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

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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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