Eugene Cho

barack obama for president?

Well, the momentum is clearly building for Senator Barack Obama.  I have yet to read through his book, The Audacity of Hope, but  have only heard raving reviews.  Some celebrities have jumped on the bandwagon and the media knows a good story if there is one.  I’m seeing Mr. Obama left and right.  He has certainly impacted a growing number of folks at our church as well.  He’s popping up in blogs, conversations, and was even quoted on a recent Sunday morning at church.  He first came up in a conversation while the staff drove up to Vancouver, BC to listen to a Miroslav Volf lecture.  The question was posed in this manner:  “What will America see first:  a female president or an African American president?”

Most agreed a female president simply because there are more women than African Americans in the US.  But who knew that Mr. Obama would emerge to be such a viable political, social, and pop-culture figure?  But having said that, I’m not sure if I’m alone in thinking this but as a minority in this country, I just get afraid for Barack.  I know the USA is an incredible country; I could build a solid case that it’s the best country in the world but I’m not naive and stupid in thinking that racism and prejudice aren’t still pervasive – both in blatant or subtle ways.  This past weekend while talking with David Cho, a Quester, a professor at University Puget Sound, and leader of the Quest Faith & Race classes, I shared with him the root of my fear:  I am afraid for Mr. Obama’s life.   I hate thinking this!  While I have no doubts that the larger America can handle the idea of a black president, I don’t know if individuals can and fear possible attempts on his life.

While surfing, I read what I thought was an incredibly articulate post from a Jelani Greenidge, a young African-American musician, producer, emcee, and writer from Portland, Oregon.  He writes an open letter to Barack Obama sharing his reasons why Obama should run for the presidency:

And I felt it again today, thumbing through the prologue of The Audacity of Hope. It’s a nagging feeling, really. The inevitable sense of unrest that accompanies the habitual repression of deep desire. In this case, it’s the desire for our broader American culture to be healed of it’s racial and political divide.

Señor Senator, you convinced me with those first few pages that you have what it takes to help facilitate that healing process on a national scale. And despite grumblings aplenty that stick-in-the-mud pundits (read: realists) have been offering about your lack of Senate experience, I think you have the potential to wage an effective presidential campaign. Not only that, but I think an Obama presidency would galvanize our country, bringing a balm of civility and discourse that is critically absent from today’s political landscape.

For these reasons (and because I’m not afraid to jump on a good bandwagon when I see one), I urge you — please, run for president. I know it’ll be a gut-wrenching, soul-searching ordeal, but you’re the right man at the right time.

The entire post is worth reading!  This is not my personal endorsement of Mr. Obama and his presidency.  I am still reading and learning more about him but the more I learn, the more I am compelled by his substance and passion.   Regardless, it is now very lear that he will be a mover and shaker in the things to come – clearly in this country, and possibly, around the world.

Filed under: politics

13 Responses

  1. Unjin Lee says:

    PE

    As you know, I am a huge fan of Senator Obama. I am almost finished reading, “The Audacity of Hope” and I am so impressed by his honest, personable, intelligent ability to call people to recognize the polarizing and devisive politics that are bringing so much pain and despair to the U.S. as well as around the globe.

    This keynote address was shared at Jim Wallis/Sojourners’ Call to Renewal conference last summer and can also be found in his book. I thought you would be interested in hearing more about his personal faith and how he believes faith and politics must converge.

    Barack the Vote!

    http://www.barackobama.com/2006/06/28/call_to_renewal.php

  2. jeff lam says:

    all i have to say is, i love barack obama.

  3. Blake says:

    Wow. This guy really is showing up everywhere. I’d never heard of him until this past year and now it seems he’s all I read about.🙂

    I’ll have to look into this guy… If he is what he seems to be, I agree that he could definitely bring a refreshing wind into American politics.

    God’s will be done…

  4. Jin says:

    Its the Oprah effect.

  5. Jin says:

    …not to take anything away from his accomplishments and qualifications.

  6. eugenecho says:

    oprah?
    do i need to mention oprah’s movie, ‘Beloved.’
    the oprah effect is dead.

  7. leah says:

    we are not given a spirit of fear,
    let us pursue instead the ‘audacity of hope’.
    barack the vote!

    (hmm…that could be the next t.shirt…)

  8. david says:

    i want to hug barack. and not let go for a long time. is that weird?

  9. gar says:

    Seeing Barack Obama run for prez would be awesome, but yeah, it is scary to think of the possibility of something bad happening.

