Eugene Cho

If our black brothers and sisters are hurting, can’t we at least listen, seek to understand, and mourn with them?

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Soon, the headlines and media coverage will turn to the next magnet. And soon, another frenzy will ensue. What will it be about? Who will it be about? The answer I do not know but the fact that we’ll move on is certain.

But some will stay. Not because they want to per se but because it’s the reality of their lives.

It’s not that I’m trying to be a downer or “that pastor” that keeps bringing up the issue of race. I could contend that race doesn’t exist. Or it shouldn’t. It’s a human construct. It was a gift from God to reflect His creativity, beauty, and diversity but as a result of our human fall, depravity, and sinfulness…it has been constructed for domination, exploitation, and separation.

As a result, it is sadly a part of our reality and will continue to be so – until that glorious Day when all things will be restored. But in the here and now, we must continue to labor through the consequences of the curse of that suspicion and separation.

Read the rest of this entry »

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The power of the Gospel is such that God sees us, meets us, and adopts us as sons and daughters.

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The power of the Gospel is so profound that it meets us where we’re at. The power of the Gospel is such that God knows everything about us and nevertheless, continues to pursue us, court us, woo us. God remains jealous for us. This is the power of the Gospel…

The Gospel sees us.
The Gospel meets us in all of our brokenness, sinfulness, and depravity.
The Gospel meets the lost and brokenhearted.
The Gospel welcomes the sick, the lepers, the widows, orphans, the AIDS stricken, the ostracized and marginalized…
The Gospel even welcomes us.

When we receive the Gospel, the power and grace of the Gospel is such that God adopts us as His sons and daughters.
The Gospel is Jesus and Jesus is the Gospel.

This truth was especially revealed in a powerful way through an experience and conversation I recently had this weekend and further affirmed through a video I desperately invite you to see below.

First, the story:

This past Saturday evening, I spoke at a “Family Camp” in the Camp Cascades retreat center where numerous churches from the Northwest gathered. After my sermon, a family came up to greet me. It was an older couple and they were pushing along a very large mechanical wheelchair. To be honest, it was large and impossible to miss. In this wheelchair was their 19-year-old son who I’ll refer to as “John”. As we talked, they shared how something I preached on deeply resonated with them. It was the point I was making about our human inability to look at people in the eyes – especially those that don’t fit into our boxes of “normal.” They shared the pain of how literally none of the adults had asked about John thus far at this “family retreat.”

This, it itself, convicted me. I had noticed John but I didn’t bother to take the time to say hello to him or ask of his story.  As I shared earlier, it was impossible to miss him – not only because of the humongous mechanical wheelchair – but also because of his heavy breathing. While I was preaching, I could occasional hear his heavy breathing.

So, I asked this older couple,

“What’s your son’s story? What’s John’s story?”

Over the next couple minutes, they shared a glimpse of John’s story. John is paralyzed, deaf, mute, mostly blind. He is only able to feel some touch. They explained that when John was three months old… Read the rest of this entry »

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Parenting for dummies. Parenting do’s and don’ts.

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Do yourself a favor and bookmark this post – especially if you’re a parent or a parent-to-be someday. Or if you have babies around you.

Refer to it often. Study it carefully.
Take notes. Draw diagrams. Connect the dots.
Consider this as a gift.

I still recall when we planted Quest Church about 12 years ago. The picture above was soon after our 2nd daughter was born and right when we started the church. How fast time flies: She’s already 12 and her sister (our oldest kid) is now 14.

[Note to self: breathe in. breathe out.]
Read the rest of this entry »

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“You are part of an imperfect family with imperfect parents…and where the foundation is God’s grace.”

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Dear Son: Happy Birthday to you, J!

Today, you turn the big ten. 10 years old! Double digits. Goodness gracious.

Mom and Dad love you so much. It’s difficult and perhaps impossible to fully articulate the depths of our love for you and your sisters.  We are so blessed to be your parents and I am so proud and blessed to your father. I am so proud of who you are and who you are growing to be. While I am proud of your accomplishments and how you seek to honor your parents, I am simply proud of you: The person that you are and not just what you do. Your love for God and your desire to serve Him with your life – even at such a young age –  brings so much joy. Your sisters love you. Your grandparents love you. And of course, God loves you. His love for you is vast and deep.

My hope is that through our love for you, we can give you a glimpse of God’s love for you.

