Eugene Cho

name and claim a private jet

I usually don’t make my schedule this hectic not only for personal sanity reasons but because I have a wife that will knock me out.  But every now and then, it just happens.  When I was given the chance to travel to South Africa, it was a no brainer.  But it also created a whirlwind of  a schedule that has left me a little exhausted and unable to put together a string of blog posts I really want to write.

In a span of about 96 hours, I’ll have flown from Durban to Capetown, South Africa; then 12 hours from Capetown to Frankfurt; 6 hours layover in early wee hours at the Frankfurt airport; then another 12 hours from Frankfurt to Seattle.  I felt fine during the bulk of my trip but I think the sushi I ate during my stay in Capetown caught up to me.  What’s the lesson here?  Perhaps, it’s to avoid sushi in Africa but the problem is that sushi is my kyrptonite.  I eat it anywhere and everywhere I can afford it.

Or perhaps, my body just ain’t what it used to be and the return flights just broke it down because by late Saturday and early Sunday, I was vomiting up a hurricane and shaking like a bad dancer.  Yes, I admit that I was tempted to call in sick but I didn’t want to miss preaching at Quest two Sundays in a row.  Thankfully, I made it through all three services on Sunday but had a bucket for any vomitaceous uprisings by the pulpit just in case.  And for those who like vivid images, I actually did vomit a little [in my mouth] during the 9.15am service only to swallow it back in.  

Like a good pastor, I took one for the team.

Between the 2nd and 3rd service where most folks were watching some obscure game called the Super Bowl, I crashed and slept.  Woke up in time to get to the 5pm service at 5.02pm.

And to test the body one more time, I catch the earliest flight possible in a few hours to tropical Chicago for a few days at the Covenant Midwinter Conference.  While exhausted, I look forward to the one opportunity each year I get to meet, connect, and be encouraged by folks within my denomination.  I jokingly change my name to Eugene Chohannson in tribute to the Swedish roots of the denomination but if you didn’t know, it’s one of the few denominations with a serious commitment to diversity and multiculturalism – not for the sake of being politically correct but because it theologically, biblically, and sociologically critical.

So back to the whirlwind 96 hour schedule:  Durban, Capetown, Frankfurt, Seattle, Chicago, and eventually back to Seattle soon.  

I ain’t into prosperity theology but right about now, I’d like to name and claim that Private Jet.  Any witnesses in da house?

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14 Responses

  1. dean says:

    If it makes you feel any better, I’d let you borrow my private jet … if I had one.

  2. AndrewP says:

    “Like a good pastor, I took one for the team.”

    I just gained a whole new level of respect for you!

  3. Panama is another place to never eat sushi – unless you like the mall food court variety. Just thought I’d let you know, just in case you find your self in Panama one of these days with a hankering for sushi.🙂 Hope you’re feeling a little less erp-y soon.

  4. Matt says:

    steamin, willie beamin…

    I bet you REALLY started preachin up a storm after you got that bit of vomit up.

  5. Randall says:

    Please tell me none of the small vomit got on the headset mic…

  6. Ric Wild says:

    Eugene, I was just in Chicago for some of the Pre-Midwinter events. I saw Leah in the lobby and was wondering if you’d be making it out, too.

    Glad to hear that I’m not the only Covenant outsider. I’m thinking about changing my name to Johnson.

  7. eugenecho says:

    I cannot lie.

    The sushi I ate was at a mall in Capetown. It is my kyptonite.

  8. Aaron says:

    Contact Ford, GM, or Chrysler… I hear they have a couple of jets that are idle right now.

    No really, I will pray for rest!

  9. mellocello says:

    what??? ewww!!! i knew it!!! when you did that thing with your fist! ah! i am both wildly disgusted and slightly fascinated at the same time. i really appreciate that you kept it in. feel really bad that you felt so bad, but you have no idea what that means to someone who has such an irrational fear of barf.

  10. eugenecho says:

    @mellocello: i swallowed it back in for you.

  11. mellocello says:

    well i certainly do appreciate that. you can name your jet the “vomit comet.”

  12. Wow, that’s an epic journey. Private jets are awesome but you know you’re a hard working pastor when you have to name and claim a vomit bucket.

    Let us know how the Chicago sushi treats you😉

  13. The Chiz says:

    Eugene Chohannson? Do you have a sister named Scarlett?

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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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