that way” or “have faith”.
  • Teaching me by example.  Never missing a quiet time all the while I was growing up was the strongest argument for reading the bible you could make.
  • How to look tough and make funny faces.
  • Showing humility.  It’s funny how the people that need to know you are smart or good or whatever usually already do - even without one bragging or boasting.  But I think you need to see it work for someone else before you really believe it.
  • Being my mentor.  I’m still amazed at how much you taught me over the years: from engine noise diagnostics, to Greek word studies, to balloon animals, to how to treat people, to reading business plans, to putting your family first. All those small side conversations as well as the long deep talks added up.
  • Reminding me that a sharp and witty mouth could be used to build someone up or tear someone down.
  • Teaching me how to talk to all people - from the plumber to my professors from a junk yard proprietor to a member of a board of directors.
  • Lastly thanks for not being a jerk or even worse.  It seems the majority of books for men these days are about dealing with all the bad baggage your father left you.  Thank you for being the father I needed so that such books are just basically bizarre to me rather than helpful.  :)

To be honest I really wrote this less for my own father more to all the father’s out there: Realize that you have a tremendous impact on your kids - whether it is positive or negative is up to you.

(looking tough) Read the rest of this entry »

We are building another Dan Kuban habitat house starting this July and completing in September! You can sign up if you are interested in volunteering or feeding the workers.

Schedule for Construction:

  • Blitz day (Frame/Roof) July 23rd
  • Interior Walls / Roof Shingles July 30th
  • Vinyl Siding August 6th
  • Interior Painting September 10th
  • Cabinets & Trim September 17th


Recently, I have been doing some consulting for a large organization with a large engineering contingent.  Walking through one of the buildings there, I saw a huge slide rule hung on the wall like art.

For those of you that don’t know what a slide rule is or what it is used for here is an image and a short explanation.   Back when computers were the size of buildings and the calculator hadn’t been dreamed up yet, engineers needed something to help them with their constant calculations and the abacus wasn’t cutting it: the slide rule was born.  Using logametric scales, this ruler looking device somehow makes complex calculations easier much like MS Excel today.  As historical proof, the Apollo missions to the Moon were powered by slide rules (and rocket fuel) since the average smart phone is more powerful than the sum of NASA’s computers at the time.

Anyway, you can now see why an engineer might consider a slide rule a clever piece of work place art.  Seeing said artwork made me think “Oh Dad would love that!  I need to send him a picture text…” and I started to take out my iPhone before I remembered that Dad can’t get texts anymore. I’ve actually made this mistake a lot lately, so I began pondering why that was the case.

After some thought, I realized it was because I truly believe that Dad is alive (in heaven) that my brain doesn’t really see him as dead like most might conceptualize but really just “out of cel range”.  I liken it to how we were out of range when we went on one of our Manly Man Trips to Boundary Waters.  This manly fishing trip involved us taking a plane to Minneapolis, then takinboundry-waters-sm.jpgg a two hour taxi cab to the near the border.  From there we took a puddle jumper into Canada to a small Lodge, then took a speed boat as far out as it could go, at which point we grabbed our gear and canoes and took a short hike to the next small lake.  Using the canoes and taking short hikes over the land separating the many lakes that make up the Boundary Waters, we made our way into the Canadian wilderness where we would setup camp and start fishing.  Now before leaving for this trip, I had finished all the paperwork to buy my first home.  As always happens with banks, there was some small snag they wanted to go over with me while I was on this trip… the bank being told I was on vacation and unreachable by cel phone was like ‘no really we need to talk to him’… to which they were told ‘no really, he is really outside of cel phone range’.

During the time I was pondering these things, I heard a famous preacher ask “what happens to us when we die?”. “What happens?” he continued, “Everyone knows what happens - they have a service they put you in a box and they put the box in the ground. And yet mankind by and large continues to ask what happens when we die…”

An interesting question when you think about it really.  Is it that we just need to attend more funerals to see if there is any variation or is it that something in our soul whispers that there is more to come?

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The following is something originally in my part of the Boys On Dan that I had to cut out for time:

More recently in addition to Mighty To Save, the other song that was significant to me on this journey was Promised Land.

I’m going to see my Savior, I’m going to see my Lord,
I’m going to sing forever, ain’t gonna cry no more…
When they lay me underneath a heavy stone, and the cold grave grips my bones.
Don’t cry for me for in Glory I will be, dancing around the throne!

