Eugene Cho

Imagine a singular decision of courage and faith that will bless the generations to come.

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It’s been a very long time since I’ve blogged.  For various reasons, I’ve chosen to take a little sabbatical from blogging. It was meant to be life giving but somehow, it grew to become a chore, a job, a metric, a regular statistics checking habit…and to be honest, it was attracting more than its share of angry folks that were going out of their way to contact me. Just leave your comments and let it be. Please. I appreciate the dialogue and the comments but we don’t have to be best friends and you don’t have to save me. Fo realz.

But…I’m back.

Life has also been full. Beyond full.

And as much as I want life to be neatly packed, organized, and compartmentalized…it just doesn’t seem to work that way.

It’s been full but it’s not chaotic. Does this make sense?

You see, we live in a busy world but there’s a difference between empty fatigue and gratifying tiredness.

My hope is to invest in the things that I deeply care about. And this…takes prioritizing or in other words, a life audit. So, why the silence on the blog? Because it was time for a life audit…

Speaking of investing in things that I deeply care about…family would be one of them.

Minhee is doing her thing but this, too, hasn’t been an easy thing. As some of my readers know, she launched her private counseling practice last year but I’m so proud of her as she invests in herself and her calling through her vocation, giftings, and passions.

Our oldest daughter is now in 10th grade.
Not a typo.
What the halo?
Yes, a sophomore in high school.
We can hardly believe in ourselves
And wow, what an amazing your woman she is.

Our 2nd daughter will be entering 8th grade and is a passionate basketball player. Her father’s been tough on her and thus, I sometimes make her upset and cry but it’s because I want to both affirm and push her beyond her self perception of her capacities and help her with her shooting, ball handling, left handed dribble, defense, sharper passes, leadership, and willingness to compete.

Okay, I admit…I need to focus a bit more on the affirmation part.

And our youngest child (our son) will be entering 5th grade. During his school’s recent promotion ceremony, he – along with a handful of other students – were selected by their fellow peers to receive a very special award: Humanitarian Award.

Minhee and I couldn’t be prouder.

Joining us to celebrate with our son were my  parents (his grandparents). Sitting next to my parents, how could I not think about the step of their faith and courage to immigrate to this country in 1977 with the singular hope of giving opportunities to their children…which were not given to them. Both my parents were born in extreme poverty. Both my parents endured through many trials and struggles. Both of them struggled and lived through the Korean War and its devastation.

Somehow, they wanted more for themselves and especially more for their children.

As I’ve shared before, no one is an island to themselves. There is no such-thing as a self-made person. Someone invested in you and that’s certainly the case with both Minhee and me. Many people invested in us and we hope that we can – be and do – likewise for others but especially for our children.

I know this may sound like I’m foolishly boasting but I’m proud that all of our children have received Humanitarian Awards through their schools. I share this not to be that proud Dad (ok…only a little) but to testify to not only God’s faithfulness but to take a moment to honor my parents. In a singular decision of courage, they altered the trajectory – not only of their lives but for the generations to come. While I believe in the sovereignty of God, I also believe in the capacity and freedom God gives to his creation. In a singular act of courage – likely processed through prayers, planning, anxiety, worry, conversations, prayers, planning, anxiety, prayer, more conversations, and more prayer – they altered the destinies of their children, their grandchildren and our children, and our children’s children.  My father’s grandfather and grandmother made a similar singular decision of courage to be one of the first believers of the Gospel of Christ…and it altered the trajectory of their lives and the generations to come. They made a decision of courage to leave what is now called North Korea and flee south…not knowing that a war called the Korean War would eventually break out.

Take a moment to let that sink in.

Our lives, our choices, our faith, our commitment, our steadfastness, our courage…they not only serve us but they have the capacity to impact our children, our children’s children, and for the generations to come.

Imagine.

Minhee and I are so proud of our children. So proud.

And we’re especially proud and grateful for our respective parents for their faith, hope, and love. We’re grateful for their courage.

We’re grateful for their singular decision of courage and even more grateful for the steadfast life of devotion.

#thankyoujesus

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14 Responses

  1. Matt Appling says:

    That incredible, Eugene! (Just for the record, I opened my blog reader this morning, and happily clicked on your name with a number ‘1’ by it, just because it had been a while since we heard from you.) I’ve taken the same kind of life audit this summer, pulling back from online activities to focus on the people who are closest to me.

  2. An awesome, thought provoking, and inspiring post. Thank you for sharing.

  3. Candace Donovan says:

    A delightful, thought provoking writing. Appreciate your view on the world.

  4. Steph Chang says:

    really appreciate hearing your voice and words of encouragement, PE. These are things we want to be thinking and praying about. (and Congrats to your son! )

  5. Kristi says:

    That’s an awe-inspiring testimony! Are your grandparents still in South Korea or in the States? Reminds me of a song…How deep the Father’s love for us, how vast beyond all measure, that He should give His only son, to make a wretch His treasure.

