Eugene Cho

an attitude of gratitude on thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving everyone.  For this post, I want to encourage you with two simple thoughts: You are Blessed and Remember the Vulnerable.   One must choose to have this attitude of gratitude because it is our human nature to complain and be envious of others.  The last few months – locally and globally – have certainly been like a bad roller coaster ride that leaves one disoriented and vomitaceous. And unless you’re completely detached from the money machine, you’re likely impacted on some personal level and feeling pretty anxious.  

So: What are you thankful for?

For me, I’m thankful for the meaningful things in my life:  the presence, truth and grace of the Triune God, my family, my wife and three children, my church community, friends, the opportunities I have, and thankful for the gift of choice that enables much privilege in my life.  I pray that I can be a good steward of such gifts in my life.

Here are the two thoughts of encouragement:

You are Blessed. Say that to yourself again and again and again. Because we truly are. If you have a roof over your head, enjoyed three meals today, and will sleep in your own bed tonight, you are blessed. Because so many of us are conditioned in this Upward Mobility Mindset where we want more and covet more, we compare our wealth to those who are wealthier which then will subsequently, make you feel poor.

But, here is the simple truth and reality: YOU ARE BLESSED. Especially during this economic downturn, please remember this. If you visit, you’ll get a sense how “rich” you are in comparison to the larger world.

My annual income as a pastor is $66,000. I don’t consider it to be a large salary. I have, at times, compared my salary to other pastors with larger salaries and coveted more. But when I submit my annual salary on, it indicates that I am the 52,816,732 richest person in the world! That puts me in the TOP .88 riches % in the world. Wow. Click on this image to learn how rich you are!

So before you start complaining, whining, and coveting, please count your blessings.

Remember the Vulnerable. In this real economic crisis, the ones that are most vulnerable are the poorest of the poor – both locally and globally. The global food crisis was having a dramatic impact on the world’s poor even before the current onset of global recession.

Consider these stunning REAL numbers that impact REAL people:

  • 1 child dying every 3 seconds
  • 18 children dying every minute
  • A 2004 Asian Tsunami occurring every week
  • An Iraq-scale death toll every 15–36 days
  • Almost 10 million children dying every year
  • Some 60 million children dying between 2000 and 2006

While we all freak out about the global financial crisis, let’s consider that about 2.7 billion people live on less than $2/day; 1 billion people live on less than $1/day and 1.1 billion people do not have access to clean water.

During an economic recession, people will likely and wisely hunker down and seek to reduce spending in their lives. In my opinion, seeking to reduce our consumerism and learning to live more simpler is a great plus that we can learn during this recession. But, in that pursuit, I want to encourage you NOT to reduce your generosity and giving to the poor. Honor your giving, generosity, compassion, and commitments to various organizations. In fact, I would encourage you to consider GIVING MORE in light of what we all know – giving to the poor and impoverish will be dramatically impacted during this global recession.

Consider the global priorities in spending in 1998. These statistics will tell you that our priorities are skewed.

Global Priority $U.S. Billions
Cosmetics in the United States 8
Ice cream in Europe 11
Perfumes in Europe and the United States 12
Pet foods in Europe and the United States 17
Business entertainment in Japan 35
Cigarettes in Europe 50
Alcoholic drinks in Europe 105
Narcotics drugs in the world 400
Military spending in the world 780

If you’re interested in partnering with us in our global poverty initiative, feel free to donate by clicking the link below.  You can view the initiative video and FAQ.

Filed under: family, religion,

5 Responses

  1. Katherine says:

    Like you, I’m thankful for my spouse and children and the opportunity to have so much freedom and safety. I’m heartbroken over what has gone on in India.

  2. d says:

    my Facebook status: “Dennis is thankful for mom and dad, who kicked my juvenile-immature-headed-for-jail-punk-ass into a person of faith and integrity. i love you omma and appa.”

  3. […] you know Eugene Cho is one of the wealthiest humans in the world? Amazing. That blog post was just another reminder that I live the good life and I need to be […]

  4. […] Fri 28 Nov 2008 · No Comments Go to the global rich list to find out: Global Rich List. (You will just enter your annual income in a box and it will show you a graphic like this, and where you fit.) (HT: Pastor Eugene Cho – An attitude of gratitude) […]

  5. Bret says:

    I am thankful that God provided enough volunteers and food to feed 150 meals to the needy onThanksgiving.

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One Day’s Wages

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The Western Wall in Old City of Jerusalem (aka The Wailing Wall) - from the Second Jewish Temple.

I'm hoping to share a few stories of people that I met (Jewish, Muslims, and Christians) in the Holy Land in the days to come. One of our Palestinian tour guides said to me, "You will leave with more questions...and that's a good thing." He was absolutely right. We want everything so nicely packaged but if we're honest, it's very rare in a broken, complex world...and I can't think of too many things more complex than the situation in Israel and Palestine.

While I certainly understand and resonate with Israel and its history and its need to protect itself from harm, one can't deny the history and existence of Palestine as well. 
Is peace possible? This was the focus of my trip to the Holy learn more about the conflict and those that are working towards peace. My friend, Scott (and other pastor), Mae (our guide) and I had the privilege of going to a Jewish synagogue this past Friday. We were then hosted by a local rabbi and his family for a Shabbat meal. It was marvelous. Incredible. Illuminating. Delicious. A true honor to be invited to his home with his wife and three children. To pray, learn, share, and ask questions. 
What I loved the most was the story of how Rabbi Daniel and his wife rented a bus to take 15 of their friends to the West Bank ... to see for themselves the impact of the wall and the Israeli policies. Some of their friends had never even entered the West Bank...don't personally know a Palestinian. It's impossible to work towards peace when we don't know anyone from the other side...when we don't understand the other side.

Thank you, Rabbi Daniel. Old Jerusalem. So many stories. So much history. The synagogue in Capernaum (Galilee) where Jesus began his public ministry. He taught with authority... Pray for your pastors and teachers...that they may teach with courage, conviction, humility, and ultimately, directing people to Christ - the Word made flesh.

Speaking of, so excited to be teaching at @Quest Church tomorrow. If you're in the Seattle area, join us. A glimpse of Jordan River where John baptized Jesus. "This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased." What amazes me most about this event is about...timing and patience. For Christ, it wasn't about "if" but about "when." In a world of supersonic pace,  impatience, quick results, hurry and now and NOW...Jesus waited for the Father's timing. He was patient and faithful. I need to learn that waiting on the Lord in itself isn't apathy but rather an act of faith. The town of Bethlehem and at the site of the cave (aka manger) of the birth of Christ.

One of the highlights was a class of Palestinian Muslims and Christian kids in a local public school singing a Christmas carol for us in Bethlehem...just across the Shepherd's Field. Galilee. Surreal to be at the mountainside where Jesus delivered "The Sermon on the Mount" ... aka The Beatitudes. Walking around praying for Paris, Beirut, Istanbul, Nigeria, Mali, Palestine/Israel... This verse is so particularly important in light of all the violence in the world. "Blessed are the peacemakers for they shall be called the children of God." - Matthew 5:9

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