Eugene Cho

why i blog

I get varying opinions about my blog including the occasional hate email:

“It sucks. You suck.”

“You’re wasting time and bandwith.”

“You’re a sinister megalomania.”

“Shouldn’t you spend more time praying?” [Ok, I admit…this one hurts.]

And my favorite:

“Dude, you’re one angry asian.”

But on the most part, I’m glad that folks enjoying reading this blog. But the main reason why I blog isn’t to appease the quadrillion readers. It helps my level of sanity to e-journal if you will. And honestly, I’m trying to be as accesible to folks from my faith community, friends, curious inquirers from the blogosphere, fellow [tree huggin’, Subaru drivin’, granola bar eatin’, recycling obsessin’] Seattlites and Northwesterners, and perverts with a fetish for “orientals” that search for “Korean Beauty” on search engines.

I try to encourage other pastors and leaders to make time to share some of their musings at least twice/week. Try to be accessible and engage the larger context and culture. Here are some other reasons why I blog:

  1. To process some of my own thoughts, struggles, and dreams. Most of these are just my vomitaceous thoughts.
  2. To connect with my faith community. While I am the primary teacher at Quest, I discovered a growing disconnect with the church – particularly as the church grew larger. This blog is another way to connect with this community. I don’t want to only be a dude behind a pulpit. That would seriously suck.
  3. To connect with others in Seattle – both secular and christian. When people ask me where I pastor, I honestly think to myself [and sometimes respond]: “I pastor the greater Seattle area.” You’d be surprised at the number of people that have randomly come up to me and said, “I know you through your blog.” Kinda freaky but kinda cool as long as they’re not blog stalkers.
  4. To add my voice to the blogosphere and particularly those who share similar interests. I enjoy reading other people’s blogs but sometimes it feels suffocating because like many things, it’s dominated by White Men. Nothing against my white male brothers – particularly those with tattoos and frizzy goatees but I felt compelled to add my voice to the collective and to hopefully inspire others to raise up their voices.
  5. For better or worse [meaning: learn from my mistakes], be a mentor to younger pastors and leaders – particularly to churchplanters, Asian-American pastors, and other Christian leaders and pastors who especially wrestle with their sense of ecclesiology and missiology in a fast changing postmodern and postchurch world. I’m 37 and need to stop dorking around and do my part before I croak and die in another 37.
  6. To record my journey – so that one day, my kids can read about the journeys of their old man. I really really want my kids to grow up thinking that their father was at least a little hip. Seriously, I hope wordpress doesn’t go defunct anytime soon or that would really suck too.
  7. To someone reveal that pastors or Christians aren’t stupid religious people that don’t have the ability to engage in humor, critical thought, or have “regular” lives. I’m a Christian and a follower of Jesus but I ain’t perfect, saintly, or perfectly holy. I fart just like you and sometimes, they’re bad. Really bad.  Sinfully bad.

If you’re new to this, there’s a few posts [and comments] I’d recommend checking out:

  • Fight Poverty [I would consider this my heart poured out as I [and my wife] wrestle with privilege, stewardship, generosity and revealing our family’s vision to help fight global poverty.]
  • Racism Sucks [Why doesn’t the body of Christ discuss this more?]
  • Prayer for Korean-American Hostages in Afghanistan [One post ended up becoming a 40day+ vigil; was read over 10,000x and connected me to missionaries and relief workers around the world.]
  • The Gay Conversation [What more do I have to write? An exchange with Dan Savage of the Stranger became the most intense dialogue with 320+ comments. This is a must read – not because of the post but because of the comments.]
  • One Church [The story of how an older traditional local church in Seattle gifted all their assests, land, and building to us and joined our community and vision. Crazy.]
  • Jesus, I’m Sorry I’m Not a Real Man [It means what it says. Bummed that my masculinity or lack of it disqualifies me from Driscoll’s Fight Club Posse.]
  • Making Sense of Virginia Tech [Emotionally painful and raw.]

Random Nonsense Posts that for whatever reason got responses: Please Stop Dancing [Tribute to Rick Astley]; Heroes the TV show [Who knew people loved their TV so much?]; and the lure of the Apple Computer Cult.

And before I get any more pranks calls, quasi threats, or rocks thrown through our church windows, please read this carefully:

This is my personal blog. The views, words, posts, thoughts, rants, visions, 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 vomitaceous thoughts for conversation, connection, amusement, and critical discourse, I seek to grant and receive grace.

Filed under: religion, ,

26 Responses

  1. Nick says:

    This blog is one of my favorite reads but let me say this: You haven’t been angry enough recently! Don’t get soft on us.

