Speaker's talk of faith and humility adds up

Student speaker Michael Kaiser addresses the graduating class during the Fall Commencement morning session on Friday.

Photos by Ralph Freso/Friday morning slideshow

Dr. Michael Kaiser has had a lot of roles as a military nurse and has treasured every one.

“Whether working in the pediatric ICU, flying patients on life support, providing hurricane relief or building classrooms for kids in the middle of the Sahara Desert, I am blessed,” he said.

He also has earned a lot of college degrees, culminating in Doctor of Nursing Practice on Friday morning at Grand Canyon University’s Fall Commencement degree.

“Professional college student,” he called himself.

And he also treasured the opportunity to share a simple message of faith, humility and mathematics (yes, math) as the student speaker in the session for graduates of the College of Nursing and Health Care Professions.

Kaiser centered his talk around faith, humility and, of all things, mathematics.

Kaiser said his Christian values were the core of his upbringing with daily devotionals, praying together as a family and attending church 2-3 times a week.

“While most of my friends were listening to the pop chart music, I was listening to DC Talk, Audio Adrenaline, Steven Curtis Chapman and some Petra,” he said of those Christian performers.

“Now some of you know who these bands are, and others of you are thinking, ‘Yeah, my parents listened to that music growing up.’ It reminds me of that song by DC Talk, ‘Timing Is Ticking Away.’”

He cited Proverbs 22:6:

Train up a child in the way he should go;

even when he is old he will not depart from it.

With that foundation, he learned humility, something he has emphasized to his children. He said he was reminded of the need for this attribute when a 10-year-old asked him at a birthday party, “Mr. Mike, are you really rich, and do you have a lot of money?”

“I’m thinking, ‘I’m a career college student. I’m broke,’” he said. “So it gave me an opportunity to explain to her how I was blessed.”

His view:

“My family and I are healthy, I enjoy my job, God provides for us, I can pray wherever I want to pray, I can go to church wherever I want to go to church. I can even go to a Christian school and get just about any degree I want.”

Kaiser spoke to a large crowd in GCU Arena.

Which brought him to mathematics.

Several weeks ago, he said, he asked his children what a common denominator is.

“Dad, it just means that the number on the bottom is the same,” his 11-year-old daughter replied.

Here’s what that means to him:

“If you want to get smarter, you surround yourself with smart people and you study.

“If you want to get in better shape, you surround yourself with people who went through that process.

“If you want to have a better relationship with Jesus, you surround yourself with other believers, you pray, you go to church and you read your Bible.”

Or, as Proverbs 27:17 says:

As iron sharpens iron,
    so one person sharpens another.

Kaiser lauded the support he received from GCU.

Kaiser also quoted two other well-known Bible verses. There’s Matthew 18:20:

For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.”

And Matthew 7:7:

Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.

He noted how much it helped him that his Student Services counselor, Vanessa Valencia, called him at least twice during every course he took and how much he appreciated the fact that faculty posted weekly Bible verses and even create discussion forums just for prayer requests.

When they started class with a prayer, he said, “Many times, this is just what I needed to get me through a week.”

His overall message to his fellow graduates:

“I challenge all of you to think about, and pray about, what you will take from your experience here at GCU, how you will apply it to your life going forward and who are your common denominators. Think back to those blessings in your life and how you can bless others.”

Contact Rick Vacek, Senior Manager for Internal Communications, at (602) 639-8203 or [email protected].


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GCU Magazine

Bible Verse

"But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also." (Matthew 6:20)

Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore, honor God with your body. (1 Corinthians 6:19-20)

To Read More: www.verseoftheday.com/