Eugene Cho

to simply be…

It’s that time of the year where many are formulating their new year’s resolutions.

I suppose that I have a list of a few mental resolutions I will again aspire to tackle including one that involves my expanding waistline but that’s not the point of this post.😉

But rather than focusing on achieving goals or milestones, I’ve been thinking along some other wavelengths. Mind you, I typically resonate with goals, milestones, metrics, and quantifiable stuff. Last year (this time), my goals focused on launching and establishing One Day’s Wages and stabilizing Quest Church and I feel really good about both.

But this year, I have no such goals or tasks. Rather,

my hope is to simply be…

By this, I’m also specifically mindful of wanting to…

  • be a better husband.
  • be a better father.

Clearly, easier said than done but nevertheless, these aspects of my calling have always been important but more often than not, are the ones that are more readily pushed aside.

Isn’t it amazing how the things that are closest and dearest to us are often the ones we take for granted?

In a spirit of courage, I asked one of my daughters the following question:

How do you think I can be a better father?

Gulp.

There’s something about the honesty of kids that’s both a little scary and very refreshing. She responded by suggesting three things.

  1. “We should play more games together.”
  2. “You should spend less time on the computer.”
  3. “You should have some funnier jokes.”

#1 and #2 are spot on. We need to resurrect our passion for Scrabble and Monopoly. And keep the laptop/smartphone off when I come home till 9pm when the kids go to sleep.

As for the comment about #3 and funnier jokes, I’m tempted to ground her for that comment. Totally off. Wrong.

I can’t help it if she can’t appreciate my brilliant sense of humor.

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16 Responses

  1. dmbaldwin says:

    Hey Eugene,
    I totally understand the joke thing. Here’s an idea. When we would invite people over for dinner after dinner it always got around to telling crazy college stories with those that came over. In high school our son confided in me that he thought the only reason we had people over for dinner was to tell funny college stories. One evening he called me from college conveying a great prank his dorm floor had carried off. After we laughed and talked for a bit I told him he was building his repertoire of funny college stories to tell with those he and his future wife invited over for dinner. That was good.
    Have an awesome 2011 Eugene.
    Blessings,
    Dave

  2. g says:

    The older that kids get, the more they understand the humor in sarcasm and irony. Probably one of the biggest differences I’ve noticed since teaching 4th/5th graders versus last year’s 3rd graders. heh.

  3. Bryan says:

    surprised they didn’t complain about your Bill Russell like stats in block shots per game in family b-ball

  4. Kenny says:

    Oh come on Eugene, I remember your jokes back from the Onnuri days. Your daughter is spot on with all three.

    On another note, it turns out my friends Mike Ahn and his wife Miki attend your church now and love it there.

  5. LOL. I love kids! I totally understand why Jesus welcomed children. I’m sure he had the most fun with them! That 3rd point should apply to us all… been thinking about blogging about that for awhile; it’s a deep thought with many implications. In 2011, I hope to find the meaning of life. haha. How about that for a general…long-term…life-long goal? Or just how to make a living being a musician.

  6. Leo Chen says:

    Since returning from my 3-week vacation when I had no phone, no email, no internet, no facebook, I have a new-found freedom from all of them. I intend to keep it that way going into this new year. It’s actually not as much about freedom from any of the above as freedom to spend more time with people face to face and having more real relationships instead of virtual relationships. Instead of tweeting about what I want to do, I hope to have more time doing them instead of being glued to the computer.

  7. Tony Lin says:

    By the way, how many hours do you think you put in each week? I’d be curious to hear from other pastors as well. Someone asked me that awhile back but I had no clue. I wanted to say about 40 but after I started thinking about it, I think it’s a lot more…

    • Eugene Cho says:

      tony: to be honest, i don’t really know but i look at a full-time work week at 50 hours/week. i know that there are weeks i do 60 but 50 is a great balance for me. and fwiw, 50 was what my denomination, ECC, created for me when quest went from non-denominational to ECC.

  8. […] My 2011 Resolution is to Simply Be . . . […]

  9. […] As you embark on a new year, I wanted to share several quotes & verses that have encouraged me in addition to a previous happy new year post and personal resolution to be… […]

  10. […] year, I asked one of my daughters a very blunt question about how I could be a better father. One of her three answers was very […]

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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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