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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In our culture, we can be so obsessed with the "spectacular" or "glamorous." The Church often engagws in thia language and paradigm...but what if God has called many of us to small, ordinary things?

Will we still be faithful?
Will we still go about such things with great love and joy?

I recently came across this picture taken by @mattylew, one of our church staff...and I started tearing up: This is my mother; in her 70s; with realities of some disabilities that make it difficult for her to stand up and sit down...but here she is on her knees and prostate in prayer. She doesn't have any social media accounts, barely knows how to use her smartphone, doesn't have a platform, hasn't written a book, doesn't have any titles in our church, isn't listed as a leader or an expert or a consultant or a guru. But she simply seeks to do her best - by God's grace - to be faithful to God. She prays for hours every day inteceding for our family, our church, and the larger world.

Even if we're not noticed or celebrated or elevated...let's be faithful. Our greatest calling as followers of Christ is to be faithful. Not spectacular. Not glamorous. Not popular. Not relevant. And not even successful in the eyes of the world.

Be faithful. Amen. #notetoself (and maybe helpful for someone else)

At times, we have to say ‘NO’ to good things to say ‘YES’ to the most important things.

We can't do it all.
Pray and choose wisely.
Then invest deeply. May our compassion not just be limited to the West or to those that look like us. Lifting up the people of Iraq, Iran, and Kurdistan in prayer after the 7.3 earthquake - including the many new friends I met on a recent trip to Iraq.

The death toll rises to over 400 and over 7,000 injured in multiple cities and hundreds of villages along the Western border with Iraq.

Lord, in your mercy... We are reminded again and again...that we are Resurrection People living in a Dark Friday world.

It's been a tough, emotional, and painful week - especially as we lament the horrible tragedy of the church shootings at Sutherland Springs. In the midst of this lament, I've been carried by the hope, beauty, and promise of our baptisms last Sunday and the raw and honest testimonies of God's mercy, love, and grace.

Indeed, God is not yet done. May we take heart for Christ has overcome the world. "Without genuine relationships with the poor, we rob them of their dignity and they become mere projects. And God did not intend for anyone to become our projects." Grateful this quote from my book, Overrated, is resonating with so many folks - individuals and  NGOs. / design by @preemptivelove .
May we keep working 
on ourselves 
even as we seek 
to change the world. 
To be about the latter 
without the former 
is the great temptation 
of our times.

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