Eugene Cho

don’t throw rocks

For the second time within the last few weeks, someone threw a rock into the church staff offices this morning.  To clarify, someone threw both a BRICK and a rock.  The first time, I was hoping it was a random drive by rock throwing…

photo_080107_001.jpg

It’s a sucky feeling.  Your mind races why someone would do this… 

  • Was the sermon that bad last Sunday? 
  • Is it because we’re removing the pews next month?
  • Was someone drunk and upset that the Mariners got shut out by the Angels last night?
  • Is it my facial hair and sideburns? 
  • Was it a cafe customer unhappy with their double tall 2% hazelnut latte with light foam?

I shouldn’t speculate but how can you not?  As the “lead” pastor, one of my privileges is  to care for and protect the staff as I desire to be protected and cared for.  Someone [if anyone was sitting there at the time] could have been seriously hurt.  I don’t like to have rocks thrown at me [let alone a brick] but without sounding too dramatic, I’d rather people throw them at me rather that my family, children, or church.  Better yet, don’t throw anything.  Just email your frustrations – but DO NOT mention my children or their names.

As I speculate, I have to ask, “Is it me?”  I hope not, but I wonder…

In  blogoland, the past six months have been somewhat intense.  Much of it has been because of three posts on this blog:  The Gay Conversation, Prayer for Korean Hostages in Afghanistan, and Make Sense of Virginia Tech.   On the most part, there were some good dialogue but also lots of intense private emails into my inbox: 

Eugene, you’re too liberal, too conservative, too Asian, too UnAsian, too emerging, too tall [ok, not this one], too ungracious, too gay, too ungay, too political, too racial, too [insert word here] and so forth. 

Interestingly, much of my criticism comes from Christians.  Go figure.  I don’t mind these emails; I appreciate people willing to share their thoughts.  But a few, which I will not publish, have gone overboard. 

I’ve been debating this for the past several months but after a couple random phone calls to the house, some borderline scary emails, and couple rocks along the way, and consulting with some other bloggers, I’m going to make couple small changes.   I’m obviously going to keep blogging as I enjoy sharing my vomitaceous thoughts as I wrestle with God’s larger narrative story, engaging culture, wrestling with faith, and other random musings.  But I feel like I need to make slight modifications to do my part to protect my family – just in case.  And this is something that my wife asked about since her blog is only accessible by those who she gives permission to.   Someday, I’ll share a scary situation from eight years ago but that’s another post.  I’ve removed all my children’s names and photos on the blog and from the church website.  If I know you and you’re not a potential rock thrower, you’re more than welcome to hit me at facebook.

I really want to believe it was some random jerk throwing a brick.  I’m sure it was.  But just in case:

This is the personal blog of Eugene Cho. The views, words, posts, thoughts, and ideas represented here are my own, not those of Quest Church, Q Cafe, my family, my ethnic Korean countrypeople, the city of Seattle where I live, the USA of which I am a citizen, or the totality of the Christian faith and community.  As I spew out some vomitaeous thoughts for conversation, connection, amusement, and critical discourse, I seek to grant and receive grace.

In other words, please don’t throw rocks.

Filed under: christianity, church

21 Responses

  1. Dan says:

    That sucks, man. Maybe they were protesting the higher prices at Starbucks, and got the wrong coffee house.

    Have you read David Aikman’s article in the new CT, “The Attack Dogs of Christianity?” Might be an encouragement, at least to know you’re in good company. My prayers for your safety. . .

  2. John says:

    Honestly, I think you made a good decision to use the blog to say and communicate your thoughts but be cautious with your family.

    It’s not because you’re famous! It’s just the world that we live in and this thing called the internet!

  3. daniel so says:

    Eugene — I’m very sorry to hear what has been happening. It’s remarkable how cowardly some people can be. Although I wish we didn’t have to do things this way, I totally agree with your decision to protect your family by removing their information/images from your blog & church site.

    Also, another big thanks for keeping us all updated on the situation in Afghanistan and for not allowing this tragedy to be buried under the endless mound of mush the mainstream media pushes as newsworthy.

  4. e cho says:

    daniel,
    i’m likely making it more of a deal than it is…
    but just in case.

  5. Oh, no,

    makes me feel sad when some one does it, but its world and you never know when that rock going to be thrown at you,

    some people just do a ministry like that to their master.

