Eugene Cho

what advice would you give to president obama?

I’m disappointed that Barack hasn’t emailed, texted, or called me recently.  Or even to play ball together.  Maybe he’s busy.  Or likely, he doesn’t know who I am.

Wait…I guess it’s best to call him President Obama now.

Many of you already shared your thoughts – several months ago – about President Elect Barack Obama.

Everyone’s talking about the historic nature of his election, inauguration, and presidency. Certainly…but I’m just having a hard time wrapping my head and heart around it.  It’s so new.  I’m actually looking forward to being in Germany and South Africa to observe the inauguration via the media and lens of other countries.

But I’m still moved by this [from an earlier post post election results]:

I was listening to an interview of an African-American woman who spoke of what will take place on January 20, 2009 when Obama is sworn in as the President of the United States.  He will be sworn in on the very steps of Capitol Hill that were built in part by the labor of black slaves.  Just consider that for a few seconds.

Someone asked me what advice I would give to Obama if he asked me to be a pastoral/spiritual adviser? 

What advice would you give President Obama?

7  things immediately popped up:

1.  Know who you are.   Honor your convictions but have a humble and listening ear and heart.

2.  Acknowledge and engage in relationship with God.  Pray. Read the Scriptures. Ask the Spirit for guidance.

3.  Remember the people.  Remember those who are the least of these; the poor; the widows; those without voice.

4.  Family.  Love your wife.  Your marriage will be the backbone of your life and presidency.  Your fatherhood is non-negotiable.  Your daughters need you as their father.  Be present.  Period.

5.  Community.  Surround yourself with good, gifted, compassionate, and faithful people.  People who believe in you but those who are unafraid to respectfully share their differences wit you.

6.  Know the difference between Authority and Power.  Don’t abuse your power.  Demonstrate authority…but don’t abuse power.

7.  Be a global leader.  You’re not only the President of the United States but also a global leader.  Reach out your hand…

8.  ____________________

What advice would you give President Obama?

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10 Responses

  1. Ben Lee says:

    Good advices you listed above. My advice to Obama would be:

    1. Fear God. (Duet. 11).

  2. gar says:

    To borrow a verse from my FB profile…

    “Administer TRUE JUSTICE; show MERCY and COMPASSION to one another. Do not oppress the widow or the fatherless, the alien or the poor. In your hearts do not think evil of each other.” -Zech. 7:9-10

  3. HC says:

    Love Mercy, Seek Justice, and Walk Humbly.

  4. […] And I can always count on Eugene Cho for color commentary on current events: what advice would you give to president obama? […]

  5. korea says:

    Be a man of prayer.
    Be a family of prayer.

    Be a leader who does the IMPORTANT before the URGENT.
    Prayer is all-important.

    Christ, the example of a leader, modelled that.

  6. chad says:

    8. Talk. To as many people as often as you can (stand). more talk = more perspectives = better insights = better choices

  7. Bret says:

    I would ask him to consider defunding the very profitable “not for profit” organization known as Planned Parenthood:

    Which is what this admendment, introduced yesterday, seeks to do:

    http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/bdquery/z?d111:h.r.00614:

  8. Jose lavadia says:

    “What advice would you give the president of the United States”

    I Jose Lavadia would tell our president to try keeping the neighbors in touch to maintain America a joyful area. Our president Barack Obama should inspire people to chase their dreams by being a very wise president to make them think “the better you go the better you get” president Obama shall make the poor’s life easier by sending more police forces to the most dangerous ghetto areas. You can find many homeless people in those areas. President Obama should make schools better by putting students in the right grade or class that will make them understand better.
    As a leader of the United States of America, President Obama should start a team to help him through his job which is the hardest job because of this year’s economic crisis. First, President Obama should take care of the economy. Next, President Obama should take care of the war at Iraq, Afghanistan and Gaza (Middle East with Israel) for the nations security issues. Last, President Obama should take care of the jobs and settlements to mobilize thousands of unemployed workforces.
    President Obama should repair the infrastructure in the United States which would be a long term project. President Obama should be taking care of the financial crisis that our parents and we children are facing. But the president cannot work his own that he needs to come up a very strong group of political leaders under his command.
    But most of all, our dear President should maintain his direction in leading and serving the nation so that the majority of people will support what everybody is aspiring for including our president.
    May President Obama continue aspire us children to always do well to our country and fellowmen by being true to his service at all times. Our president should

