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In HOPE - Faculty Publications

  In HOPE 8.2 

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David Timms  

Ministry Resource

Quiet Strength (Tyndale House, 2007; 300 pages) tells Tony Dungy's story. Dungy is the coach of the Indianapolis Colts NFL team that won the Super Bowl in 2007. His story is not superficially God-honoring with a thoughtless thanks tossed in here and there, but a deep and persistent witness to the grace and hand of God in his life. It's a delightful and faith-building book to read--perhaps even for some non-football fans!


I'm working on a project that explores "waiting on the Lord." Have you had to wait on Him--or chosen to--and learned something valuable in the process? I'd like to hear your stories. If you have a moment or two, could you drop me a line at djtimms@hiu.edu ? Thanks.

Hope International University
Fullerton  CA  92831


An individual doesn't get cancer, a family does.
~ Terry Tempest Williams

My Cancer

I recently found that I have cancer ... and have had it all my life. Not the kind that eats away the body, but the kind that slowly, over a lifetime, diminishes the soul. Physically, I'm relatively healthy but my spirit needs surgery. And, like radiotherapy, it's an everyday therapy I require.

The diagnosis is simple and common. Self-sins. It's what A.W. Tozer once described as "the hyphenated sins." Self-reliance, self-satisfaction, self-pity, self-righteousness, self-ish. Often, it has been hard to diagnose. And like a reluctant patient, I've explained away or excused the symptoms for a lifetime. But this cancer of the soul is real.

Some folk endure dramatic and soul-crushing events; a divorce, addictions, retrenchment, or violence. In moments or months these experiences can turn a life upside down. But my slow-growing cancer is no less foreboding. It sends out tendrils into every area of my life and the outcome can be just as devastating as the "train wrecks" that others endure.

The challenge, of course, is the surgery. I don't like surgery at the best of times. On a scale of 1-10 my pain threshold is about a 3 and I get woozy at the thought of giving blood. It seems that I have the same cowardice when it comes to spiritual surgery.

Can we make this painless? Will I be able to return to my "normal" life quickly? Will there be any disfigurement?

I don't like any of the answers that I receive.

The spiritual cancer that lives within me cannot be removed in a single operation. Surgery must be scheduled every day and, if I'm serious, there will be no return to my "normal" life.

The Surgeon, of course, does only what I invite Him to do. He's good-very good-but He won't call the process painless or easy. In fact, He keeps speaking of "death to myself"; hardly a warming thought since I've grown so attached to myself. But the success-rate depends upon my consent and my commitment.

Only the removal of the "self-sins" can make me something other than what I've always been. Saying that my cancer is not obvious or imminently dangerous, does not heal it. Ignoring or excusing it simply lets it grow. It's got to go. The theatre is prepped. The Surgeon waits.

Will I sign the consent form? Will you?

In HOPE --



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I'm always happy to explore these issues further.

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You can find back issues of "In HOPE" (2005-2007) at http://www.hiu.edu/inhope/.

David Timms serves in the Graduate Ministry Department at Hope International University in Fullerton, California. "In HOPE", however, is not an official publication of the University and the views expressed are not necessarily those of the Administrators or Board. "In HOPE" has been a regular e-publication since January, 2001.