Eugene Cho

i messed up today…

It’s 12:36am right now.

I’m doing a little work and getting ready to hit the sack but also taking some time to reflect on the past day. It wasn’t one of my better days…

Today, I messed up.

As much as I don’t want to admit it, I sucked as a father today. Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: family

how the spelling bee made me afraid of death

spellingbee

In honer of the 2008 2009 2010 Scripps National Spelling Bee witch is going on wright now [June 2-4] in Washington DC, I give you two heelarious videose.

How did this simple contest that began in 1925 turn out to be a global phenomenon?  Just check out the TV coverage on the event including live prime time coverage on ABC and ESPN.

Truthe be told, I’m a goode speler myselfe.  Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: entertainment, family, , ,

best parenting advice

This is the most hilarious and visual parenting advice for you new parents.

For the first year of our new church, the only children were our two daughters [then 2-years-old and 1 month].  We’ve since been privileged with another kid [son] but the early years were difficult for our children because they really didn’t have anyone to hang out with at church.  I still remember preaching with my baby daughter on my back during the early months.

The children’s ministry has since grown immensely as we average about 70 infants and children spread between the 9.15am and 11am services [no children's ministry at the 5pm].  Since the beginning of the year, we’ve had numerous births with more babies coming.  So, I thought it would be pastorally wise to give these new and expectant parents [and blog visitors] some heartfelt parenting advice.

View these visual instructions carefully: Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: entertainment, family, , ,

12 years and counting

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On February 1, 1997, Minhee and I exchanged vows and committed ourselves to Christ, one another, our family and community –  the journey of loving, serving, and growing as husband and wife.  Today, we celebrate our 12th anniversary.  I know that it is customary [and wise] to speak well of your spouse on your anniversary but Minhee truly is an expression and embodiment of God’s grace and beauty to my life. Our marriage – while clearly not perfect – remains focused on the three pillars I often share with others:  Passion.  Vision.  Mission. [another blogpost]

We met in Korea and dated for a week before I returned to the States. We engaged in many phone calls and probably exchanged over a thousand letters since we both weren’t using this technology called ‘electronic mail.’  

And while people boast of their marriage proposal stories, I’m pretty sure mine is the most romantic and unique:  

The summer before our wedding [while I was still a student in seminary in New Jersey], I put on my best suit, got on my knees, picked up the phone to call Minhee in Korea, and in my best Korean drama voice…asked her to marry me. :)

Here’s our wedding photo that still continues to amaze people. Minhee looks her usual photogenic self and I’ve been told I look “very different.” Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: family,

happy new year!

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I want to take this opportunity to wish all of my friends, family, church community, blog readers, and the larger community a very Happy New Year!

As some of you know, today [Monday, January 26] is the celebration of the Lunar New Year.  As we begin Year 4707 today  - the Year of the Ox, Minhee and I extend heartfelt blessings to you and yours not simply so that we languish in our own blessedness but are compelled to live lives of blessing unto others and the glory of Christ.

Lunar New Year isn’t just Chinese New Year.  Many of the Asian nations including Korea Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: family, , , , ,

middle school!?!

Yesterday, Minhee and I took our oldest daughter for a tour of our local middle school in preparation for the inevitable…she’s growing up. She’s now 10 years old, asks adultish questions, and will be entering middle school in the Fall. This might be another reason why I’m going through my extended mid-life reflection right now.

Question:  What was your middle school experience like?

It’s been so long since the middle school years that I forgot what it was like until I toured the school and classes with our daughter yesterday.  There are over Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: family

humbled by seattle’s snowpocalypse and tubing with our kimchee bowl

leochensnow3

leochensnow2

Seriously, when I made my “Farewell Video” last week mocking Seattlites’ winter ineptitude and “the world is ending” local news, I really had no idea what we had in store. I’ve braved two memorable winter storms: one in Princeton, New Jersey where it snowed so much we couldn’t open our front door and the other being a Chicago wind/snowstorm that was so cold that it made me cry…literally.

This wasn’t the worst I’ve experienced but let me just say that I’ve been humbled by Seattle’s Snowpocalypse. I’m not making any more sarcastic videos for a while. And I think I can speak for the entire city and while I’m at it, for the entire Western Washington that this has been humbling.

