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 KnoxvilleVol.com

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.
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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.