  9. emeka nkwo says:

    Dear Mr. President Obama,

    FIRST OF ALL, I SAY WELCOME BACK CHRIST, NOBODY WAS TOLD HOW CHRIST WAS GOING TO COME BACK, AND NOW THAT HE IS BACK VERY FEW PEOPLE SEEMS TO TO NOTICE.

    EVERYBODY WANTS YOU TO INTERFER INTO IRAN’S CHAOS BUT YOU ALONE AS A MESSAGER THAT KNOWS THE MESSAGE YOU HAVE COME TO DELIVER WILL DO JUST THAT. TAKE YOUR TIME, BUT DO IT RIGHT AND DO NOT EVER LEAVE US WITHOUT FIXING THE PROBLEM. THERE IS NOTHING WRONG WITH RIGHT THING FOR ONCE, HELL, EXCUSE MY LANGUAGE, WHY NOT FOREVER

    I THINK ALL MIDDLE EAST WILL HAVE TO LEARN FROM THIS, SO THAT THEIR CITIZENS WILL SEE THAT THE WESTERN WORLD DO NOT MEAN NO HARM BUT, TO SHOW FREEDOM TO ALL MANKIND. BUT, FOR LONG TIME UNITED STATES HAVE NOT SHOWN LEADERSHIP BY EXAMLPE. THANK GOD WE DO NOW.

    WE WERE WORRIED ABOUT IRAN HAVING UCLEAR WEAPON, NO WE SHOULD BE WORRIED ABOUT IRAN MALTREATING THEIR OWN PEOPLE. AND THE WHOLE WORLD IS WATCHING, AND OTHERS ARE CONTEMPLATING. THIS A WAR IS UNITED STATES CAN NOT AFFORD TO LOOSE BY INTERFERING.

    TO MAKE WAR IS COSTLY, BUT PEACE IS PRICELESS.

    LET US LEAVE THE EVILS FALL ON THEIR SWORDS. IT IS ALL ABOUT THE GOOD, THE BAD AND THE UGLY.

    HAPPY FATHER’S DAY MR. PRESIDENT

  10. Dear Mr. President,

    Currently the BP Oil Spill is being considered as the worst Oil Spill in the history of our country. As unfortunate as this is the opportunity to help Americans while helping the Ecosystem in the Gulf is right in front of us.

    EMPLOY AMERICANS!!! Employ as many as possible to create a force of staff to help clean up the damage caused by the 17+ Million gallons of Oil leaked into our ocean.

    I am one of the unfortunate Americans who have lost their job but have taken it as an opportunity to start own business. Many Americans do not have this option nor do they have the ability to do so hence the need for employment.

    Please, don’t consider the limited resources you have in the fields required to manage this, soon to be, global issue; the only resources available. Turn our unemployed Americans into a Workforce that can help in this disaster.

    I wish you luck and hope that the wisdom needed to resolve this disaster will be given to you.

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One Day’s Wages

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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. Seattle. 7:00pm. Desperately holding on to summer. #goldengardenpark #nofilter Happy Birthday, Minhee! I'm so grateful for you. You radiate faith, hope, and love.  No...you don't complete me. That would be silly and simply humanly impossible but you keep pointing me and our family to Christ who informs and transforms our lives, marriage, family, and ministry. Thanks for being so faithful. I love you so much. (* And what a gift to be in Korea together.)

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