Some humbling stuff: Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: family, travel, , , ,

going to jail for adultery

I’m not sharing this to propagate gossip.  There’s enough of it – both in the secular and sadly, christian community as well.  But, when I read this news of a famous Korean actress and her lover being “sentenced” this morning, it really intrigued me because even after living in Korea for several years as an adult and doing pastoral ministry for couple years in my birthplace referred to some as the Land of the Morning Calm, I had absolutely no idea that adultery was “illegal” and a crime.  I enjoy following Korean films when and IF they’re available here in the States but I don’t follow pop culture in Korea especially since my reading capacity is elementary.

In addition, you know that I’ve been posting thoughts and stories about government, politics, religion, morality and how they all engage together.  Simply, the question I keep coming to is,

“What is the government’s role in legislating morality?”

I vacillate back and forth regarding the government’s role and constantly feel conflicted.  I agree that adultery is “damaging to the social order” in addition to the clear damage to the SOUL.  For the record, I acknowledge that your assessment and/or criticism that I have inconsistent views about the government’s role have weight.  And there are days when I just think we should run everything by LAW all over again.  Why?  Because all of us have such an undeserving and under appreciated entitlement to freedom and grace. 

What do you think of the above and below?  Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: christianity, culture, family, , , , , , , ,

why aren’t we drawn to dong yun yoon?

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As some of you know, I posted the story yesterday about the unfathomable and tragic story of Dong Yun Yoon and his family  [English name: Don Yoon] who were killed when an F/A-18 jet crashed into his home.  Don, 37, was at work at his cafe when he heard the crash.  His wife, two young babies [15 months and 2 months], and his mother-in-law were killed.  Unfathomable.

But throughout the day yesterday, I kept wondering to myself why Don’s tragedy and story wasn’t picked up more by the media and the larger blogosphere - especially the Christian blogosphere.   Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: faith, family, , , ,

dong yun yoon: the man who lost his family in the san diego jet crash

Dong Yun Yoon cries while talking about losing his wife, two daughters, and mother-in law after an F/A-18D fighter jet crashed into his house in the University City neighborhood of San Diego, California December 9, 2008. The victims were identified as Dong Yun Yoon's wife Young M. Yoon, and their daughters 15-month-old Grace and 12-month-old Rachel. Young Yoon's mother, Suk Kim, who was visiting from South Korea also perished in the crash. The family had moved to the neighborhood a month ago. Dong Yun Yoon was at work at the time of the accident.

Part II:  Why aren’ t we drawn to Don Yun Yoon?

The story is brutally painful.  As a husband and father, I can not imagine a more painful thing.  Dong Yun Yoon [English name is Don Yoon], 37, was at work at his cafe when he discovered the horrible news of a F/A-18 jet crashing into a residential home – his home.  His wife, two young babies, and his mother-in-law who had recently arrived from Korea to help take care of the babies [a Korean custom] all were killed in this tragedy.  But in the midst of such deep anguish and pain, Dong Yun Yoon asked people to pray for the surviving pilot of the crashed jet and shared:

“I know he’s one of our treasures, for the country, and I … don’t blame him. I don’t have any hard feelings. I know he did everything he could.”

I listen to the Dong Yun Yoon’s video interview on CNNand couldn’t stop crying.  Regardless who’s involved, it’s an utterly painful tragedy but looking at him is like looking at a familiar face.  As a Korean immigrant myself, his story his familiar.  His voice and broken English is familiar.  His comments and words are familiar.  The people standing around him all are familiar.  In many ways, I feel like he’s my younger brother or cousin.  He was doing what many Korean immigrants do – work their tails off to provide for their family.  He was working at his coffee shop nearby.  Yoon immigrated to the United States in 1989 with his brother and sister while his parents remained in Korea [something all too familiar with many Korean immigrants] all in hopes and pursuit of the great American dream.  Dong Yun later became a U.S. citizen.

He married his wife, Young Mi Yoon [a nurse], four years ago and had two children: Grace [15 months] and Rachel [2 months].   They had just moved into this house one month ago.