Now if that last part doesn’t make you smile then you’ve never seen my father dance!

The topic of dancing in heaven actually came up in one of our discussions in May or June. I had been taking lessons the last year or so but had just started videoing them to aid my memory of what I had learned when I practiced. I was showing dad a few of my latest moves from the tape, and he told me that he looked forward to dancing it heaven because he would be much better at it there than he was here.

Now, my father and I had a theological difference of opinion over whether or not his new body would have the same two left feet that his first body did. My father believed in a more extensive “instant knowledge” (I’m sure there is probably a $5 seminary word for this) in the next life than I do. We agree that in the next life, the question of the Godhood and our relation to them will not exist. The veil over that intrinsic knowledge - that in this life is necessary for Free Will to exist - will be removed. The naked truth of our failings in this life will be painfully apparent as well. The elects’ minds will definitely be clearer without sin, age, disease, and the enemy to cloud them. However I believe that our normal experiential knowledge will be largely unchanged. (I think a study of Eden along with certain passages concerning angels and visions of heaven support this position) How better to pass the infinite time in heaven than to learn and grow towards our potential inside a relationship with the King God and alongside fellow believers? Isn’t that a much more interesting heaven than the 24/7 singing-in-the-choir viewpoint of many?

That is not to say Dan had the choir view - far from it. I simply mention it here for contrast. Dad viewed his lack of dance ability as a fault of an imperfect body that would be corrected in his perfect one. (He emphasized the ability aspect of the dancing skill while I view it as more knowledge based. So really our disagreement is less theological and more about skill and ability theory.) However, I suspect he has discovered his healthy new body still needs to be trained in some new moves. ;)

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For the volunteers that didn’t make it to the house dedication (with key ceremony) there is now a highlight video from that day. Enjoy.

At Dan’s celebration each of his son’s said a few short words about their father in the biblical order (Matthew 20:16).  Here is what we said:

Videos Version

Written Version


First of all I would like to thank everyone for coming this has been a truly amazing celebration

Two years ago I remember sitting and praying for a miracle, not wanting to let go. I talked with many people that were upset that God had not made my dad’s cancer walk a great story of a miracle. However, I don’t think we could ask for a greater story.

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The perishable has been clothed with the imperishable and the mortal with immortality, that which is written has come true: “Death has been swallowed up in victory. Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?” Thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. - 1 Cor 15

Daniel P. Kuban, went home to his Heavenly Father today.  Dan’s life was a blessing and inspiration to all who ever met him, whether it was in the boardroom or the slums of Mexico.  He spent his days in the moment, embracing life with a contagious enthusiasm, pointing out the small things, and teaching us of the big things.  Dan was many things through his life: husband, father, son, brother, papa, friend, engineer, inventor, businessman, mentor, teacher, and even the guy at the airport making balloon animals for children.  But most of all, Dan was a servant of Christ.  He lived out Matthew 5: “let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.”  All he was, and accomplished, must be viewed through the lens of his Savior – he sought His glory above all things, yearning for the Hope and Glory that is to come, and it is in this light that we will all remember him.  As D.L. Moody once remarked, “Someday you will read in the papers that I am dead.  Don’t you believe a word of it!  At that moment I shall be more alive than I am now.”

Pic of Dan in Paradise (St Thomas)

We don’t have the music portions, but here are the speakers and songs in order.

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A great way to see the Life and Joy Christ brings to one’s life.  The story of my Father.  To a Loving Husband, Father, Grandfather, Friend, and Man of God. - Kevin Kuban

We have posted some new videos on Habitat House progress. Interior Walls & Roof:




So all this Habitat Building of late and a random facebook post reminded me of a good story for this site.  We Kuban men were raised to be pretty handy by our Mechanical Engineering father, but anyone that has built with us is probably familiar with what we call “Kuban Engineering”. Kuban Engineering is a faster way to build stuff “right”.  Dan could do all the advanced math, he had Masters in ME and had passed the PE, but for home projects that can be rather time consuming.  So instead of building stuff to exact design requirement specifications with acceptable real-world extra safety tolerances - we use a short cut.  The short cut is simple: start with standard construction rules of thumb and then double or triple it for good measure. Or as Dan put it: “If it looks strong, it probably is.” Now again we are trying to avoid excessive calculations in our “cyphering” (design phase) so we often round up if the math works out easier…

I remember Rob telling me one that it was an adjustment when he first started working with Habitat regularly in college.  He said it was weird only putting 2-3 nails (per H4H plans) when his instincts told him: that board needs 8 nails or maybe 16…  But my favorite example of Kuban Engineering has to be the couch Dad built.

