Eugene Cho

“You are part of an imperfect family with imperfect parents…and where the foundation is God’s grace.”

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Dear Son: Happy Birthday to you, J!

Today, you turn the big ten. 10 years old! Double digits. Goodness gracious.

Mom and Dad love you so much. It’s difficult and perhaps impossible to fully articulate the depths of our love for you and your sisters.  We are so blessed to be your parents and I am so proud and blessed to your father. I am so proud of who you are and who you are growing to be. While I am proud of your accomplishments and how you seek to honor your parents, I am simply proud of you: The person that you are and not just what you do. Your love for God and your desire to serve Him with your life – even at such a young age –  brings so much joy. Your sisters love you. Your grandparents love you. And of course, God loves you. His love for you is vast and deep.

My hope is that through our love for you, we can give you a glimpse of God’s love for you.

Yet, you are part of an imperfect family with imperfect parents – including and especially your father. You know this very well. You’ve seen me be impatient, not be fully present, lose my temper, be moody, and the list goes on. You’ve seen me at my best and seen glimpses of my worst. In other words, you’ve seen be get angry and scream at you  for nothing you’ve done, fiddle with my smartphone while I’m talking with you, forget things and details you’ve shared with me, and sometimes, even forget my promises. You also are not perfect but I don’t have to list them here…because…well…it’s your birthday. 🙂 What I want you to know – and to know deeply and clearly – is  that despite our imperfections and selfishness, we are a family where:

We say “I’m sorry”.
We ask for forgiveness and forgive.
We reconcile and harbor no record of wrongs.
We shower each other with love and affection.
We laugh, play, and pray.
We cheer each other on.
We love one another with words and affections.
We believe and trust in God.

As clear as it is that you are in an imperfect family, it is as clear that you are in a family where God’s grace is our cornerstone and foundation.

Don’t worry…We have a nice gift for you but this – a home where God is honored, pursued, and glorified – is our ongoing gift for you (and your sisters) and we pray that you will commit this gift to your wife and children some day.

You are truly blessed because so many have poured into your life and will continue to do so. Because you have been blessed, may you learn and be compelled to live a life of blessing to God and to the nations.

I love you.

~ Dad

PS: Remember this? One of my favorite games with you. I’m sorry I choked you.

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4 Responses

  1. Steph Chang says:

    Happy Birthday J! I just love that picture… God’s blessings as you raise these beautiful children. We love your family!

  2. Penny H. says:

    Ten is one of my favorites. Happy 10.

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One Day’s Wages

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In our culture, we can be so obsessed with the "spectacular" or "glamorous." The Church often engagws in thia language and paradigm...but what if God has called many of us to small, ordinary things?

Will we still be faithful?
Will we still go about such things with great love and joy?

I recently came across this picture taken by @mattylew, one of our church staff...and I started tearing up: This is my mother; in her 70s; with realities of some disabilities that make it difficult for her to stand up and sit down...but here she is on her knees and prostate in prayer. She doesn't have any social media accounts, barely knows how to use her smartphone, doesn't have a platform, hasn't written a book, doesn't have any titles in our church, isn't listed as a leader or an expert or a consultant or a guru. But she simply seeks to do her best - by God's grace - to be faithful to God. She prays for hours every day inteceding for our family, our church, and the larger world.

Even if we're not noticed or celebrated or elevated...let's be faithful. Our greatest calling as followers of Christ is to be faithful. Not spectacular. Not glamorous. Not popular. Not relevant. And not even successful in the eyes of the world.

Be faithful. Amen. #notetoself (and maybe helpful for someone else)

At times, we have to say ‘NO’ to good things to say ‘YES’ to the most important things.

We can't do it all.
Pray and choose wisely.
Then invest deeply. May our compassion not just be limited to the West or to those that look like us. Lifting up the people of Iraq, Iran, and Kurdistan in prayer after the 7.3 earthquake - including the many new friends I met on a recent trip to Iraq.

The death toll rises to over 400 and over 7,000 injured in multiple cities and hundreds of villages along the Western border with Iraq.

Lord, in your mercy... We are reminded again and again...that we are Resurrection People living in a Dark Friday world.

It's been a tough, emotional, and painful week - especially as we lament the horrible tragedy of the church shootings at Sutherland Springs. In the midst of this lament, I've been carried by the hope, beauty, and promise of our baptisms last Sunday and the raw and honest testimonies of God's mercy, love, and grace.

Indeed, God is not yet done. May we take heart for Christ has overcome the world. "Without genuine relationships with the poor, we rob them of their dignity and they become mere projects. And God did not intend for anyone to become our projects." Grateful this quote from my book, Overrated, is resonating with so many folks - individuals and  NGOs. / design by @preemptivelove .
May we keep working 
on ourselves 
even as we seek 
to change the world. 
To be about the latter 
without the former 
is the great temptation 
of our times.

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