“My wife — it was God’s blessing that I met her about four years ago, and we got married,” he said quietly. “She’s just such a lovely wife and mother, who always loves me, and (the) babies. I just miss her so much.” Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: christianity, church, faith, family, , , , , , ,

what are your goals for 2009?

It’s crazy.  I can’t believe it’s December already.  The older I get, the faster time seems to fly.  As the new year is soon upon us, I’m sharing 7 personal goals for the upcoming year.  Why seven?  Just sounds more spiritual…

What are some of your goals/resolutions?

Last week, we managed to get some of the lurkers and quiet blog readers off the stands and onto the field.  So, let’s do it again!

In addition to “regulars” sharing their answers, I am especially inviting the lurkers and quiet blog readers to chime in.  This is your chance to join in and become one of the cool people. 

Here are my 7 personal goals for the upcoming year – all in hopes of honoring Christ through my life, family, and gifts: Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: family, marriage, seattle, , , ,

know and love your city

Minhee and I moved to Seattle in 1997.  We are entering our 12th year in Seattle but it was only about 8 years ago when I really began to grow in love with the city of Seattle.  I was kayaking in Lake Union when I just gushed over the beauty over the city.  And I just started praying for the city and the hope – someday – of being able to plant a church in the city.  God honored that prayer and on occasion, I’ll trek over to Kerry Park [few mins from Quest] and lift occasional prayers for the city and people of this city.

It isn’t a perfect city by any means:  I wish there was more diversity; city remains ethnically divided;  the road systems are wacky; a subway system would be nice; our sports teams are dreadfully cursed, we need more sun, etc.  But there are also some amazing things about this city:  the topography is absolutely breathtaking; the local music scene is alive and well; everything is green and wet; the city is a creative force and is the hub of numerous companies, etc.

How about you?  Where do you live and what do you like or dislike about your city or town?

One of the regular chats I give when I’ve had the privilege of speaking at conferences or churches has been the importance of knowing, loving, and engaging your city.  Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: church, churchplanting, family, leadership, ministry, quest church, seattle, travel

The oldest injustice in human history is the way we treat women.

Update [January 5, 2012] I read and saw this video yesterday and it tore me up. While perhaps this case and this girl’s situation may be extreme, the mistreatment and abuse of girls and women are nevertheless still common. It is and continues to be the “oldest injustice in human history.”

Don’t turn away. Read this article and watch this video:

Nicholas Kristof/NY Times

In every culture and in every part of the world, this injustice is present.  What is the oldest injustice in the world?

It is the way that “we” view, treat, and oppress women.

It would be erroneous for me to say that Asian culture is entirely proned to be against women but I can share my personal experience that as a young Korean man, I was influenced – partly through the Confucian culture and worldview that women were born to serve their fathers as young girls, their husbands when they got married, and their grown sons when they were older mothers.  Their lives and purpose – in part –  revolved around men.

As a person of the Christian faith, I learned – in bits and pieces (both in subtle and occasionally in direct ways) that women should be our “partners.” They should be quiet, submissive and know their place.  Obey and honor their fathers, love and submit to their husbands, and raise godly sons and daughters.

Why didn’t I learn that women and men are both created in the beautiful image of God?  Why didn’t I learn that while we have different roles, we are also created equal in the image of God?  Why didn’t I learn that through Christ, women and men can do all things through Him who gives strength and grace.

I still remember this email that I received from a congregant couple years ago after a sermon I gave at Quest regarding women:

But at one point today, you said, “Women, you were created equal to men in the image of God.” I mainly write because I don’t know if you realize how powerful that statement was. I don’t know if you realized what it would feel like to hear that statement coming from a man — what it would mean to me, and possibly to other individual women and men. You didn’t even say it to me individually…I have never been told by a man, Christian or not, that I am equal to him. I have never been told by a man that I am equal to him. And equal in that we are both created in the image of God…I cried all the way home. How is it that I’ve never been told by a male person that I am equal to him? That I am equally beautiful and broken? That we are both created in the image of God?

…Women are deeply wounded by living in this world, and wounded that men don’t fight for us. Instead, they fight to rule us, and we…sometimes we fight, but most of the time we believe them when they tell us we aren’t worth our weight (sometimes taken literally). Today I felt like a man was fighting for me, not because I can’t fight for myself, but because he recognized the wrongs in a world and a Church that have benefited him unfairly.