  2. Dan says:

    Eugene,

    We connected over in Chicago couple days ago and I just wanted to drop a line to tell you how much I appreciated you spending time with me. Been a long time reader and enjoy your thoughts. You are one interesting dude.

  3. Kelly says:

    Whatever your reasons for blogging, I’m glad that you do! This blog has been an inspiration for me to do more writing and thought-processing of my own.

  4. Just in passing I have to admit that I never really thought about it but ur correct, it is a white dominated blogosphere. But why?

    I’ve blogged since the early 2000s. Stopped three times and started back on three different platforms, all because I keep asking the question you have answered, “Why do I blogging?” I don’t feel the certainty that you seem to have about the whys of my blogging. But I’m back at it again and enjoying for now. Thank you for your sincerity and genuineness.

  5. Jennifer says:

    E

    I love your heart to be accessible to people at Q – not just here, but in general. 🙂

  6. Eugene,
    I don’t even go to your church but I feel more connected to the spiritual life in Seattle because of your blog. First my wife started reading, then she kept telling me stories from what you wrote, now I’m hooked too.

    It’s just nice to connect.

  7. […] you may want to subscribe to my RSS feed. Thanks for visiting!Eugene Cho’s post, “…why i blog” has stimulated much reflection and thought. Why do I blog? Good question. I’m not […]

  8. djchuang says:

    I eat granola bars, I don’t hug trees, but what is the deal with Subaru’s ?? If it was a Prius being driven, I can understand that. Why Subaru?

    I’ve often answered more simply, to the question of why I blog: because I can.

  9. Wayne Park says:

    I know exactly why Subaru – it’s hilarious, I guess it’s a northwest thing.

    PE – you’ve been a huge influence on me in so many ways – we’re so grateful. Blogging is just one of many things you’ve rubbed off on me and I try to do it often so I can “get out” into Bellingham a lot more. Via my blog I’ve conversed with athiests, local crazies, revolutionaries and progressive minded folk. It’s been a great initial step in pastoring Bellingham.

  10. A.j. says:

    I find blogging is a wonderful communication tool funneling both negative and positive energies. It seems you are on a quest to find spirituality through religion to bring you peace and calm. You list fishing as a hobby, I actually find that fishing is very spiritual in enjoying the nature around you. I think you are grasping too hard for acceptence, accept your flaws and go fishing or hiking or something that places you alone with nature and just absorb…

  11. A.j. says:

    whoops, gave wrong blogspot address correction
    http://backyarddetour.blogspot.com

  12. danielktaylor says:

    If it’s any encouragement, you helped me start blogging (danielktaylor.wordpress.com) which in turn started another friend.

    blessings

  13. kaori says:

    Hi, your blog is interesting.

  14. blueseaglass says:

    Everyone should be able to have a blog and get no hate mail!!! Say what you need to say and get it out!!!

  15. franksabunch says:

    Well, look at it this way. If that one person made a typo and called you a “*M*inister megalomania” it would have been 50% correct. =) WordPress may be different, but xanga, though not entirely dominated, is heavily diffused with Asians.

    I started blogging when my missionary friend back from Mongolia mentioned it as a way to stave off boredom. (That and I came to the realization that no one would ever pay me for writing…ha!) And like you, I’ve decided to leave it out there so my kids can read it some day. But though I write mostly for myself (I say mostly instead of only because I admit that at one point my now gone semi-celebrity status there got to my head), the occasional email from a random stranger saying something to the effect of, “what you wrote makes me appreciate my family/God/blessings/etc. more” somehow balances out the more frequent weird or “nonedifying” ones.

    As for who threw rocks at Q cafe…it was probably Starbucks!

  16. Dale says:

    Thanks for sharing, Eugene! Somehow, I stumbled upon your blog several months ago and found inspiration for the ongoing effort among my friends for a missional community lifestyle, with a cafe, as well as inspiration for the beginning of my own blog.

  17. very glad i found your blog. i find lots of value in your thoughts that resonate and challenge me

  18. hawaii dave says:

    thanks for sharing this again! after initially reading your reasons for blogging a few months ago, it planted the seed in me to start blogging as well… i finally started just this past week (onedegreeofglory.wordpress.com)! I’m such a neophyte, I’m still trying to figure out a lot of things (like i still don’t know how to trackback, duh!)… i wonder how many blogs you have birthed? thank you so much, if you’re ever in hawaii, feel free to visit wellspring covenant church! we’d love to have a fellow ecc’r! God’s blessings to you, your voice and your obedience!