Dad built a sofa strong enough “for the boys” when we were little. The sofa was wood (up to 2×8’s if memory serves) stained and coated 3x in exterior grade poly - except the “hi-wear” areas which got 4 coats. Mom made some foam cushions and voila.  The sofa survived the rigors of four boys and eventually we were all grown.  At which point some deck cushions were purchased and the sofa was re-purposed (can’t throw away a perfectly good sofa) as deck furniture.  After several years of sun and rain soaked cushions the sofa was still in mint condition - the cushions, however, were showing their age. As a last ditch effort, the sofa was tossed off the 2nd story deck only to damage… the ground.  Seeing no alternative, the chain saws were called in so that Mom could get new deck furniture to replace the “broken” one.  :)

The Blitz Day was great! When this Habitat house was first discussed it was going to be a memorial.  It was so awesome that Dad got to speak about advancing the Kingdom of God at his “memorial” house. God’s plans are always above our plans:

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the LORD. “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” Isaiah 55:8-9

God gave us perfect 70 degree weather. Thanks again to everyone that volunteered. We were able to prep the porch (normally not started until Tuesday) and still finish early. The Habitat Staff commented on how great the volunteer crew was.

Here’s a great video of blitz day:

The house progressing each week videos here.

The finished house dedication video here. Read the rest of this entry »

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!

God has abundantly blessed us thru out our lives, and 34 years of marriage. One of our most cherished blessing is the gift of awesome family & friends. SO many of you have asked, “How can I help?” on our journey with cancer.God has also given us a heart to build houses for those in need, both here in Knoxville thru Habitat, and in Mexico thru Amor Ministries. A few months ago His Spirit led us to the idea of providing a house and offering to all those who’ve wanted to help us, an opportunity to join us by volunteering to serve a family.

God has since turned this idea into a reality and allowed us to partner with After God’s Heart Foundation. We pray that God, thru Jesus Christ, will truly bless this Habitat family and all of those who partner with us.

A web site has been setup for people to get more information and sign up to volunteer at the Dan & Jan Habitat house at

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.  :)

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.
Read the rest of this entry »

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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Recently my good friend Lee asked to bring some folks over to the house to pray for us.  After considering his thoughtful request, I declined because our sons’ families were coming in for the weekend, and we’re never sure what will happen with a full house.  But Lee’s request caused Jan & I to reflect on both prayer & family.  Then the Spirit reminded us of something we had done several times in the past - have “church at home”.  When the boys were young & got sick or we were snowed in on Sunday, we would gather downstairs, play some songs we all knew from working with our HS Youth Group (we usually took the boys with us), read some Scripture & share.  It was a way to honor the Sabbath together as a family, and the boys liked it!

Well, since it’s hard for me to attend church, everyone was planning to just stay with us.  So Jan & I suggested “church at home” & everyone said “Let’s do it!”  So Sunday morning we all gathered, Papa & Papa Jan, four awesome sons, three incredible daughter-in-laws, and four wonderful grandkids.  We shared our hearts, spoke deeply of where God has led us, prayed for one another, prayed for each other’s families, praised the Lord, cried & even laughed. It was an incredibly rich time in the Spirit, bringing us all so much closer to each other & to Christ, strengthening us all for our journeys ahead.  A very special occasion that still brings deep joy to our hearts, as we reflect.  Even the grandkids were unbelievably well behaved, as if they knew this was from the Lord, or His angels kept them content.  As Jan & I were discussing it a few days later, we agreed, this was something so unique, yet exactly what God intends for His people.  So we want to encourage those who read this to take a Sunday & take some time with your family and have “church at home”.

What an awesome month God gave us!  The blessings are so numerous that I am compelled to share some of them with you.  I’ve had the opportunity to spend time with my parents and almost every one of my 8 brothers & sisters.  Some traveled here & we made a long weekend trip to my folks cabin in Wisconsin.  The main reason I mention this is to share just how personal our Father God is toward His children.  My body is weak & tires easily, and I was concerned about our plane change at Chicago O’Hare with only 30 minutes to trek across a really big airport.  We prayed specifically that it wouldn’t be too far & that I would make it.  I received 3 or 4 updates on gate changes from Orbitz, but when we arrived our new gate was directly across the aisle!  It couldn’t have been closer - thank you, Lord!

