Devotions from the President

April 2014

The Mighty One has done great things for me. April 1, 2014 is the third anniversary of my diagnosis with brain cancer. It is three years since I was told I had an inoper-able, fatal tumor and could expect to live 1 ½ to 2 years. On that day I mentioned to my doctor that I had never been to the Holy Land, and was hoping to travel there in the spring of 2012.

March 2014

It is my understanding that in Jesus’ time, people considered a disability or a chronic illness or a devastating misfortune to be a sign of God’s disfavor and punishment. In John’s gospels the disciples ask Jesus whose sin it was that caused a blind man to be born blind (John 9:2). In that way of thinking someone with a brain tumor, or paralysis, or blindness was paying the price for sin, either his own sin or someone else’s.

February 2014

Last Friday, January 31, was the third anniversary of the day (Tet 2011) when Dr. Son Nguyen, on behalf of the UUC board, invited me to become president of our uni-versity. I said yes and then, as many of you know, was diagnosed two months later with a “fatal” brain cancer and given 18 to 24 months to live according to the sta-tistical average of that type of cancer.

January 2014

As a boy I learned somewhere that the shortest verse in the Bible is “Jesus wept.” It was the verse the lazy boys always wanted to choose when asked to memorize a verse of scripture. I was not one of those lazy boys, and I loved to memorize long passages of the Bible. But still there is something to be said for brevity. What is short is often memorable.