So, I ask you a simple question for dialogue:

Why is it that women – across cultures, religion, and history – are oppressed? Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: christianity, emerging church, family, quest church, religion, , ,

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: Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: family, religion,

in memory of brenden foster

While being away in the East Coast last weekend, I did not receive the news of Brenden Foster’s passing last Friday, November 21, 2008 until this morning.  Brenden is the 11 year old boy from Seattle diagnosed with leukemia three years ago who stirred a movement of compassion and genersosity.  On a recent trip from his doctor, he passed the homeless community called Nickelsville and his last wish was to help feed the homeless.  It’s an amazing and beautiful story.

Like many others, I’m moved, compelled, and deeply encouraged by the short but significant life of Brenden.  His life is an encouragement – simply – as a reminder that one person really can make a difference.  And even more so, he isn’t alone.  We are not alone.  There are many people seeking to be agents of hope, compassion, and generosity.

The stuff below didn’t make the news and we don’t do it for the purposes of making news Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: family, health, religion, , , ,

trying to re-live the past

I’ve spent the past couple days in Princeton, New Jersey and will be returning to Seattle shortly.  I so much enjoy returning to Princeton for various reasons.  I went to grad school here at Princeton Seminary and Minhee and I began our marriage here before we trekked out to Seattle.  But mostly, I return to Princeton as often as I can because of REGRETS.  Watch the video reflection for my explanation and enjoy the pics. 

I was 21 when I entered seminary.  I breezed through college in 3 years and just wanted to get through seminary as fast as I could.  Now 38, I wish I knew then what I know now.  Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: , family, religion, ,

your “past” year resolution?

Many of us make resolutions every year.  But before we get into our new resolutions for 2009 next month, how about we talk about how we’re doing with this past year’s resolution.   This is an easy question so I’m hoping that many of the regulars, visitors, and blog lurkers and stalkers will contribute.

Question: What was your past year resolution?  And, how’s it going?  [* Be honest.  Don't forget.  You are commenting on a minister's blog.]

Me and my past year resolution?  Not well. 

My resolution was to Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: family, health, ,

may god be our everything

Over the past year, our family and I have been trying to be a source of support for a brother at our church who was diagnosed with brain cancer.  He, his wife, and their two young children are wonderful people.  Folks from Quest and his friends recently threw him a surprise birthday party and it was amazing to see people from around the city, state, country, and world fly into Seattle to celebrate his life.

While my “ministry paradigm” say it’s supposed to be the pastor ministering to the people, many times it just doesn’t work that way.  It’s both.  It’s reciprocal.  It’s all. And sometimes, we’re all clueless and we live and wrestfully rest in the mystery of God’s infinite knowledge and grace.  So, at times, we’re speechless, silent and still.

I’ve been reflecting on this brother’s journal – the ups, downs, and everything in between.  His physical days are numbered – whether it be one month, one year, or 50 years.  We obviously pray and hope for the latter but the life expectancy statistics from doctors and medical reports say otherwise.  I’ve particularly been blessed by his “life lessons” that he’s been sharing through his journal.  Here’s his latest.  I’m also sharing a new video created by Justin [aka Roboto] from Quest who made this as an encouragement to his Community Group: Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: church, family, religion, , ,

stuff, connect, info

one day’s wages | video

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Wow. Blessed are the artists that help others reimagine the Gospel. #HeIsRisen #questchurch Amazing Resurrection celebration service. Especially love celebrating Communion every Sunday. Today, hosted a super Feast with bread from many different countries. #HeIsRisen Don't rush too soon to the empty tomb. Reflect on the cross. Thank you, Jesus, for your life & love. Thank you, Jesus, for you have redeemed this day of injustice and violence to be "good." You are truly the Light of the world. #GoodFriday Layover. San Francisco. Having grown up here, my heart still flutters. No other city like it. A quick, busy, & meaningful 26 hrs in Wash DC but managed to go for an hour walk for this view. One of the greatest monuments in the world. A true American hero. #AbrahamLincoln

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