  6. Deona Flores says:

    Dearest Eugene, Thank you for your thoughts…especially your closing remarks. The Holy spirit has directed your family for generations and now you life I life where you and your loved ones can freely worship. I thank the Holy Spirit that led the disciples that first witnessed to you great grandparents (I think) and lead your parents out of a future of unfathomable obsession (in North Korea)! What a privileged to know you…praise God for cyber space! And a Humanitarian award is a great thing for your son and for you…his father! Praise God!

    Yet technology can be a trap that keeps us from the living presence of Christ. It was wise and prudent of you to prioritize your time and energies…I often avoid reading all the blogs I receive for that very same reason you stopped writing…the task becomes more human (of humanly corrupted) than the once Spirit filled endeavor!

    Oswald Chambers in ‘My utmost for His Highest’ talked about Peter from Matt 14:29-30, in today’s mediation. Not to reiterate the story you probably know very well but the reckless abandon that held Peter’s heart when Christ called him ..in the midst of a storm…standing on the water…to get out of the boat and go to meet him…perhaps is the same devoted abandonment that calls us to turn from a public life filled with storms to those times of private devotion with Christ and our families. I am reminded not to turn from that devotion…focusing on the water below, the circumstances we find ourselves in or we will sink…yet even then…’Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him,’ (vs 30).

    Blessing to you my dear brother. May God continue to reveal Himself to you…consciously…each day!

    ‘For in him we live and move and have our being,’ (Acts 17:28).

    Deona Flores

  7. Karen says:

    Awesome. You make me want to be a more courageous mom.

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One Day’s Wages

My Instagram

Window seat. For the win. As leaders, we must not see ministry and family as competing commitments.  We must not sacrifice our marriage and kids for the sake of "ministry." How can we? Loving our families IS ministry & good leadership.

And on a side note, we took this goofy photo for Mother's Day last Sunday at @seattlequest. I was shocked! What in the world happened to our kids? Our 13 year old son blocked four of my shots on the basketball court yesterday. He's since been grounded... I fear that we ask God to move mountains, forgetting that God also wants to move us.

In fact, it's possible that we are that mountain. Time flies. The eldest is wrapping up her 1st year in college and the college tours have begun for the 2nd child. The youngest enters high school in the Fall. Can't say enough about how proud Minhee and I are of the kids - not just of their accomplishments but the people they are and are becoming.

But...man...we can't wait to party it up when we're emptynesters. Party at our house. It's going to be epic. Humbled. Grateful. Mindful of God's grace and faithfulness in my life. It's all grace... It's an unexpected honor to be invited back - even with some mini-drama - to @princetonseminary to receive the 2017 Distinguished Alumni Award - exactly 25 years after starting my journey there as a student in 1992. Wow.

Princeton isn't necessarily for everyone. And to say that I loved everything about my experience would be misleading but it was very formative. Ir challenged me to examine why I believed in what I believed. It reminded me that God could handle my questions. It prepared me for a post-Christian context where I am not entitled to be heard but I had to earn the right to be heard, and of course, it taught me that all is good with a Philly cheese steak at Hoagie Haven.

No one is an island to themselves and I am certainly an example of that. Many people - women and men, young and old, and of many backgrounds - prayed, encouraged, mentored, and loved me along the way. Grateful for my professors at seminary, my many classmates, and the numerous fellow staff and co-laborers I've had the privilege of serving Christ with past and present. And of course, I'm forever inspired by my parents, my children, and my wife, Minhee. Thank you for your faith, hope, and love...and oh, for your patience. Only your family will know and see both the best and worst of you. They've seen my worst...and keep on believing in me.

Thank you again, PTS and President Barnes, for this honor. Then, today, and tomorrow...by God's grace, just striving to be faithful to my Lord and Savior...to preach and live out the convictions of the whole Gospel. Amen. So humbled and grateful to be with @catalystleader in Cincinnati to encourage leaders from all around the country about the invitation to Uncommon Fellowship.

Preached from John 4. We can talk, preach, sing, philsophize, liturgize, and spit rhymes about Samaria...but we still have to talk through Samaria.

my tweets

  • "They got money for wars but can't feed the poor." ~ Tupac #trumpbudget || 18 hours ago
  • Heartbroken. Praying for Manchester & the UK. For those mourning loved ones. For those injured and fighting for life. Lord, in your mercy. || 2 days ago
  • Window seat. For the win. https://t.co/yG66Sm2bvu || 4 days ago
  • As leaders, we must not sacrifice our family for the sake of ministry because loving our family IS good leadership: instagram.com/p/BUVAGVwg-5z/ || 4 days ago
  • We long for a Gospel that comforts but resist the Gospel that disrupts. Having the former without the latter seduces us into complacency. || 4 days ago
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