Destiny’s Hand

Keven Card —  November 26, 2014 — Leave a comment

Destiny.

We all have an idea of what it means, but it still remains a mystery.

To me it’s the unseen hand that directs my life. It’s gentle enough so as not to suffocate my own sense of control but firm enough to keep me from wandering too far away from my purpose. For me that hand belongs to God who I believe created me.

When you picture your destiny, what do you see? Close your eyes for just a moment and focus on it.

I’ll bet you see something glorious. A completed and successful novel or a business idea that takes off; or you on your wedding day so bright and beautiful that people talk about it for weeks. Whatever it is, I’m confident it’s something grand.

Most likely what we don’t see is the journey to get there. The road to destiny isn’t made of gold, it’s paved with tears of hardship. Columbus didn’t discover the Americas by simply sailing across calm waters and stumbling onto its shores. No, he and his crew had to brave the fear of the unknown and the unseen storms that lurked in the open ocean. And that is how he discovered his destiny.

The same is true for you and me.

I’ve written many articles on this blog about destiny but always in an abstract way and I thought they were creative but they lacked something. They lacked real life. My intention is to help people find their own purpose and for that a little reality is a necessary addition. So, here we go! Continue Reading…

My New Direction

Keven Card —  November 17, 2014 — Leave a comment

Things are changing.

I’m Changing!

Let me be honest with you. This year has been a bitch! I’m sorry if that offends some of you but the truth is plain and no other word can describe this year for us.

And you know something, I don’t think I’m the only one whose had this experience this year either. Now, I won’t sit here and complain about my year but bear with me for a moment while I describe it for you.

This year started out great. We’d managed to save up a considerable amount of money in our emergency fund. My business was starting to increase and then:

At the very end of March John-Michael got pneumonia and was hospitalized for five days. A month later he was in the hospital again for pneumonia and stayed for a week. Then in June my older son, Branden, fell off his skate board and got a concussion and had a hemorrhage in his brain. Then in July John-Michael was hospitalized again with pneumonia and this time had to be intubated. We stayed in the hospital for ten days that time. Soon after, Branden had a strange abdominal pain and was admitted to the ICU for a few days. The day after he was discharged from the hospital, I almost dropped John-Michael when he lunged over my arm resulting in him breaking his leg and because he’s a special needs child it triggered an automatic Child Protective Services investigation into our family. We were told its the law. Continue Reading…

I’m sitting here in the quite of the first real cold front we’ve had for the year, anticipating what tomorrow might bring.

For many tomorrow is just another Sunday that will come and go. But for me it’s a day that holds a grand importance. Yes, it’s true that it’s Sunday and I have the opportunity to go to church and worship God, the one who orchestrated the importance of this day for me.

You see, the road that I had to take to reach this day was burdened with pain so deep that death seemed a more pleasant experience at many points along the way. But today isn’t a day to reminisce about the tragedies or the sufferings of yesterday but it’s remembrance adds extreme value to it. Today is a celebration of a love so deep that it has overcome all of the pain of yesteryear.

Tomorrow I get the opportunity to wake up to the most beautiful and incredible woman I have ever had the privilege of knowing, my wife Marianne. I once again get to wake up and get lost in her beauty as I watch her sleep on the same day we met 23 years ago and married 22 years ago. Continue Reading…

I am perplexed.

No, I’m saddened more than perplexed that it took me so long to understand what it meant when Christ died for me.

For years I’ve tried to measure up to the “Thou shall not’s” and frankly I failed… miserably. But now I know.

Know what? You might ask.

I now know the value of Christ’s sacrifice.

He died so that I could live guilt free, pain free and worry free. Why?

Simple, the curse of the law no longer applies to me or my failures (Galatians 3:13 Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us—for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who is hanged on a tree”— ). So, what does that mean? Continue Reading…

It’s easy to wonder if there is a God and he loves me so much, why am I going through so many bad things in my life?

We certainly have had that opportunity this year!

Photo Copyright 2014 Keven Card

Photo Copyright 2014 Keven Card

In the last five months our youngest son has been hospitalized three times with pneumonia (which the last time he had to be intubated for seven days), my oldest son was hospitalized once for a concussion and then again with an unexplained abdominal event that bottomed out his blood pressure while his heart raced at the same time. That was followed by my youngest son breaking his leg which triggered an automatic CPS investigation into our family, because the law in Texas tries to protect kids with special needs.

Oh and my beautiful wife had to deal with a full police investigation where they treated her like a criminal because someone broke in and stole a bunch of money where she works. Insane, right?

I’m not telling you this to garner your sympathy but to testify to you that although all of these things were happening something surprising happened to us. Our faith wasn’t diminished it was strengthened. Continue Reading…

The one purpose that all Christians have is to believe!

As much as we may wish it wasn’t true and as hard as we try to avoid it, bad things are going to happen in our lives. To pretend it can’t happen just because you’re a Christian is foolish at best. We weren’t promised a stress free or problem free life.

Quite the opposite as a matter of fact!

John 16:33 (NKJV) says: In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”

Be of good cheer! Say What!

When you’re in the middle of hell, “being of good cheer” is probably the last thing on your mind, but it is the right thing for your mind. Why?

Photo Copyright 2014 Keven Card

Photo Copyright 2014 Keven Card

If we choose to make the best of our bad situations by holding on to our peace, I believe we are fulfilling our purpose as a Christian, to believe that Jesus has already delivered us and that God has a plan for us. We must choose to believe that if God doesn’t eliminate our problem that He’ll walk with us through the problem and in the process stretch our faith and refine our character.

Fulfilling our destinies requires that we overcome our challenges.

