Eugene Cho

undiscovered beauty and talent

By now, many folks have heard the story of Paul Potts.  If you haven’t, you need to see the video below! He has become an overnight sensation.  An incredible story of a 36-year-old British man who was making a living as a mobile cellphone salesman.  Check out the story line…it’s made for Hollywood:  Bullied as kid and consequently, resorts to singing; Has ambitions of being an opera singer but gives up his dreams; Wasn’t even going to audition for the talent show…But alas, he enters and wins the Britain’s Got Talent show [equivalent to ‘American Idol’ here in the Stateside]. It’s a little mushy but what a wonderful story of a hidden talent that is now uncovered for others to enjoy. I have a reputation of a tough man to maintain but I have to confess I got a little teary-eyed the first time I saw this video. The last time I cried was when the Seattle Seahawks lost to the Pittsburgh Steelers in the Super Bowl couple years back. That was painful but that’s another story.

While there was some “controversy” of some details that revealed Paul had some vocal training, the truth seems to be that he really is an average bloke.

I have never worked as a professional singer. I have poured everything I could earn into a few lessons, but everyone taking part in this television show has had some training,’ he said yesterday.

‘My four performances with Bath Opera a few years back were all amateur. I am angry about this because I have never earned anything, although I did get petrol expenses a couple of times.’ His story is confirmed this weekend by the singing teacher who gave him lessons until Potts was forced to give up in 2003 because of illness. Potts adds that he has always been open about a trip to Italy to improve his voice. He had saved up to sing for Luciano Pavarotti in a masterclass, but had no tuition from the great tenor. [read the full interview]

What’s he going to do with the earnings? Well, he intends to pay off some debt and fix his teeth.  How average and ordinary can you get?  The bloke even has a MySpace account.  I guarantee you that you’re going to see commercials soon with a montage of his singing and ordinary folks saying, “I am Paul Potts.” 

I want to resist the temptation of making this a nice “spiritual illustration” but how can one resist?  One of the thoughts that came across my mind as I was seeing this video was the thought of all the undiscovered beauty [and talent] in the lives of all people.  And maybe part of the function of the body of Christ and pastors is to serve as “talent scouts” or discoverers.

Filed under: culture

12 Responses

  1. Bill says:

    You are special, very special, a fan.

  2. chad says:

    pastors as “talent scouts”…
    i like that idea
    that’s one i can run with as a youth pastor!

  3. Rachel says:

    pe- yes! i came across this video last week, truly beautiful!

  4. Janet says:

    No need to apologize Eugene. I like the idea of churches, Christians, and pastors helping one another to discover the talent and beauty of each person. While it can be construed as New-Ageish, I actually think this is biblical.

    Happy Discovering.

  5. kd nyquist says:

    I’m going to suggest that talent scouting is a sign of quality leadership in all realms, not simply limited to pastors or the like inside church walls. I think pastors have the dual responsiblity of not only uncovering gifts, but also making sure that those gifts are a means used for worship versus becoming passions that spiritually blind the talented. There is a difference between doing something for God and doing something because one is good at it.

  6. Don Sturgill says:

    Great point, Eugene. As believers, our job description calls for us to see the glorious potential for joy inside of a suffering individual. I was at a low point, myself, when I saw this video…and it was a living sermon to me. Just what I needed, just when I needed it. I have put up (my first ever) blog to invite others who have been touched by Paul to share their experience. Please take a look: http://www.thepaulpottsstory.com

  7. Michael says:

    I heard about the “real” Paul Potts story after discovering him on youtube recently and I must admit, I felt kind of…deceived? I would’ve preferred to learn about his struggles as an amateur paying for his own lesseons, unpaid amateur performances, surgery, broken collarbone, etc, instead of being led to believe this guy just showed up out of nowhere.

    But after a little while, I was still alright with him and I’m a fan. I just don’t like being taken advantage of by the media and recording industry for profit (who does?), which Paul’s initial, sort of half-truth story seemed like.

  8. Mick Daly says:

    I cry EVERY time I watch Paul’s audition video (that’s dozens of times), and am proud of it! Btw, I too was born in Bristol England!

    As an elder at our church I gave a message on Sunday (Journey to Joy) using Paul Potts and his video as an example of a fundamental truth that I think most churches and Christians miss: Jesus was a Man of Joy. Like Paul Potts, when we use God-given gifts and talents (even if we don’t know Him or that he gave them!), and when we use them for the benefit of others, then we give Joy and experience Joy ourselves. Just watch the judges and the audience as Paul begins to sing – that’s some kind of joyful transformation taking place.

    I have a feeling that Paul does know where his talent comes from – if not, I pray he learns that truth and that he is on a Journey to Joy that ends in heaven, where Joy comes from and where his and our Joy will be complete.

    Mick
    http://www.dalys.com

  9. John Eaton says:

    Amen, Gene.

    The Jericho road is a long one, and there are many travelers.

    John

  10. Mami says:

    For the record “Britain’s Got Talent” is the equivalent to “America’s Got Talent” – and “Pop Idol” is the equivalent of “American Idol.” Both shows originated in the UK.

    It does appear that Paul is a natural singer and any voice coach will now welcome the opportunity to work with him.

  11. Hope Anderson says:

    I am just so happy for Paul Potts and his family. Much success in the future, Mr. Paul Potts! God Bless you! Hopey

  12. […]  The instant judgment.  This is a familiar story, isn’t it?  I’m not talking about Paul Potts (another winning contestant in Britain’s Got Talent) but for us as Christians, Jesus […]

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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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