    On a sidenote, I think his lack of Senate experience is actually a positive… Washington politics has a way of corrupting of just about anybody who stays there for too long.

  10. nicole says:

    This reminds me that once I have time to read again (when will that be? I’m not sure.) I want to read The Audacity of Hope. It is exciting and a bit scary to think of the possibilities that we really could see not only an African American presidential candidate, but one with such honesty and integrity. This also reminds me to keep him in prayer, as he is more and more in the public eye, and also more and more likely to be under spiritual attack.

  11. […] to hear from him and others – beyond the typical political rhetoric.  But as I wrote months ago, I still get scared for Obama’s life.  I hate even thinking those […]

  12. […] assassination plot on obama? When Barack Obama first announced his candidacy for the President of the United States, I was excited about the possibility of a person of color simply running for the highest office in the US.  Then after thinking, I got really scared.  Really scared for his life and I shared about it here and here. […]

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One Day’s Wages

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As I soaked in this breathtaking sunrise this morning above the clouds, I felt compelled to pray for so my places in America and around the world that are experiencing such pain, heartache, injustice, and violence. At times, it feels so overwhelming but in prayer, I was reminded of these words from John 16:33. As we keep striving, working, hoping, preaching, loving, truthtelling, reconciling, repenting, forgiving, dismantling, peacemaking, Kingdom building...may we fix our eyes on Christ: “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” - John 16:33 Grateful for a very full weekend of ministry and preaching in Toronto, Canada (GTA). Such a privilege to partner with @worldvisioncan @wvcollective to advocate for the most vulnerable around the world. God is so gracious. A true honor to meet and encourage local pastors, lecture at Tyndale University & Seminary (photo), and preach at Richmond Hills Community Church, Compass Point Bible Church, and New City Church. Thank you, Lord, that you use broken and imperfect people like me to speak of Your love. Today, Minhee and I dropped off our eldest child at her college. We have been thinking and praying about this day for many years. On some days, we hoped it would never come. On other days, we couldn't wait for it to come. On some days, we prayed for time to stop and other days, we prayed with anticipation. 
After an entire summer of laughing it off, it hit us...hard...this week. Seeing all of her stuff laid out on the basement floor was the catalyst to a load of emotions.

After unloading the car and taking her stuff to her new home for this year and mindful that she might never live with us again; helping sort out her stuff, saying hello to her roommates...I wasn't sure what to do or say.

A flood of thoughts rushed my mind.

Is she ready?
Have we done enough?
Have we taught her enough? 
What if this? What if that?

And so we shared what we have shared with her the moment she began to understand words: "Remember who you are. Remember WHO you belong to. Remember what you're about. God loves you so much. Please hold God's Word and His promises close and dear to your heart. We love you so much and we are so proud of you." And with that, we said goodbye. Even if she may not be thousands of miles away, this is a new chapter for her and even for us. I kept it composed. Her roommate was staring at me. I didn't want to be that father. I have street cred to uphold. Another final hug. 
And I came home.
And I wept.
Forget my street cred.
I miss her. I love her.
She will always be my little baby.

I'm no parenting guru. I just laughed as I wrote that line. No, I'm stumbling and bumbling along but I'd love to share an ephiphany I learned not that long ago. Coming to this realization was incredibly painful but simultaneously, liberating. To be honest, it was the ultimate game-changer in my understanding as a parent seeking after the heart of God.

While there are many methods, tools, philosophies, and biblical principles to parenting, there is – in my opinion – only one purpose or destination.

Our purpose as parents is to eventually…release them. Send forth. For His glory. Met a friend and fellow pastor who I haven't seen in over 20 years. In him, I saw a glimpse of my future. While only 10 years older, his kids are married and he's now a grandfather of 3. His love for his wife and family were so evident and his passion for the Gospel has not wavered. It was so good to see someone a bit older still passionately serving the Lord with such joy and faithfulness. Lord, help me to keep running the race for your Glory. Happy wife.
Happy life. - Eugenius 3:16

I still remember that time, many years ago, when Minhee was pregnant with our first child. She had left her family and friends in Korea just two years before. Her morning sickness was horrible and when she finally had an appetite, she craved her favorite Korean food from certain restaurants in her neighborhood in Seoul, Korea. I had no way of getting that food from those restaurants so I actually said, "How about a Whopper? Big Mac?" Sorry honey. Eat away. You deserve it. I don't care if it sounds mushy but sunsets are one of my love languages. Seoul, Korea was amazing but WOW...what a breathtaking welcome back sunset by Seattle. Not ready to let go of summer.

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