Recently my son John-Michael was admitted to the hospital in full respiratory failure brought on by pneumonia. He had to be put on a ventilator this time. This is the third time in four months he’s been admitted for the same thing. But you can read about his story at http://johnmichaelsjourney.com

With that many hospitalizations it would be easy to start doubting, even questioning God. But faith is a choice to have hope, not an emotion.

The fact is when we think our situation is bad, especially in a hospital, all we have to do is look around and we can easily find people who are in harder situations than ours. Continue Reading…

Photo Copyright 2014 Keven Card

Photo Copyright 2014 Keven Card

I think we can all agree that family dynamics are often challenging if not downright insane. But when you add the interracial component to them a whole new breed of dysfunction is born. Yes, there’s the whole, food thing we talked about last time but if you thought eating strange food was the only challenge in a mixed marriage, well…. Um, I don’t know what to tell you.

I remember when my oldest daughter was just a baby. We lived in Guam with Marianne’s parents. Me, being the husband, tried to take control and implement my family traditions early on; instituting what I believed were the proper standards. However, my wife and her parents had a very different view of what a family was and how a family should be structured. And thus the conflict was born.

I believed that a baby should sleep in a crib, alone and mommy and daddy sleep in bed together. BUT, that’s not how they do things in the Asian culture! There, they all sleep together like a liter of cats, sprawled out on top of each other. They don’t get that there must be boundaries, and they don’t believe in privacy. Oh no, they all get involved. Continue Reading…

Photo Copyright 2012 Keven Card

Photo Copyright 2012 Keven Card

Marianne and I have been married since 1992 and together since 1991. I’m just a California boy who grew up in Oklahoma and she’s a Filipina who grew up in Guam where our worlds came together.

As with many couples we’ve experienced the challenges that come with the marital transition of going from individuals to becoming a couple. The Bible describes it as melding two into one. But, we’ve also had some challenges that are unique I believe to interracial marriage.

Something as simple as cultural differences can and does create specific challenges in an intimate relationship. Take everyone’s favorite – food for example: as a white guy from the back woods of Oklahoma, farm raised animals were common on our dinner table and on occasion we’d eat very unrecognizable fish usually battered in something and fried to remove any hint that it once swam in the lake or river.

In my wife’s culture, fish was common and very recognizable even on the plate! They eat every edible part of their fish including the brains, eyes and even the face. Not something that a white boy like me was accustomed to, but I forced myself to eat it trying to impress her at the beginning of our relationship. Since then, I’ve eaten some very interesting and sometimes gross things while others turned out to be remarkable and I still love today, though still strange.

But there’s also a major cultural difference in Asia. If you reject an offer of food even if you’re not hungry you insult your

Dinuguan!

Dinuguan!

host. So I never, EVER said no when her or more importantly her parents offered me food. I remember the first time I ate a dish they call Danuguan. It’s pigs intestines cooked in pork’s blood that looks like a baby had an accident in a bowl (I know TMI, right?).

I opened my mouth with a smile on my face, slid the spoon into my mouth and for just a millisecond I had a flash of a pig doing it’s business and nearly lost my stomach. If it wasn’t for my Marine Corps training, I would’ve blown chunks and ran for the door!

But, thank God I managed to push passed my gag reflex and swallowed hard on that first bite just to avoid offending Marianne’s parents. To my surprise when your not thinking about its ingredients, Danuguan actually tastes pretty good with some steamed rice! It took years before I was able to find a way to communicate without offending my wife or her parents that I didn’t like something or couldn’t eat more of something! But thank God I did because I’m still trying to shrink my jello belly!

In my experience, the way to cope with these cultural differences is to view them with excited anticipation of what can be. Kinda like a journey to a foreign country! When you go you expect everything to be different than what you are used to and you want it that way! Why not accept that you are as different to them as they are to you. Eventually, you each sort out what works and what doesn’t between you but that takes time and in some cases like choking down some of the food I’ve eaten, a lot of it.

As the world melts together into a giant race of people, more and more people are entering into interracial marriages. One in ten marriages are now mixed making it the new frontier of discovery in relationships and marriages. Marianne and I hope to use our 22 years of marriage to encourage mixed couples by sharing our experiences, trials, defeats and victories in our own relationship and we hope you come along for the journey! 

Have you ever pondered the wonders of our minds?

For example: I’m sitting here in a Café in Houston Texas writing this article when I look up at the TV screen and to my dismay a popular daytime soap is on. Days of Our Lives has resided on TV nearly since its invention but I’m authentically ashamed to admit that even I got caught up in the daytime drama at one point.

I certainly don’t begrudge anyone their entertainment but I realized a few years ago that most of the entertainment available today serves no other purpose than time fillers and distractions. The sad truth is that these distractions delay or worse prevent us from focusing on achieving our destiny.

Several years ago we disconnected our cable and we’ve never turned it back on. And no, I don’t have Satellite. I don’t even have a digital antenna to receive free programming and I don’t need it. I admit I do have a streaming device that pumps in some streaming entertainment but nothing more. Continue Reading…

Photo Copyright 2013 Keven Card All Rights Reserved

Photo Copyright 2013 Keven Card All Rights Reserved

Twenty-two years ago today my life was changed forever!

It seems like it was just a couple of years ago when I saw you for the very first time, the strobe lighting of the club reflecting off your stunning face (and overly hair sprayed hair). It’s a night I can never… will never forget. You were the most beautiful girl in the entire club that night and I know now, that our destinies were meant to collide.

Yes, the last twenty-two years has had its share of happiness…. and sorrow, but there’s no one else in this life that I would want to share every laugh and every tear with…. no one but you.

You are my life, my guardian Angel and God sent you to me to show me that He loves me, because you love me; even through all of my craziness. You are the most amazing wife and mother in the world to me and I’m honored to call myself “your husband”. Continue Reading…