My 4 sons & their families expressed their love by scheming for weeks & surprising me by spending a long weekend with us.  It was a huge blessing to hang out with all of us together, sons, daughter-in-laws, grandkids, even going to church, where we needed a whole row.  It was a very special time -  thanks, my four men, I love you! 

Another gracious gift from above was Jan & I having the chance to celebrate our 34th anniversary in Gatlinburg.  We’re high school sweethearts & she’s been such an incredible partner throughout this journey.  It was so sweet to enjoy that day together.  God is so good to grant not only this day of celebration, but an amazing lifetime together.  Thanks, Jesus!  And thank you, Sweetness.  I’m still crazy about you!

God has also be so gracious to give me regular time with a handful of close friends.  These men have been intentional & persistent in giving their time to encourage me.  Thanks guys, I love you all!  As I’ve shared in a previous posting, all that truly matters is our relationship with family,  friends & our Lord.  This last month has been an incredible testimony to this truth.

God has been teaching me much in the last months and has been leading me to share these truths.  Pastor Tom Job of Christ Community Church in Oak Ridge was kind enough to ask me to speak to his church.  Jan & I met with their adult class to answer questions about our journey, and then I gave the message on how to have victory over the last enemy.  According to 1Cor 15:26 the last enemy is death.  

Dan Kuban on Victory Over The Last Enemy in mp3 format.

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).

June has been an incredible month!  We have seen God continue to do amazing things, answering our prayers & granting us blessings that are sometimes overwhelming.  On June 3rd, Caitlin Abigail was born to our son Jeff & his wife Elizabeth in Germantown, TN.  She is our 3rd grandchild, Caitlin’s big sister Haley is almost five.  On June 11th God allowed us to fly across our state & spend 3 days with Jeff & his family.  What a joy it was to hold Caitlin, at Starbuck’s no less, on the way to surprise Haley at her church summer program.  I got to see her, hold her, pray over her, sing to her.  This old engineer got misty just watching her in that tiny, helpless state.  The 13th was Jeff’s birthday, so we also got to take him out to celebrate before we flew back.

Then on June 17th, Ansley Kate was born to our son Rob & his wife Jordan here in Knoxville.  Again I was overwhelmed holding her, praying over her, taking it all in while she was only a few hours old.  Ansley’s big brother Zachary is almost three, and Jan & I had the privilege of keeping him at our house for a couple of days while Ansley was in the hospital.  What a blast, so full of energy & fun!

Just a month ago, I wasn’t sure I’d be able to see these two new granddaughters.  We have been really learning that every day is totally a gift from God, and that we have no entitlement to anymore than He grants (Job 12:10).  As the delivery dates drew nearer, my hopes grew, but also knew that God would have to provide His blessing, especially strengthening my body to travel to Germantown.  Well, He is amazing & so good to us that we again praise Him for His provision for us, His unmerited blessing to us, and for two new, precious GRAND-miracles!

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.