    God may protect your family an dfrens

    blessings

  6. Joseon says:

    Eugene,

    Thanks for sharing about this. Perhaps writing about it here will stop the jerk(s) from doing it again.

    Somebody in my neighborhood has been regularly damaging my car and it’s frustrating to know people are so disrespectful. I’ve even thought about installing cameras inside my car to catch the guy.

    I’ll be keeping Quest and your family in my prayers.

  7. gar says:

    This might sound odd, but as a kid, I always knew my dad (a pastor) carried a loaded Sig Sauer 226 with him when he went to work at church, especially when he had to close up at nights. I used think that it was strange, but now that I’m adult and I’ve seen plenty of bad things in this world… I think now I understand why.

  8. keewonhuh says:

    Gar, I’ve been wondering if I should be doing the same. Our church has been broken into twice in the past two years during the evenings, and I do often stay late by myself.

    Eugene, I don’t think it’s an over-reaction. Considering the events that have unfolded in the US these past few years, precaution is probably the way to go. I will pray God provides His angels to protect you and your family as you continue your Kingdom-building work.

    Blessings.

  9. rk says:

    i found your blog while searching for updates about the hostage situation. i’ve read a couple of your other posts as well and just want to let you know that i love the way you’re sharing your thoughts. they make me think.

  10. Deneen says:

    Obviously, you are making an impact in the city of Seattle as well as in the world at large. It is wise to protect your wife and family.

    I appreciate your blog and that you are willing to confront issues that most Christians largely avoid.

    I pray for boatloads of blessings on you and your family!

  11. Wayne Park says:

    Eugene, it’s happening cuz you’re doing all the right things.

  12. insipid "g" says:

    is it cause of the insipid worship… 😉

  13. vince vonada says:

    Ouch from that brick! I hope it’s just one of those random urban things. As a dad too, I agree with you being concerned about your family. Very glad you aren’t removing this blog completely though, it is very frank, clear and honest. A rare find even in the Christian world in my opinion. Sometimes speaking up will bring some bricks, and quieting down can then make it seem like the bad guys are winning again.
    Vinny

  14. Maia says:

    EC- Not to take this situation lightly but you are really funny! f someone threw a brick at my house I don’t know if I could make jokes about it. I’d be too mad.

    Anyways my fiance and I came to service last Sunday and we could immediately tell this is a place where we want to be. Thanks for your encouragement, we haven’t been in chuch for awhile, or been pursuing a christian lifestyle but your sincerity has helped redirect us. Thank you for your hard work.

  15. Blake says:

    I got your back PE. Just say the word and I can round up a Quest posse to go over caffeinate these rock throwing people with some amazing Q Café lattes.😉

    You, your family, the church, and the church staff are all in my prayers. Way to take care of them.🙂 It’s a wise decision.

    Blessings!

    PS. I know you’re not the firearm owning type, but if you’re at all considering it I can recommend some great shops and places to take defensive handgun classes. A concealed carry permit is rather easy to come by as well. I myself have been known to carry occasionally, especially when I go out on late night walks through my neighborhood and can’t count on the simple presence of other people to guarantee safety.

  16. Sam S says:

    Eugene,

    I’m so sorry to hear about the brick. It really is a broken and sinful world we live in.

    I for one am every thankful for your insights, especially about the korean Christian hostage situation. You are really right on about that.

  17. Mercedes says:

    Mercedes AMG

    2008 Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG

  18. Love your blog and I feel terrible that this should happen to anyone. Perhaps investing in a video camera would be of use in case these uncivilized people should come back for another visit. Thanks for being real.

  19. Ed C says:

    Call the Autobots. That will get them straightened out.

    Oh well…in reality…

    Just do what you are doing. There is nothing to be surprised about those people who would fight God’s message with rocks and stones. Ask Stephen (oh well…he’s gone so…)

  20. […] the rocks.  Now the multiple tags around the church building.  Again, I’m just thinking and hoping […]

  21. Jersey says:

    There are Christians out there who are working their butts off to try to reunify the church, but then there are “purists” who say that others who proclaim to be Christian either are not or are “erring” Christians.

    I am on one end. My family is on the other. I am not saying one is right, one is wrong, for maybe both are, or maybe aren’t.

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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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