Yet, you are part of an imperfect family with imperfect parents – including and especially your father. You know this very well. Read the rest of this entry »

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It’s official. I am writing my first book. Someone please pray for me.

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I have some exciting and humbling news to share with friends, supporters, critics, and blog stalkers.

First the news:

After several years of wrestling, praying, and mulling  (and very intensely the past few months), Minhee (my wife) and I finally thought it was time for me to work on my first book.  And while I’m not an agent kind of person (however much I like Jerry Maguire), the conversations about publishing were intimidating and the learning curve so high that I decided that it would be best to work with a literary agent. And so, I’ve decided to partner with Chris Park for many reasons including the fact that she’s sharp, become my unofficial grammar police, used to work for both publishers and as an editor in her former life, and got bonus points since her husband is a Ph.D candidate in New Testament.

With her help, we forwarded a brief book proposal to various publishers. Read the rest of this entry »

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Imagine a singular decision of courage and faith that will bless the generations to come.

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It’s been a very long time since I’ve blogged.  For various reasons, I’ve chosen to take a little sabbatical from blogging. It was meant to be life giving but somehow, it grew to become a chore, a job, a metric, a regular statistics checking habit…and to be honest, it was attracting more than its share of angry folks that were going out of their way to contact me. Just leave your comments and let it be. Please. I appreciate the dialogue and the comments but we don’t have to be best friends and you don’t have to save me. Fo realz.

But…I’m back.

Life has also been full. Beyond full.

And as much as I want life to be neatly packed, organized, and compartmentalized…it just doesn’t seem to work that way.

It’s been full but it’s not chaotic. Does this make sense?

You see, we live in a busy world but there’s a difference between empty fatigue and gratifying tiredness.

My hope is to invest in the things that I deeply care about. And this…takes prioritizing or in other words, a life audit. So, why the silence on the blog? Because it was time for a life audit… Read the rest of this entry »

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This is a hero you’ll never read about so let me share his story.

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All around us are people of great courage.
All around us are people that are true heroes.

We often miss them because we’re conditioned to look for the mighty, famous, and glamorous.

I was reminded of this again through a very tragic event.

Last Sunday (April 14, 2013), one of our church staff’s father tragically passed away. Jin An – a longtime friend and someone who has been with Quest Church from Day 1 – was part of our worship team last Sunday. After an amazing Sunday as he hosted Dr. John M. Perkins, he received news shortly after our 2nd service that his father, Mr. Se-Rok An, had passed away in a freak accident. According to KIRO News:

Se Rok An, 73, was fishing in the surf in Ocean City Sunday when he got in a rip current and disappeared.

Johanna An said her mother looked for her father and yelled for help.
“One minute she looked up and he was just gone,” said An.

“It was just one of those freak accidents where he got in the riptide and, you know, she went around trying to see where he was and she started running and nobody was around,” said An’s son, Jin An.

Our hearts mourn with Jin and the entire family.

This weekend, I flew up a tad bit early from my family vacation to preach at Jin’s father’s memorial service. Read the rest of this entry »

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What would we do if we only had one week to live? Jesus borrowed a donkey, washed dirty feet, and got crucified.

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Imagine if you had only one week to live, or one month, or one year. Seriously, take a few minutes to imagine the mental and emotional anguish.

Imagine if you knew that you were going to only live until you were 33 years old and that your death would come in the most horrific manner imaginable.

As some may know, “Palm Sunday” marks the beginning of Passion Week – the final week of Jesus’ life on earth. As we engage in Passion Week, it’s important to take some time to reflect on the life of Jesus and in particularly, his final week. Some may make the mistake of thinking or assuming that since Jesus was fully God, he didn’t experience human anguish. But Jesus wasn’t just fully God, he chose to be fully human. He was God who assumed humanity. He took upon himself flesh and bone. And in and through this…Jesus understood the fullness of our human condition. Jesus understood hunger, thirst, temptations, anguish, the pain of human betrayal, sadness.  During the final week of Jesus’ life, we see a glimpse of his humanity as he anguished in prayer at Gethsemane.

Before we try to jump to the celebration of His resurrection, we need to take the time to walk with Christ during the last week of his life.

So as I reflect upon the final week of Jesus’ life, it’s only natural for me to ponder what I would do if I knew I only had one week to live.

Don’t we all have what we call a “bucket list?” 

…Stuff that we want to do before experience our physical death?

