Eugene Cho

gratitude and prayers on veterans day

Let me begin by sharing my appreciation for all veterans and their service and sacrifice for this country.  I am able to enjoy certain blessings, privileges, freedoms, and benefits because of those that sought to preserve such liberties.  The world has witnessed the rise of those who would seek to destroy the gift of freedom and liberties and there were those who sacrficed to oppose such forces.   May our country, in our righteousness and power, distinguish between aggressors and protectors. 

My parents were children of the Korean War.  The stories they share are as hard to believe as the “When I was a kid, I used to walk 12 miles to school” stories.  My father served in the US Army.  We have several folks that are currently serving in the military in our church community.  Couple have already served stints in Iraq and may need to return in the near future.  I hide no reservations in my stance of being against this war but despite my opposition to the war, I do not want my support and appreciation for our troops to be feint.  And through our “merger” with Interbay Church 1.5 years ago, I have personally heard the stories of several who served in the military through both World War II and Vietnam.  I am thankful for them; Words cannot capture. 

How about you?  Do you have loved ones that are currently serving in the military?  Where?  How many of your parents and grandparents are veterans? 

Share your stories.

As I express my gratitude to our veterans, I also lift a prayer for the day when war may only be a memory; I pray for a day when leaders, governments, and citizens of the global community realize we can live in peace; I pray for a day we can collectively work to reduce our military spending beginning with the next American administration;  I pray that we can work towards shalom.  I pray.

We are all sons and daughters, parents, brothers, sisters, grandparents, and such.  We all have stories and lives.  We are all created in the image of God.  May we learn to live in peace.

Certainly, this is something we can all agree to work towards.  Shalom.

Filed under: politics, religion,

8 Responses

  1. Matt S. says:

    Thank you Eugene for your gratitude and prayer. I’ve found that my blogosphere is surprisingly lacking today in such sentiments. As a veteran in a long line of veterans I too pray your prayer. Let it be I pray.

  2. Baron Miller says:

    In a world of sheep and wolves, we still need sheep-dogs, protectors of the flock. As a former sheep-dog (Sgt. USMC) I too long for the day when lambs and wolves will dwell together, and when that day comes, all things will truly be made new.

    I really did enjoy my 5yrs as a Marine and enjoyed my work as a Rescue Swimmer. The motto, So Others May Live is very Jesus, very pastoral and consider myself now still doing search and rescue work, only serving a kingdom, not an empire.

    Come Lord Jesus.

  3. janowen says:

    my grandfather was a WWII POW and it is only as an adult that I’ve realized the sacrifice he made so that MANY could be free – and he would never be thanked for it personally. My uncle served in Vietnam and has struggled ever since. I don’t have anyone serving presently but my husband is employed by the Army and goes to Iraq some and we’ve seen firsthand how dedicated those soldiers are not only to American interests but to the absolute good of the Iraqi people – serving them in many ways we never see reported.

  4. Jenny says:

    My family has many who have served in the military and I am thankful for each one of them, and indeed, all of our military personnel, both past, present and (because we live in a fallen world and will likely always need some level of military power) future.

    My grandfather served in the Navy, my father in the Army (Korean War), his brother in the Navy. My uncle (on my mom’s side) gave his life in Vietnam, his brother served in the Army after his brother’s death. My brother served in the Navy. My husband has served in both the Army and the Coast Guard. His father served in the Army and met his mother in Berlin.

    I do pray for peace. Yes, Shalom. Yet as I pray for peace in the world, I also pray for wisdom and courage to stand up (and sometimes that is defined as war) for what is right, to defend the defenseless and to protect freedoms.

  5. Jeff says:

    I appreciate you recognizing the service of men & women.
    I served in the Air Force ’79 – ’92. My wife served a term in the Air Force. My son is in the WA State Army National Guard currently in Iraq. My Father was a consciencious objecter in the WW II and served in the Coast Guard, He was a Seagoing Cowboy taking needed livestock to China, New Zealand & Europe. My wife’s father served as a Dentist in the Army. Her brother’s served in the Army & Navy. I had Uncles that served in the Vietnam war, Korean War & WWII. My family has served going back to the Civil War.
    This may seem like a lot to some people. For our family, service is expected and encouraged. Not necessarily military service, but service to the community, church, State & Nation is a priviledge, not a duty. My children are all currently actively serving in Church and School activities.

  6. disinter says:

    In America, we enjoy the freedom of giving half our income to the government through various forms of taxes. We have the freedom to participate in a Ponzi scheme known as Social Security. We have the freedom to vote for the president. Unlike the voters of Iraq under Saddam Hussein, who only had one choice for president, we have two choices! We have the freedom to choose between Republican-led big government programs and Democrat-led big government programs. We have the freedom to use government-controlled money, which loses value every year. We have the freedom to subsidize the poltically-connected agricultural, automotive, and banking industries. We have the freedom of sending children through the compusory government-run education system, and then pay for job training for those that get through 12 years of schooling and still don’t know how to do anything. We have the freedom to own guns, provided that said gun is approved by the government and we pass the government-mandated background check. If we get the appropriate permits and stand in then proper free-speech zone, we have the freedom to protest.

    Thanks to all the veterans that defended these freedoms and kept them from being taken away!

    http://www.lewrockwell.com/blog/lewrw/archives/023944.html

  7. Dk says:

    The silence amongst Christians and those that you call evangelical left are embarrasingly quiet. Even if you are against war and who is not…why can’t we pay our respect to the veterans who have sacrificed so much so that people can enjoy our freedoms?

  8. Bret says:

    My father in law is buried at Arlington….I take my daughters every year and as they get older I pray to instill in them what a place like that is all about.

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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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