Eugene Cho

blogging: looking back this past year

If you can’t tell already, I enjoy blogging.  After couple failed attempts, I started blogging regularly in July 2006.  It’s instant publishing without having to go through book proposals and such…although I still am in love with ‘print.’  By now, most of you know why I blog and in the near future, I’ll share with you ‘how I blog.‘  

But as I look back on this past year, I realized what a l…o…n…g  year it was.  There were some stuff I blogged about I had forgotten happened this year.  But since it’s the season to look back, I put together a list of my “I’m Glad I Wrote This” posts and a second list of stuff that made me laugh.  Amongst other stuff, two important things that make a good blog are 1] content and 2] comments/community.  I’ve tried to do my part to share honest, engaging, and some substantive content and you’ve certainly done your part to build the community through your comments.  

Thank you.

In no particular order, here’s a list of some of my “I’m Glad I wrote this” posts.  Feel free to share stuff you’ve written

  • Loudly Fighting Poverty: Reason why Minhee and I chose to go public with our poverty initiative. This has been the source of most of the criticism I’ve received this year. Just trying to live out our convictions as humbly and passionately as we can.
  • Let’s Kiss and Make Up:  Presidential elections are over. Time to kiss, reconcile, and work together.
  • What is your Car Porn? We all struggle with some sort of porn, right? I like cars.
  • How I’m Voting:  Umm, pretty self explanatory.  Rather than focusing on people or parties, shared some stuff about issues…  Wished some individuals didn’t leave the church though.
  • The Abortion Conversation:  I just copied and pasted and let folks share…and share they did.
  • I like Sarah Palin but Not in that Way:  Strange how many people emailed me because of this post and how many people chose to remove me as their “friend” on Facebook.  Those darn liberals are funny sometimes. 🙂
  • My Slanted Eyes are Beautiful:  I have to include at least one post on Race, Racism and Racialization.  This occurred smack in the middle of the Olympics.  
  • My Pastor is a Janitor:  Not too many comments but enjoyed writing and sharing about our church’s custodian who happens to be a pastor of another church.  
  • Stay at Home Dads are Safe From Hell:  Trying to go to bat for those men that stay at home to take care of their kids.  I still owe a sequel to this post.
  • My Conversation with Rob Bell:  Had a conversation about ‘women and leadership’ with Rob Bell without actually talking to him.  Can’t believe this took place this past year.
  • The Hope in S. C. Chapman’s Family Tragedy:  One of the most read posts.  Eventually wrote an article for the Seattle Post Intelligencer on the [hope in the midst of] tragedy.
  • Ultimate Fighting Jesus:  While people are afraid of the emasculation of men, I’m more afraid of the ‘what.the.hell.are.you.doing.sculation’ of Jesus.  But that’s just me.
  • Church, Gay Marriage, and Prop 8:  Again, sometimes it’s just best to give people a venue to have respectful conversations and step aside.

Here’s my Top 5 Off-Topic Posts:

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8 Responses

  1. Michelle says:

    Eugene, I have enjoyed reading your blog so much this past year. Some posts I agree with some, not and some others make me think more deeply about what I believe. Thanks for your time and hard work and HAPPY NEW YEAR!

  2. Great stuff…I can’t believe you can write so much…well done!

  3. Tom says:

    You’re doing something important and different here.

    Who knows how long you’ll be in the zone, but I’d encourage you to keep it up online while you can.

    Courageous creative bursts do so much good in the long run.

    I’d just like a little more attention on your part to leading the online community you’re creating.

  4. Rachel says:

    A few of the links to previous posts can’t be found. I just stumbled on your blog tonight. Very cool.

  5. eugenecho says:

    @rachel: sorry. i think i got’em fixed.

    @tom: regarding ‘more attention’: yeah, i should but on some days, it’s just tough.

  6. jan owen says:

    Eugene, I initially came to your blog because of a post you wrote very eloquently on women in ministry or even the attitudes towards women in the church. Your “conversation” with Rob Bell spoke deeply to me. I have often told men in leadership that it is not enough that they “don’t oppose” and “allow” (a term i hate) women to be in leadership and ministry. Men MUST be the ones that speak out and lead the way for women in the church and perhaps most of all, address the pride and prejudice and hurtful attitudes that exist within the church. The church is the last place with – if we are honest – sanctioned sexism. This issue must be addressed and it is not enough that women speak out, men must lead the way.

    Can I just say that I appreciate you Eugene? I don’t know you. I may never meet you. But you have given me hope for the future of the church and I thank you for the encouragement you have given me through your attitudes and writing.

    I wrote this post about my dream for the church:
    http://aworshipfulheart.typepad.com/a_worshipful_heart/2008/11/wrapping-it-up-why-i-care-so-much.html

  7. eugenecho says:

    @jan: thanks for the kind and encouraging words. glad to know we are serving christ together…

  8. gracerules says:

    Eugene – I just got involved in the blogging community in 2008 and have thoroughly enjoyed your blog. I have you on my blogroll (your actually the first on the list due to it being alphabetical) so that I can easily check out your posts and in hopes that others will find your blog. I enjoy your writing, your content and the community that meets here. Good luck in the future and keep up the good work. – Liz @ gracerules

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One Day’s Wages

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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) May our hearts break for injustice and exploitation - whether abroad or in our own backyard. Spending a few days for @onedayswages in Thailand. Along with one of our board members, I'm traveling with a group of 10 others to learn, listen and visit a few NGOs including one of our partners, @thefreedomstory. Couple days ago, we spent an evening walking through Soi Cowboy. On a given night, about 10,000 people are in the ring of prostitution in Soi Cowboy, Nana Plaza, and Patpong. Much of this is driven by the consumer demand. Approximately 70% of male tourists go to Thailand for the sex industry.

Human trafficking is complex. Anyone that says otherwise is lying or selling you something. 
To reduce it to simple terms, or simple problems, or simple solutions…cause harmful consequences. While we can all agree that it is sinful, egregious, evil, and wrong…there are many nuances and complexities. It would serve all of us to grow deep in the awareness not just of the larger issue but the nuances and complexities.

When people speak of human trafficking, they tend to be ‘attracted’ to the issue of sexual exploitation. Dare I say it, human trafficking has become trendy as a justice issue.

Clearly, it’s evil and egregious. But to reduce the entire issue of human trafficking into one form is not helpful. Because the mission is to fight the entire injustice of slavery. And if that’s the commitment, we have to not only combat sexual exploitation but engage in issues of poverty, forced labor, commercial exploitation in tourism, land rights and power abuses, organized crime networks, cultural and economic realities, etc.

Oh, it's so complex but we have to be engaged whether in Thailand or in our own backyards. May our hearts break for the things that break the heart of God... More thoughts to come.

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