I do. I have both a mental list and a list of some stuff I’ve started compiling in my notebook. Here’s at least 5 things I’d like to do if I have a week (or month) to live: Read the rest of this entry »

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The myth and danger of the suspicious, scary black man.

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Remembering Trayvon Martin.
Today marks the 1 year anniversary of the death of Trayvon – the then 17-year-old unarmed young black man.

As the debates get renewed on this one-year anniversary and most likely to be intensified when the trials for George Zimmerman begin in June, I’m reminded of the ongoing healing and reconciliation that is necessary – not just in “our country” or in “our world” but in truth, in our own hearts and lives.

As we come to the one year mark since Trayvon’s death, we can’t forget his death. There’s too much at stake. Whatever the results of Zimmerman’s trial, we cannot forget Trayvon’s death.

We have to remember that hoodies don’t kill as short skirts don’t rape. Read the rest of this entry »

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Abortion? To whom it may concern: Imagine the possibilities. Imagine the story that can be lived…

The “a” word: Abortion.

Is there a more emotional conversation in the current landscape of America? Probably not.

Go ahead. Throw stones.
Scream and shout.
Put labels on each other.
Picket. Protest. Make posters.
Conceive rhyming & non-rhyming phrases.
Hurl insults and judgments.
Murder. Murderous. Murdering. Murderers.
Use bible verses, statistics, graphic photos.
Do what you’ll do.

If I may, I’d just like to offer one simple alternative.

My views haven’t changed over the years. I’m against abortion. I believe it is a sin. I have no reticence or ambivalence. I believe it is absolutely and utterly tragic – for all involved. I believe God deeply grieves as with any injustice…but perhaps, a better way to articulate my convictions is that

I believe in the sanctity of life.

Left. Right. Center. Liberal. Conservative. Moderate.

Whatever your adjective, all Christians should be for the sanctity of life – from womb to tomb.
Not just our lives but their lives.
Not just American lives.
Not just the unborn babies’ life but the mother’s life;
Not just his life but her life.
All lives.  Read the rest of this entry »

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stuff, connect, info

one day’s wages | video

My Instagram

I love my church. So proud of the ways they seek to embody compassion and justice. Some of them were in downtown Seattle this week to demonstrate their solidarity with Ferguson.

I'm in the middle of a 3 month sabbatical at Quest. I'm grateful for this time of rest and rejuvenation...but I miss my church dearly. Can't wait to be back in October. There are some amazingly beautiful churches around the world. Just remember though that true worship begins when you exit the church walls and live out your faith and convictions.

#LightandSalt
#PrincetonUniversity Home, sweet home. 
#seattle 17.5 Year Anniversary!
We still got it. We look gooooood!

Blessed to be back in Princeton, NJ for couple days recently. We had our wedding ceremony in Korea but got "legally" married in the US at Miller Chapel in Princeton Seminary. So, it was only fitting to go back and have my kids take our 17.5 Anniversary  pics. Someday when our kids become adults and they feel like their parents wronged them or neglected them, and they feel like they need to get counseling... I'm going to show them this picture and say, "I HAVE PROOF. WE TOOK YOU TO NYC AND BOUGHT TICKETS TO WICKED ON BROADWAY!" RIP Robin Williams. 
Folks: Please go and - call or hug your loved ones. Tell them you love them. Remind them how you much appreciate them.

We need to (re)learn how to be more human. Don't avoid eye contact. Don't hide behind gadgets. Smile often - both to neighbors and strangers alike. Ask about peoples' stories. And listen.

And most importantly, remind yourself that YOU are loved. Not just merely by your loved ones but also by the ONE who created all that is good and beautiful.

my tweets

  • Breathe. Show yourself some grace. We can't do everything for everyone in every situation. Do what you can and do it with a cheerful heart. || 11 minutes ago
  • You don't need to be the "most influential" to everyone, you just need to influence the people you've been called to. || 5 hours ago
  • Rather than always looking for the spectacular, we have to learn to find purpose, beauty, and meaning in the mundane and every day. || 9 hours ago
  • Let's be wise. Let's be humble. Let's be careful of the hero complex where it's about us...rather than about God. - youtube.com/watch?v=s7j68b… || 22 hours ago
  • The proof of God's love is that He knows everything about us - incl. our mess, brokenness, and shame - and still pursues us. This is grace. || 1 day ago
  • RT @NaomiLizBlog: "Our contentment comes from a life of gratitude and generosity." Review of #overratedbook by @Eugenecho @David_C_Cook htt… || 1 day ago
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