This past week Jan & I & two of our sons traveled to Kennedy Space Center to witness the launch of the space shuttle Atlantis.  It was truly an unforgettable & inspiring experience.  But even more amazing is how God orchestrated an enormous number of details just so I could watch this.  To fully appreciate this I have to go back 20 years.  While at ORNL, I had the opportunity to get an assignment with NASA.  I actually spent time in a shuttle at Kennedy.  Guess which orbiter?  Atlantis!  Due to this experience & other involvement with NASA, I was drawn to space.  After Jan & I discussed & prayed I decided to apply to become an Astronaut.  Then came the Challenger tragedy, but we still proceeded.  Although I didn’t make it, I have continued to have a strong interest in the program.  Fast forward to last April, when Jan & I “won” 4 tickets to see a launch.  By summer we were informed that it was scheduled for October, that it would be the Atlantis, and that this would be the last mission for Atlantis.  We were excited about going, not knowing that we would spend that whole month in hospitals & with doctors beginning my battle with cancer.  I just assumed I wouldn’t make it, but then it was delayed until January.  Jumping to January, we spent that month preparing for & recovering from surgery, but again the launch was delayed.  Are you seeing God at work here?  That brings us to May 2nd.  Jan & I were just talking & both of us within a day of each other had been prompted in our minds about the launch.  I went to the NASA website & found it had been scheduled for the 11th.  Wow!  “Let’s go!”.  On the 3rd I tried to get a hotel, but all were booked.  AAA finally found a place 25 miles away, thank you, Lord.  Then it was plane ticket time, and we had to coordinate with our two sons who live in different towns.  God worked it all out, so that we all made it to Melbourne Sunday afternoon.  And finally there was my body.  I hadn’t done anything like this for months & wasn’t sure I could hold up.  We woke up at 4:30 am to get to the Space Center on time for tours & exhibits.  It was 92 degrees & we spent most of it outside.  We caught our bus to the viewing area with an hour until launch.  It was so hot, but the place was filled with anticipation.  Launches are commonly delayed due to the complexity of it all & weather, etc.   At T-minus 20 minutes, they had to “hold” due to ice forming & sent a team to evaluate.  Everyone held their breath and we all cheered when it was announced all was “go”.  But now there was a thunderstorm just north of the launch pad threatening the launch.  At T-minus 9 minutes they announced it was all “go” again, and we all cheered once more.  Those 9 minutes went quick, as the adrenalin flowed.  We all counted to “lift-off” and stared in amazement until Atlantis was out of sight.  What a day!  God strengthened me way beyond what I am able, to see Him bless me in this way.  The final token from the Father was as we drove off from Kennedy Space Center it began to rain.  Amazing!  I am so humbled that the God of the universe would do all this for one of His kids, with a plan that started over 20 years ago! (1Chr 29:11, 1Jn 3:1)  Thank you, Father.

Jan & I wanted to share a little more about our journey with all of you.  The love & support & prayers has been overwhelming, and we are truly grateful.  As Paul testifies in 2Cor 1:11, “you also joining in helping us through your prayers, that thanks may be given on our behalf for the favor bestowed upon us through the prayers of many.”  Some of you may not feel that He is answering your prayers, but that is not true.  We share Paul’s testimony, as God has blessed us in so many ways, we are convinced that this is the result of your prayers for us.  There is no other explanation.  We also testify of His faithfulness, and the faithfulness of His Word.  Countless times He has brought a verse(s) to us that is perfect for our needs.  For His peace (Is 26:3), or comfort (2Cor 1:3), or joy (Jn 15:11), or sleep (Pr 3:24).  Ps 55:22 declares “Cast your burdens upon the Lord & He will sustain you.”  We can stand with the truth of this promise.  Just today the doctor informed us that she is surprised that I am not in extreme pain.  That others in my situation are on strong pain killers.  When we heard this, Jan shouted, “Praise God!”  Amen!, another prayer being answered that we didn’t even ask!  My biggest physical challenge is my digestive system, and trying to gain some weight.  For this I do ask for your prayers.

Though the doctors may have given up, we believe that only God knows our expiration date.  We “choose life” (Duet 30:19), and recognize that “the battle is not mine, but God’s” (2Chr 20:15).  We continue to live each day as the Lord brings it to us.  We still have more to learn in this area, but are enjoying each day that He gives, asking that we might honor Him.

I have learned much, but I will pass on a few things that may encourage you.  As  I reflect & ponder the possibilities, what’s truly important stands out.  For something to stand out, first other things must fade away.  For me, “stuff” has become meaningless.  For those who know me, I haven’t even washed my car in months!  Second, those that know me well, know that I have loved adventures, and God has granted me to experience many.  But now, even those remaining on my list have faded.  So what remains?  Not what, who!  It’s only family & friends!  All of you who have been part of our lives, who have loved us, encouraged us, prayed for us.  That’s what’s important!  That’s why we want to now pray for all of you.

I have always been a doer.  Now that my body won’t let me “do” very much, I have struggled with this.  Way too much of my identity was tied up in my “doing”.  But the Holy Spirit led me to a passage in John (14:12-14), where Jesus promises that we will “do” greater works than Him!  Wow!  But how can I do that?  In the very next verse He defines the “greater works” as prayers that will be answered, that the Father would be glorified through them.  So now I can “do” these works by praying.  It is fitting, that I begin with you, all of you who been praying for us, for months!  Many of you I know by name, but I also realize that many, many more have lifted us up that we don’t even know.  What a blessing this is for us!  I pray for each of you, that God might reveal Himself to you, that you might know deeper the hope that is in Christ alone, and that your faith & trust in Him might grow through your serving us in this way.

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.

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.