Eugene Cho

an attitude of gratitude on thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving everyone.  For this post, I want to encourage you with two simple thoughts: You are Blessed and Remember the Vulnerable.   One must choose to have this attitude of gratitude because it is our human nature to complain and be envious of others.  The last few months – locally and globally – have certainly been like a bad roller coaster ride that leaves one disoriented and vomitaceous. And unless you’re completely detached from the money machine, you’re likely impacted on some personal level and feeling pretty anxious.  

So: What are you thankful for?

For me, I’m thankful for the meaningful things in my life:  the presence, truth and grace of the Triune God, my family, my wife and three children, my church community, friends, the opportunities I have, and thankful for the gift of choice that enables much privilege in my life.  I pray that I can be a good steward of such gifts in my life.

Here are the two thoughts of encouragement:

You are Blessed. Say that to yourself again and again and again. Because we truly are. If you have a roof over your head, enjoyed three meals today, and will sleep in your own bed tonight, you are blessed. Because so many of us are conditioned in this Upward Mobility Mindset where we want more and covet more, we compare our wealth to those who are wealthier which then will subsequently, make you feel poor.

But, here is the simple truth and reality: YOU ARE BLESSED. Especially during this economic downturn, please remember this. If you visit http://globalrichlist.com, you’ll get a sense how “rich” you are in comparison to the larger world.

My annual income as a pastor is $66,000. I don’t consider it to be a large salary. I have, at times, compared my salary to other pastors with larger salaries and coveted more. But when I submit my annual salary on globalrichlist.com, it indicates that I am the 52,816,732 richest person in the world! That puts me in the TOP .88 riches % in the world. Wow. Click on this image to learn how rich you are!

So before you start complaining, whining, and coveting, please count your blessings.

Remember the Vulnerable. In this real economic crisis, the ones that are most vulnerable are the poorest of the poor – both locally and globally. The global food crisis was having a dramatic impact on the world’s poor even before the current onset of global recession.

Consider these stunning REAL numbers that impact REAL people:

  • 1 child dying every 3 seconds
  • 18 children dying every minute
  • A 2004 Asian Tsunami occurring every week
  • An Iraq-scale death toll every 15–36 days
  • Almost 10 million children dying every year
  • Some 60 million children dying between 2000 and 2006

While we all freak out about the global financial crisis, let’s consider that about 2.7 billion people live on less than $2/day; 1 billion people live on less than $1/day and 1.1 billion people do not have access to clean water.

During an economic recession, people will likely and wisely hunker down and seek to reduce spending in their lives. In my opinion, seeking to reduce our consumerism and learning to live more simpler is a great plus that we can learn during this recession. But, in that pursuit, I want to encourage you NOT to reduce your generosity and giving to the poor. Honor your giving, generosity, compassion, and commitments to various organizations. In fact, I would encourage you to consider GIVING MORE in light of what we all know – giving to the poor and impoverish will be dramatically impacted during this global recession.

Consider the global priorities in spending in 1998. These statistics will tell you that our priorities are skewed.

Global Priority $U.S. Billions
Cosmetics in the United States 8
Ice cream in Europe 11
Perfumes in Europe and the United States 12
Pet foods in Europe and the United States 17
Business entertainment in Japan 35
Cigarettes in Europe 50
Alcoholic drinks in Europe 105
Narcotics drugs in the world 400
Military spending in the world 780

If you’re interested in partnering with us in our global poverty initiative, feel free to donate by clicking the link below.  You can view the initiative video and FAQ.

Filed under: family, religion,

5 Responses

  1. Katherine says:

    Like you, I’m thankful for my spouse and children and the opportunity to have so much freedom and safety. I’m heartbroken over what has gone on in India.

  2. d says:

    my Facebook status: “Dennis is thankful for mom and dad, who kicked my juvenile-immature-headed-for-jail-punk-ass into a person of faith and integrity. i love you omma and appa.”

  3. […] you know Eugene Cho is one of the wealthiest humans in the world? Amazing. That blog post was just another reminder that I live the good life and I need to be […]

  4. […] Fri 28 Nov 2008 · No Comments Go to the global rich list to find out: Global Rich List. (You will just enter your annual income in a box and it will show you a graphic like this, and where you fit.) (HT: Pastor Eugene Cho – An attitude of gratitude) […]

  5. Bret says:

    I am thankful that God provided enough volunteers and food to feed 150 meals to the needy onThanksgiving.

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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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