  19. […] Church in Seattle and one of my favorite blog reads at beauty and depravity did a re-post on why he blogs.   A few months ago, when I read the original post and reasons he blogs, it resonated in me and […]

  20. First time reader and I have to say I really enjoyed reading through your previous posts as well. You seem to be a very honest and open person, something that the church needs more of these days.

  21. ivjusticeleague says:

    glad you blog as well. i just read some of the mind-boggling number of comments from “The Gay Conversation” I too appreciate your willingness to have made that much needed conversation happen.

  22. […] more people are watching and checking you out than you can imagine.  As I wrote last week about reasons why I blog, one of the reasons is to give folks a window into my heart and mind – that includes both the deep […]

  23. […] All the bloggers I read are so far away, but someone closer to home is a nice change. He has a great post on why he blogs. I can resonate for with a lot of his reasons. Plus, he is a genius for using depravity in his blog […]

  24. Aaron L says:

    Hey man, thank you for committing yourself to #5. As a young pastor and (probable) future church planter, I continually come to your blog for reflection, wisdom and insight.

  25. […] any case, I’m not questioning why I blog.  Bruce Reyes-Chow and Eugene Cho have some great summaries about why they blog and, as for me, “Yes, what they said!”  […]

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One Day’s Wages

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Collaboration.

col·lab·o·ra·tion
kəˌlabəˈrāSH(ə)n/
noun

the action of working with someone or a group of others  to produce or create something.

May we hold our logos, egos, and tribalism have their place. May we hold them loosely for they too shall pass. May we collaborate for the sake of the greater Kingdom of God ... which endures forever. As we honor Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., don't forget the God behind the man. The one true God who deposited this dream into MLK is still speaking to us today. Are we listening?

Be courageous. Be brave.

Being invited by the King Family to speak at the MLK worship service at Ebenezer Baptist Church in 2016 remains one of the most unexpected honors of my life. On the right is his daughter, Dr. Bernice King and his sister, Dr. Christine King Farris. Walking throughstreet markets in different parts of the world is the best. Soaking in the culture. Listening to the local language and music. Enjoying the amazing cuisine. Meeting new friends. Praying for the Gospel to penetrate. #ChiangRai Blessed be the local, indigenous leaders for it is they who live in the very communities they seek to love. For it is they who understand their context and culture...better than a Westerner ever will. For it is they who will continue to tenaciously pursue a better world with hope, justice and love when visitors like me leave.

Yes, blessed be the local, indigenous leaders. What an honor and privilege to celebrate with the on-the-ground local @thefreedomstory team to celebrate the recent opening of their Education and Resource Center for the local youth in Chiang Rai, Thailanf. This was made possible through a partnership and matching grant by @onedayswages and The Freedom Story.

While it was an honor to be there to cut the cord and say a few words, this is an example of collaboration. Much love to the Freedom Story team including their co-founders Tawee Donchai and @Rachel Goble, to their staff who live in the community, who understand their context and culture, and who tenaciously pursue a better world with hope, justice and love. And of course, much love to the students themselves for they each matter. Finally, to each person that donated to @onedayswages to make this grant possible.

May hundreds and even thousands of youth be impacted, encouraged, and mentored. May they capture a glimpse of God's love for them.

Photo: @benjaminedwards Part 2 on my wrestling with the complex issue of human trafficking. In part, documenting my trip to Thailand for @onedayswages...to listen, learn, and visit one of our partner orgs @thefreedomstory. More to come.

There's such painful and poignant irony in pursuing justice...unjustly. One way we do this is when we reduce people into projects...and thus, propagating the dangerous power dynamic of US as heroes and THEM as helpless and exclusively as victims. So dangerous.

Human trafficking is not just an issue. It’s ultimately, about people. Depending on the sources of statistics, there are anywhere from 29-40 million people in some form of forced labor and slavery, including sex trafficking.

And one thing I’ve learned, personally, is how easy it is easy to reduce people into projects which is why mutuality, reciprocity, and dignity are so vital. These are critical because God never intended people to be reduced into projects.

We forget this and we indirectly foster a culture and system of victimization or worse, the pornification of the poor or in this case, "the trafficked." And when you start dehumanizing the poor or trafficked, you have no genuine desire to build relationships with them. You believe or build stereotypes in broad strokes, singular, black and white narratives that have been told about them. You believe the lie that they have nothing to teach us and are incapable of contributing to the larger society.

Lord, break our hearts for the things that break your heart. Give us eyes to see others through your eyes. Give us humility so that we acknowledge our own need to learn and grow. (Photo via @thefreedomstory)

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